Government-based inspections (pre-shipping inspections)

Government inspections (PSI = Pre-Shipment Inspection):

These are mandatory inspections conducted in the country of shipment in accordance with the laws and regulations of the country of import. Since 1980s, Pre-Shipment Inspection (PSI) program has been the mainstream for a long time among developing countries, while recently majority of those countries shifted the program from PSI to product quality assurance program.

Government inspections (Product Quality Conformity Assessment):

Some countries name it as Product Conformity Assessment while others name it Certification of Conformity.  There are various names for this type of inspections depending on the country of import, but as a common recognition, it is a “product quality conformity inspection”.  Depending on the regulation of the country of import, certification style, time to complete and necessary documents vary.  Exporters are usually advised by the counterpart in the country of import and apply for the inspection/certification in the country of export/shipment.  However, if it is found that the cargo should be subject to this certification it is highly recommended to consult with the inspection body who is authorized to issue the certificate by the government of import country as soon as the contract is signed.

Name of certificates (example)

COA = Certificate of Approval (Malaysia) etc.
COC = Certificate/Certification Of Conformity
COI = Certificate of Inspection
LPSR = Load Port Survey Report (Philippines)
LS = Laporan Survey (Certificate of Indonesia’s VPTI = Import Verification of Technical Survey Program)
VOC = Verification Of Conformity
PVoC = Product Verification of Conformity
SONCAP = Standard Organization of Nigeria Conformity Assessment Program

Programs and Countries that implement the Certification Scheme (example):

VOC = Morocco, Ecuador, Iran & Lebanon
PVoC = Burundi & Haiti
COC = Algeria, Botsuwana, Cote d’Ivoire, Ethiopia, Gabon, South Sudan, Sudan,
Tanzania, Uganda, Iraq, Qatar & Saudi Arabia
COI =  Egypt & Libya (Central Bank)
SONCAP = Nigeria
GOST-R = Russia
KUCAS = Kuwait
AOC = Cameroon
VPTI = Indonesia

National standards and Organization in each country (example)

SASO = Saudi Arabian Standard Organization (Saudi Arabia)
SNI = Standard National Indonesia
SIRIM = Standard and Industrial Research Institute of Malaysia
ISIRI = Institute of Standards and Industrial Research of Iran

Certified inspection companies (for example)

Each country of import nominates and authorizes the certification bodies.  Authorized certification bodies are the only company that issues valid Certificates.  Some countries have authorized only one company while some others have multiple certification bodies.
Trades will need to know which of the international certification bodies is/are entitled to issue the Certificate for your cargo under the government authorization.  To find out the entitled certification body, it is recommended to confirm with the buyer in the country of import or via internet search as amendments to authorization happens almost every year.  Otherwise, you can inquire us for an advice.  Program details are available from the entitled certification body.  The certification body or its agent in the country of shipment will guide you what are required and which documents are to be prepared prior to inspection/certification as the requirements for inspection and documents are unique to each government/standard.

International Certification Bodies (examples):
Applus+ (or Applus Velosi) / Baltic Control / Bureau Veritas / Cotecna / CCIC / Intertek / KSO / SGS / TUV

How to apply for Certification

PSI program (including Indonesia’s VPTI):
Usually the importer is required to declare its import and apply for the inspection in the country of supply to the authorized inspection body.  The importer is responsible for informing the mandatory inspection to the exporter for cargo preparation.  Once the inspection is accepted and registered by the inspection body in the country of import, the exporter will receive a guidance for pre-shipment inspection from the inspection body or appointed local inspection agent.

Product Conformity Assessment Program (COC, VOC etc. excluding Indonesia):
Importer must confirm the necessity of product conformity certificate to import the desired goods.  When it is listed in the mandatory certification items, the importer must inform the exporter that the certificates are required before the goods are shipped out.  Upon receipt of the information, the exporter is required to contact the local office of the entitled certification body to apply for the certification.

Flow of inspection (example)

Indonesia:  coming soon

Philippines: coming soon