Inspection Certificates

There are times when you are shipping international containers that you want to make sure that everything is in good condition. That is why in ocean freight shipping, you may want to (or need to) get a document called the inspection certificate (also known as the certificate of inspection). The inspection certificate is an official document that states that the freight is in quality condition, with information about the shipment (like the weight) and that the container is good when leaving the port. Sometimes a shipper’s letters of credit might state that the certificate of inspection is mandatory. And usually if there is an additional cost for the inspection certificate, the shipper covers the fees.

The actual inspection and the certificate of inspection are not handled directly by the freight forwarder. Usually a third party inspection company can be hired for this process. In addition, there are several international inspection companies that work directly with governments who handle a majority of their inspections. Part of the reason for this is because some countries require a pre-shipment inspection (PSI) and a certificate of inspection. In fact, roughly two-dozen countries currently require it.

Certain commodities, especially food (included refrigerated food), require special inspection certificates during the transportation process. After the inspection, usually a clean report of findings is filed if there are no problems during the process. And the importer can use the certificate of inspection to get the imported cargo from customs after the arrival at the destination port