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Furniture inspection report – Quality control before shipment of wicker (PVC rattan/resin) furniture from Vietnam

Furniture Quality Control in Vietnam - Furniture QC Vietnamese furniture supplier

Following the huge success of our previous article “the potential and pitfalls of importing furniture from Vietnam“, here is a new article we trust you will find interesting. Real experience, real furniture, real problems, this shipment could be yours 🙂

We were commissioned by one of our partners (retailer in Finland) to carry out QC (quality control) on the order they had made to a new supplier of poly-rattan furniture (also called resin or pvc rattan/wicker furniture) in Vietnam.

Controlling and checking a full container (40 foot HC also called 40 foot high cube) can take a long time if done carefully and the simmering heat inside a factory with little or no ventilation at all can make it a real challenge.

Preparing a third-party inspection of furniture before shipment from Vietnam to Europe

Before the day of the inspection, several items need to be checked and preparations must be done.

This is the list of items we requested in an email to the factory producing the furniture order for our client:

“So that we can prepare accordingly, please do confirm and provide following information:

1) HS code of the products
2) Date when all the products are available for QC, they must also be packaged so I can check packaging (or be packaged right after the QC, within a reasonable laps of time). I will choose at least one complete set of each model (12 different models in this order), I must be able to pick each unit/item randomly.
3) Date when items will be loaded into the containers as I wish to be present from beginning to end of the loading.
4) Please send me a sample of your standard shipping marks for one of the models in the order, for example DL-S160-166
5) Please send me a copy of all assembly instructions when applicable (I see DL-D44-45 is K/D, perhaps you have instructions for this model)
6) All cushions (seat and backrest) as well as pillows and lumbar cushions of each model must be available at the time of the QC, I cannot validate QC if they are not available and correctly packaged with each item.
7) Address of the production site where the QC will be carried out.
8) Please confirm there will be a large and perfectly flat space (so we can see if the furniture is correctly balanced on the floor) available for us to test in good conditions.”

In theory the above items would seem easy to obtain….well not really. Here is the encouraging answer we received from the factory and our comments:

1/ HS Code: 9403 8100 90

==> this HS code provided by the factory is actually wrong and would lead to a 5,6% customs tax upon entering Europe! Just have a look here (useful resource when importing furniture into Europe: http://madb.europa.eu/madb/tariffLibDetailPubli.htm?langId=EN&datacat_id=AT&countryid=&submit=Search&countries=VN&hscode=9403810090). After double-checking with our client’s customs agent, here is there answer:

“You were right about the HS codes; dining sets; 94.03.70.00.90 and sofa
sets; 94.01.80.00.00. Like you said the code given by DL means bambu and
rattan, not polyrattan. With the codes above ther will be no tax.”

It is quite surprising that the own producer of the goods would not know the right HS code for their products, this mistake almost cost our client 5,6% in EU import tax.

 

2/ QC: 25-03-2015. Another thing one item will be moving to lab for testing. It need 1 week for doing it at lab.

==> No lab testing was required, this seems to be a lame excuse for delaying that product for a week. Few suppliers would carry out lab testing if not required and would definitely ask for the bill to be paid by the client (no bill so we presume no tests either, neither was there a lab certificate).

 

3/ Date of loading container: 26-03-2015

After confirming and re-confirming, this date was pushed back (late on the eve of the agreed date, Sunday night) to the 27-03-2015, this can have big implications if you are in a hurry and expected to load the container on a departing the next day. You might then have to wait 3-5 days before your container can depart with the same shipping line, loosing a week in the process and making your clients in Europe or elsewhere irate.

 

4/ Please see attach file for shipping mark.

Furniture Quality Control in Vietnam - Shipping marks supplier

Basic information on Shipping Marks, not necessarily useful to the furniture buyer who would certainly prefer package X out of Y packages, etc..

==> we pointed out that those shipping marks did not carry the information requested by our client

5/ KD It is easy for assembly with screw together.

==> OK, we’ll have to take their word for it…

6/ Note it.

7/ QC at factory in Dong Nai province, We will send instruction to you before date QC.

8/ Note it.

 

Furniture Quality Control in Vietnam - Lack of flat space in factory

Uneven flooring at the factory will make it very challenging to test stability in an adequate manner

==> There was no adequate flat space in the factory on the day of our visit (this is a reality in almost every factory, the best you can get as was the case here, a large sheet of glass to put the furniture on and check stability…)

FURNITURE INSPECTION REPORT -QUALITY CONTROL BEFORE SHIPMENT OF WICKER (PVC Rattan furniture)

 

CLIENT XYZ REPORT NUMBER ABC-1568-20150331
ATTENTION Mr. M.U. Inspector / Reviewer Mr. D.G.
VENDOR Vietnamese furniture producer INSPECTION DATE 31-03-2015
MANUFACTURER Vietnamese furniture producer INSP LOCATION Dong Nai Province, Vietnam
 

THIS DOCUMENT SERVES AS EVIDENCE THAT ABC HAS PERFORMED THE INSPECTION SERVICES

TYPE OF SERVICE FINAL PRE-SHIPMENT

 

