There are plenty of different requirements for the shipment of goods, and it is important to be aware of these to ensure that your shipment arrives safely and on time.
In some cases, special permits or licenses may be required in order to ship certain items, so it is always best to check with the relevant authorities before shipping anything overseas.
One of the requirements of international shipping is the inspection certificate. In this article, we tell you all about it, when it’s required, who issues, it, and the different types of inspection certificates you might encounter.
What is an Inspection Certificate?
An inspection certificate is a document that certifies that a shipment of goods has been inspected and meets all applicable quality standards. They typically include information about the shipment of goods being certified, such as the quantity, type of product, and date of shipment. The certificate may also include information about the inspection itself, such as the inspection date and the inspector's name.
Purpose of a Pre-Shipment Inspection Certificate
A Pre-Shipment Inspection Certificate (PSIC) is required for certain exports. It verifies that the shipment meets all applicable export requirements. Inspection certificates can also demonstrate compliance with quality standards set by buyers or other interested parties. For example, a buyer may require that suppliers provide an inspection certificate verifying that goods meet certain specifications before they agree to purchase the goods.
Who Issues a Certificate of Inspection?
The certificate is issued by an independent third party, such as a government agency or private inspection company. In the U.S., all products imported into the United States must be inspected by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP). The CBP will issue a Certificate of Inspection (COI) for all products that meet the required standards.
Who Pays for the Inspection Certificate?
The cost of the certificate depends on the value of the goods being shipped and is typically paid by the sender or receiver of the goods. The certificate is valid for a certain period, typically three to six months. After the expiration date, a new certificate must be obtained before the goods can be shipped again.
When is an Inspection Release Certificate Required?
Inspection certificates are often required by customs authorities in order to clear shipments for import or export. There are a few circumstances when an inspection release certificate may not be required, such as when the goods are imported for personal use or are sent as a gift.
However, it is always best to check with your country’s customs authorities to be sure that a certificate is not needed.
Countries Requiring Pre-Shipment Inspections
Pre-shipment inspections are required in some countries to ensure that the goods being shipped meet all quality and safety standards, including:
- the Philippines
- Saudi Arabia
- South Africa
- United Arab Emirates
Shipments of goods destined for these countries must be inspected by an accredited third-party inspection company prior to shipment. The inspection company will certify that the goods meet all quality and safety standards required by the destination country. This certification is then presented to the shipping company, which will not ship the goods without it.
Types of Inspection Certificates
There are two main types of inspection certificates that are issued by third-party inspection companies: Pre-shipment Inspection Certificates and In-line/During Production Inspection Certificates.
Pre-shipment Inspection Certificates
A Pre-shipment Inspection Certificate (PIC) is a document that certifies that the products being shipped meet the required quality standards. This certificate is typically issued by an independent third-party inspection company and is required by many countries before goods can be imported. The PIC helps to ensure that only high-quality products are imported into the country, which protects consumers and helps to maintain the country's reputation for quality products.
To obtain a PIC, the manufacturer or supplier of the goods must first submit their products to an inspection company. The inspection company will then test the products to ensure they meet the required quality standards. If the products pass the inspection, the company will issue a PIC. The PIC must then be presented to the customs authorities in the country of import before the goods can be shipped.
In-line/During Production Inspection Certificates
An In-line/During Production Inspection Certificate is a certificate used to verify that products have been inspected during the production process. This type of certificate is typically issued by a third-party organization, such as a quality control organization or an independent laboratory. The certificate can be used to provide evidence that products meet specific quality standards, and can be used to help resolve disputes between buyers and sellers.
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