What is post shipment inspection?

Third party inspection in international trade can be defined as activities which are relating to the verification of the quality, the quantity, the price, including currency exchange rate and financial terms, and/or the customs classification of goods to be exported to the territory of the importer country.

We have written couple of articles related to third party inspection services so far on our website.

We have covered pre-shipment inspection, during production inspection and container loading supervision.

We have also explained the differences between each inspection types from one another.

Today we would like to clarify another important inspection type that is also used in international trade transactions: Post-shipment inspection.

What is a post-shipment inspection? How to define post-shipment inspection?

A post-shipment inspection is a type of third party inspection services, which is conducted in order to understand whether or not the quality and quantity of the goods are in conformity with the specifications stated on the sales contract, is performed upon arrival of the goods at the port of discharge or place of final destination.

Why an importer may require a post-shipment inspection?

The main reason why an importer may require a post-shipment inspection because of the fact that all other inspections are still possessing some sort of risks for the importer as they are conducted at the exporter's country.

What are the benefits of a post-shipment inspection?

One of the main benefits of a post-shipment inspection is to eliminate the risk of disputes in regards to the quantity and quality of goods received by importers.

Post-shipment inspections play a key role to stop any fraudulent shipment activities especially when they are used in combination with pre-shipment inspections.

How does a post-shipment inspection work?

Post-shipment inspection process may change from one audit company to another. But you can find below operational steps for a regular commercial post-shipment inspection.
  • Importer or exporter, which will be called "applicant company" hereafter, applies to the independent inspection company in order to book a post-shipment inspection.
  • The applicant company fills the forms either online or hard copy to get the price quotation for the inspection.
  • Once the inspection company receives the information supplied by the applicant company, prepares an offer outlining the inspection's borders.
  • If the offer is acceptable, then the applicant company pays for the inspection costs and books the inspection.
  • Inspection company get in touch with either the importer company or the exporter company in order to determine the inspection date.
  • Inspector company entrusts a qualified inspector for the inspection, who goes to the inspection place, which is either at the port of discharge or at the place of final destination varies according to the selected mode of transport. 
  • Inspector collects sample of goods for the inspection. Under post-shipment inspections not whole production is investigated, but only a representative sample of goods are tested.
  • Once the inspection is completed, inspector writes his reports. The report may indicate either goods are in conformity with the qualifications stated on the sales contract or not.
What sort of shipments require post-shipment inspection?

Post-shipment inspection is suitable for bulk cargo shipments such as oil, coal, timber, bulk chemical, bulk food shipments.

It would not be practical to implement post-shipment inspections to containerized shipments consist of few container loads in terms of cost efficiency.