Frequently Asked Questions

  1. I am an exporter to a country which has implemented PSI.  How much will I be charged?
  2. Surely PSI creates delays in the shipping process?
  3. Does your intervention effect my commercial transaction?
  4. You request company confidential information such as pricing and sales contracts – what guarantee do I have that this information remains confidential?
  5. Even though you are a private company, are you obliged to follow any specific procedures?
  6. Does everything have to be inspected?
  7. Why is PSI compulsory in some countries and not others?
  8. PSI is an additional burden to importers.
  9. Are all shipments subject to PSI?
  10. If I have a complaint about the treatment of my files, what can I do?
  11. How long does the PSI process take?
  12. Does PSI affect any commercial obligations?
  13. Does PSI provide any protection for the buyer?
  14. How do you value goods and for what purpose?  Will this have an effect on the price I can invoice my buyer?

FAQ from Service Sheet

  1. Are all goods subject to inspection?
  2. What is the minimum value subject to inspection?
  3. Should the goods be packed prior to inspection?
  4. Who pays for the inspection?

1. I am an exporter to a country which has implemented PSI.  How much will I be charged?

There is no charge to the exporter for the service.  However, if you request a re-inspection you may be liable for the costs of the second inspection.

2. Surely PSI creates delays in the shipping process?

If you respond in a timely manner to the initial request, Inspection should take place during container loading at the time, date and location you requested.  

3. Does your intervention effect my commercial transaction?

The objective of PSI is to provide data to the Government and has no implication upon your transaction nor does it alter or amend any contractual obligations between the buyer and seller.

4. You request company confidential information such as pricing and sales contracts – what guarantee do I have that this information remains confidential?

We are retained by a Government to provide statistical data regarding imports.  This data is used by the National Customs Authorities to ensure that the correct revenue is collected.  Bureau Veritas has implemented strict security to ensure the confidentiality of information provided on your transactions.  

5. Even though you are a private company, are you obliged to follow any specific procedures?

Pre-Shipment Inspection if covered by the WTO Agreement on PSI, and the activity, as well as the company, must adhere to the Guidelines.  In addition, Bureau Veritas is a member of IFIA (International Federation of Inspection Agencies) who have implemented a Code of Practice for member companies active in PSI.  

6. Does everything have to be inspected?

No.  Individual countries have specific regulations and you should consult the appropriate data sheet to identify the relevant requirements.

7. Why is PSI compulsory in some countries and not others?

A national government decides whether or not to implement a PSI contract to provide support to its customs services.  The use of accurate trade data enables the customs to collect the correct revenue and generates reliable trade statistics.

8. PSI is an additional burden to importers.

Advance information provided by PSI enables national customs authorities to reduce the arrival processing time, leading to cost savings for the importer.

9. Are all shipments subject to PSI?

No. Different countries have different requirements based upon their national customs regulations. Please check the individual Country Data Sheets/Guidelines which can be found online at www.bureauveritas.com

10. If I have a complaint about the treatment of my files, what can I do?

Please contact the manager of the Bureau Veritas office who dealt with your file.  Complaints are regarded as positive contributions to the continual improvement of our services to both the private and public sector.  Should you be unable to resolve the issue, exporters have a final resort to the World Trade Organisation Independent Entity (see WTO Agreement on PSI) or in the case of importers, to their national Appeals Committee.  

11. How long does the PSI process take? 

If both buyer and seller provide the information required in a timely fashion, the PSI process can run in parallel to the actual transaction process.  Physical verification prior to shipment will be conducted at the time and place requested by the exporter.

 

12. Does PSI affect any commercial obligations?

PSI does not replace or supersede any commercial or legal obligations between the buyer and seller.

13. Does PSI provide any protection for the buyer?

If an importer provides the general specifications of the goods that they are purchasing, the PSI process will highlight any anomalies.  NB: The PSI inspection is not technically detailed and if the buyer needs a full technical inspection this can be provided but as a separate contract between the buyer and Bureau Veritas.

