Furniture inspection report – Quality control before shipment of wicker (PVC rattan/resin) furniture from Vietnam
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.
==> 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.
==> 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)
|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.
|Unparallel lines in weaving
This was a common concern across many models.
The vertical pattern was not straight
Workers re-aligned weaving
|Marks on metal caps of armchair legs||The identified caps were replaced by clean ones|
|Un-balanced tables due to uneven plastic stoppers||The stoppers were adjusted so that the tables and armchairs were balanced|
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.