Exporting Clothes: The Best Pre-Shipment Inspection Protocol

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Trade operators use pre-shipment inspection processes to ensure that the goods or products are fulfilling a set of goals or requirements. It can be done both during export or import, depending on your position in the supply chain. It uses some standard protocols or FAQsto ensure the product’s features are as agreed upon.

Pre-inspection protocols check:

  • The quantity measurement of products, including different colors or sizes
  • The quality of products according to standards of products in the end needed
  • The safety measurements regarding products
  • The standard attributes such as packaging and labelling

These pre-inspection protocols were introduced in 1994 to improve the quality of exporting goods such as clothing, which is especially important when working with overseas clothing manufacturers. Pre-inspection standard protocols become mandatory for every company or country to ensure that their trade services are reliable. These inspections can be done by hiring private external companies that have a good command of pre-inspection protocols. The same organization’s experts can do it within the premises of the organization. The costs for pre-inspection, such as unpacking handling, sampling, testing, repacking, etc., are usually the responsibility of exporters.

When exporting clothes, the pre-inspection should consider AIM Control’s pre-shipment inspection services, known as pre-exporting inspection or PSI.

Following are the standard steps to follow for pre-shipment inspection:-

Order placement:

When goods reached the warehouse or manufacturer’s production house, the orders will be arranged and managed so that the inspector will have an overall idea by only looking at it. The packaging and handling will give a comprehensive summary of what products will look like.

Quantity check:

The inspector has the order summary of what the customer ordered. The report is brief yet descriptive. The inspector matches the quantity with the list to ensure they are correct in number. Also, he verifies the destination and integrity of boxes.

Random selection:

The inspector then uses the standard ANSI (ISO 2859-1) sampling procedure to select random samples for testing. The AQL is already decided between the client and exporter,and it is mentioned in the report or order summary. AQL is the maximum quality limit that needs to be ensured in pre-shipment inspection.

Verification for quality:

The inspector inspects the samples to find out the general quality of the actual goods. They are characterized as minor, major, or critical in case of defects found. Especially clothing manufacturers in China or other Asian countries known to have quality problems sometimes, also since they work with low-end prices.

There is always an acceptable tolerance level between the buyer and seller in case of any production defects.

Conformity verification:

Quality control investigators check item measurements, material, development, weight, shading, stamping, and labeling. If the pre-shipment examination is for clothing pieces, the monitor contains whether the right sizes have been producedfor the shipment and that the sizes compare with the goods’ dimension and labels.

For different items, measurements might be considerably more significant, so this is the point at which the components of the completed item can be estimated and contrasted and your unique details.


  1. Functional testing:this test makes sure that the full working or functionality of a product. It makes sure that the product is entirely useable or not. Like it tests the zipper, buttons, embellishments broken, missing or low quality, the number of stitches per inch, and the fabric or material used is either low or high in quality or are no going to burn out quickly.
  2. Safety test:safety testing is one of the critical and careful testings in electronic devices. So this test is used in detail for mechanical and electric products. It makes sure that the product is safe to use for the client’s users.

It checks whether the clothes will not make any skin defects like allergies, etc. In a surrounding critical environment, they will not be harmful because of any chemical it contains.

Inspection report:

When all the inspection steps are used, then all the points noted during inspection like any failure or defects reported in a document report. The report should contain images if any defects are found or also when the products are mentioned pass. The related comments or suggestions should be noted, and also it is helpful for future inspection or disputes.

Pre-shipment inspection main features:


The AQL stands for Acceptance Quality Limit, and this model uses statistical data to find out the maximum acceptable level of failure or defects in a product. The results will vary according to the fields of products,and it always gives an unbiased effect.

Sampling plans:

These plans are derived from ISO standards for sampling. This saves time and money to find an inspection report because it used some products as sample products instead of all the products.

Defect classification:

Find defects in sample products and characterized or classified them as minor, major, or critical. The little can be ignored, the major should be reconsidered, and the essential needs to be fade away as soon as possible.


The process and standard protocols are not lengthy but give a detailed output report to check the quality and quantity measurement of products. Make sure to have a quality assurance protocol as outlined herein place when working with your clothing manufacturer.