  

14. How do you value goods and for what purpose?  Will this have an effect on the price I can invoice my buyer?

Bureau Veritas is contracted by the relevant Government to provide information which allows the National Customs Service to arrive at a Value for Duty Purposes (VDP) – the value used as the basis for calculating import duties and taxes.  The WTO Agreement on Customs Valuation is the primary regulation for almost all Customs Services and Customs should apply these guidelines when comparing the VDP.  The VDP does not affect the value of the transaction agreed between buyer and seller.

 

FAQ from Service Sheet

15. Are all goods subject to inspection?

No, some goods may be prohibited and others are exempted depending on the destination country (see corresponding data sheet on Web site).

16. What is the minimum value subject to inspection?

The minimum value is designated by the client country. If goods are covered by several commercial invoices, all issued by the same exporter, arriving by the same means of transportation, consigned to the same importer and having a combined value above the established minimum, they will be subject to Pre-shipment Inspection.

17. Should the goods be packed prior to inspection?

Goods should be presented along with the packaging to be used. However, if the packaging does not allow the inspector to correctly identify the items, it would have to be reviewed and repacked under inspection control.

18. Who pays for the inspection?

It could be the government, the importer or the exporter, depending on the country (see corresponding data sheet on Webs site).

  1. Why should products have to be verified prior to export?
  2. Why do exporters have to pay for this service?
  3. Your intervention must introduce delays in my transaction?
  4. What is the difference with product certification?
  5. Is VOC regulated by any recognized international standards?
  6. What is the difference between PSI and VOC?

FAQ from Service Sheet

  1. Who pays for the inspection?
  2. Are all goods subject to inspection?

Other

  1. Can exporters pay the PVoC fees?
  2. Are testing fees included in the fees paid when the file was opened?
  3. What are the main purposes of having a product subjected or not to the program me?
  4. Is my product concerned by the VOC Scheme ?
  5. Where should I find all relative information regarding PVoC program me?
  6. Who launches the Request?
  7. Which documents shall be produced by the Exporter?
  8. How long does it take from the opening of the file and the certificate issuance?
  9. All shipment are mandatory inspected?
  10. Is there any light procedures for compliant traders?
  11. What happens if my shipments leave without the conformity certification?
  12. What happens if my product is found non compliant with the required standards?
  13. What happens if results are unsatisfactory?

1. Why should products have to be verified prior to export?

Safety standards have been implemented in many countries in order to protect the population from unsafe products.  Verification prior to shipment ensures that unsafe products do not arrive in the country and have to be re-exported at significant cost to both the buyer and seller.

2. Why do exporters have to pay for this service?

A seller has the responsibility to ensure that the products they sell meet required safety standards.  A responsible manufacturer will have quality and compliance controls already in their production plants.  The manufacturer should be able to demonstrate that their products do comply with standards requirements.

3. Your intervention must introduce delays in my transaction?

If your products are compliant, and you provide the appropriate supporting documents, physical verification will take place when you are ready to pack the goods for shipment.  

4. What is the difference with product certification?

VOC is limited to verification of conformity of goods per shipment to a specified country. Product certification usually applies to the product without any geographical limitation and is based on testing and factory audits.

5. Is VOC regulated by any recognized international standards?

The service follows the guidelines set out in the WTO Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT).  Bureau Veritas is a member of IFIA (International Federation of Inspection Agencies) who have implemented a CBCA (Consignment Based Conformity Assessment) Code of Practice for member companies active in VOC.  

6. What is the difference between PSI and VOC?

PSI (Preshipment Inspection) is the assessment of quantity, price verification and customs classification prior to the shipment of goods. It provides advice to the customs in order they may collect the correct revenue. - VOC (Verification of Conformity) checks conformity of goods to relevant national or international standards.

FAQ from Service Sheet

7. Who pays for the inspection?

It could be the government, importer or exporter depending on the destination country (see corresponding data sheet on Web site).