THE RESULTS DETAILED AND DETERMINATION JUDGED IN THIS DOCUMENT REFLECT THE FINDINGS OF ABC AT THE TIME AND PLACE OF INSPECTION ONLY. EVIDENCE OF ACTUAL SHIPMENT IS NEITHER OFFERED NOR IMPLIED. THIS REPORT DOES NOT RELEASE THE VENDOR OR MANUFACTURER FROM ANY OBLIGATIONS, CONTRACTUAL OR OTHERWISE, IN EFFECT WITH THE CLIENT TO REPAIR, REPLACE, OR COMPENSATE FOR ANY PRODUCT OR PART THEREOF IN WHICH DEFECTIVE CONDITIONS MIGHT HEREAFTER BE FOUND OR SUBSEQUENTLY DEVELOP. ABC ASSUMES NO RESPONSIBILITY, AND SHALL IN NO WAY BE HELD LIABLE, FOR ANY DEFECTIVE CONDITIONS BEYOND THOSE CLEARLY DETECTABLE WITHIN THE LIMITS OF THE SPECIFIC INSPECTION SERVICES ORDERED BY THE CLIENT.

Quality concern Photo Solution
Unparallel lines in weaving

 

This was a common concern across many models.

 Furniture Quality Control in Vietnam Weaving mistake

The vertical pattern was not straight

 

Furniture Quality Control in Vietnam Weaving mistake correctionWorkers re-aligned weaving

Marks on metal caps of armchair legs  Furniture Quality Control in Vietnam - Dirty metal hardware The identified caps were replaced by clean ones
Un-balanced tables due to uneven plastic stoppers  Furniture Quality Control in Vietnam - Uneven rubber stopper The stoppers were adjusted so that the tables and armchairs were balanced
Uneven weaving leaving metal frame visible  Furniture Quality Control in Vietnam - Irregular weaving visible frame Identified items were taken to be fixed by workers
Uneven weaving leaving metal frame visible Furniture Quality Control in Vietnam - Irregular weaving visible frame 2 Identified items were taken to be fixed by workers
Gaps in weaving pattern  Furniture Quality Control in Vietnam - Gaps in weaving pattern Workers were asked to correct
Metal (stainless steel components) were dirty  Furniture Quality Control in Vietnam - Dirty metal components issue Polishing to remove stains and marks was required on identified items
Metal components with gaps  Furniture Quality Control in Vietnam - Welding metal components issue

 

 

 

Furniture Quality Control in Vietnam - Spare metal components

The ones with the most visible gaps were removed and replaced by better ones

When measuring each model, dimensions were not always respected (but within the 5% tolerance they consider acceptable)  Furniture Quality Control in Vietnam - Dimensions concerns In the most flagrant case, a table measured 190 cm long instead of 200 cm, we called Marko and got his approval. Other variations were not really significant and did not affect either the appearance (design) or the comfort of the furniture.
Glass table tops not fitting adequately into the table frame  Furniture Quality Control in Vietnam - Tempered glass not fitting into table frame By tightening the screws of the frame, the gaps were reduced to an acceptable level
Blunt or bent plastic stoppers on chair legs  Furniture Quality Control in Vietnam - Uneven rubber stopper 2 Replacement of the most damaged ones, others did not affect stability of the item
Weaving was bent and deformed due to excessive heating  Furniture Quality Control in Vietnam - Wicker melted due to excess heat

 

 

Furniture Quality Control in Vietnam - Wicker repair of furniture

The entire corner was extracted and done again on this item with new wicker

Shipping marks did not carry all the details you requested originally  Furniture Quality Control in Vietnam - Shipping marks with insufficient information After calling and consulting with you, we approved to continue with the supplier’s shipping marks
Layer of painting on frame was chipped  Furniture Quality Control in Vietnam - Epoxy painting chipped off metal frame  

Furniture Quality Control in Vietnam - Epoxy painting chipped off metal frame 2

We requested a new coat of painting to be applied and then to remove paint stains on the wicker

Furniture Quality Control in Vietnam - Epoxy painting chipped off metal frame 3

Hardware was not of good quality  Furniture Quality Control in Vietnam - Bad quality metal hardware See below, in some cases we had to replace the component entirely
Metal hardware component broke during our testing due to being of thin low grade metal  Furniture Quality Control in Vietnam - Bad quality metal hardware 2  Furniture Quality Control in Vietnam - Bad quality metal hardware 3

New components were welded together to replace the low quality ones. Less appealing visually (but hidden in the frame under the weaving) they are much more resistant.

The junction system on this component was stuck in an inoperable position  Furniture Quality Control in Vietnam - Bad quality plastic hardware With tools, we extracted the faulty part and replaced it

 

After this day of QC, the feedback we gave to our client was good in the sense that the factory was good at what they knew which is weaving. The main issues came from the metal components, rubber stoppers, etc. and this is a recurrent problem for any shipment of this kind. If you are not present before loading, all of the above issues would appear once the goods were unpack-aged in Europe, too late to do much about it. Carrying a QC (quality control) of this kind can save you from a lot of frustrations and even from loosing money if you cannot fix the issues once you have received the goods at destination.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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