8. Are all goods subject to inspection?

No, some goods may be prohibited and others can be exempted, depending on the destination country (see corresponding data sheet on Web site).

Others

9. Can exporters pay the PVoC fees?

Yes, fees may also be paid by the importers
OR
Yes, it is highly recommended to speed up process on arrival

10. Are testing fees included in the fees paid when the file was opened?

No. Fees collected in the beginning cover documentary verification, physical inspection and certificate issuance. The exporter shall know about the conformity level of his goods. If acceptable test reports or certificates are not available, our office in the Region of export could propose testing in an acceptable laboratory. A quotation will then be given to the exporter to cover testing and handling costs.

11. What are the main purposes of having a product subjected or not to the program me?

The major concern of the Authorities is to check Safety, Health, Environment, Consumers protection and Compliance to specified standards

12. Is my product concerned by the VOC Scheme ?

The list of products is subject to VOC; is mandatory by National Bureau of Standards and relevant Authorities. These selected items are mainly related to sensitive products such as: consumers materials, toys, electrical & electronics products, textile, automotive and spare parts …. The full list is available on the bv website (list of government programmes) …

13. Where should I find all relative information regarding PVoC program me?

Bureau Veritas Website: www.bureauveritas.com/gsit (or  local Website)

In the Importing Country / where the PVoC program me is mandatory:

  • the Bureau Veritas inspection agency
  • the national Bureau of Standards
  • Any supply chain stakeholder (transporters, shipping agencies, brokers, freight forwarders…)
  • Customs Revenues Authorities / Ministry of Finance / Ministry of Trade & Industry

In the Exporting Country:

  • The Embassy of the importing country
  • The International Chamber of Commerce in the exporting countries
  • Any foreign Trade Agency
  • Any supply chain stakeholder (transporters, shipping agencies, brokers, freight forwarders…)

14. Who launches the Request?

The importer as the exporter can start the process in their respective country, in the Bureau Veritas LOCAL or regional office. Mostly the application is made by the Exporter.
Wherever the request comes from, both parties will be mentioned on the certificate.

15. Which documents shall be produced by the Exporter?

On one hand, documents related to the export process shall be transmitted to the Bureau Veritas local or regional office (see contact sheet).On the other hand, all documents related to the technical files including the certificates of conformity to the international and national standards shall be submitted

16. How long does it take from the opening of the file and the certificate issuance?

It is recommended to contact Bureau Veritas offices ASAP. 5 days before shipment is enough for products for which acceptable proof of compliance is provided.

17. All shipment are mandatory inspected?

If your product is in the list of products subjected to the PVoC program me, the evaluation of the technical file will determine the need of the physical inspection and possible tests in laboratory. Shipments of registered goods are inspected time to time.

18. Is there any light procedures for compliant traders?

In accordance with the procedures of [the controlling authority] and within the framework of the trade facilitation PVoC scheme, PVoC scheme aims at fighting against non compliance products and traders and will ease the process of compliant traders.
In accordance with the procedures of COSQC and within the framework of the trade facilitation PVoC scheme, PVoC scheme aims at fighting against non compliance products and traders and will ease the process of compliant traders.

19. What happens if my shipments leave without the conformity certification?

Shipments shall be checked prior to export. Shipments arriving without the required certificate will follow specific procedure including testing and penalties. It is then strongly recommended to comply to avoid delays and extra costs.

20. What happens if my product is found non compliant with the required standards?

Bureau Veritas will explain the level of non conformity and ask the exporter for corrective actions (such as changes of labelling or composition, etc.). Tests in accredited laboratories could be requested. If non-conformities can not be corrected quickly, a report of non compliance will be issued.

21. What happens if results are unsatisfactory?

When non conformities are detected Bureau Veritas checks with the exporter if the appropriate correction can be made. Then we validate the correction before continuing the process for certificate issuance.
If correction is not made, a non conformity report is issued and goods clearance will be impossible.