Measures for Ensuring Quality Conformance in Imports

By Raina, Hari K. | International Trade Forum, April-June 1992 | Go to article overview

Measures for Ensuring Quality Conformance in Imports


Raina, Hari K., International Trade Forum


When an importer places an order with a foreign supplier it is essential that the goods received conform to those specified in the purchase contract. Although detailed specifications may have been drawn up, and reference made to these in the contract signed, an importer must still take measures to ensure that the supplier provides products that meet the agreed quality requirements. An importer cannot eliminate entirely the risk of supplier noncompliance with these requirements. What an importer can and should do is to minimize this risk to the extent possible. Careful supplier selection and contract follow-up will help to keep supplier nonconformance to a minimum.

Preliminary checking

Before evaluating offers, and in any case before signing a contract, an importer should assess the potential supplier's capacity to meet the contractual commitments concerning quality conformance. This evaluation can be undertaken in several ways, with differing costs and degrees of reliability. The methods that can be used for such an assessment are to review the importer's past performance in meeting quality requirements and draw conclusions accordingly; examine the existing product liability regulations in the supplier's country; evaluate the quality control methods and procedures in the supplying company; and conduct an on-the-spot study of the supplier's ability to comply with quality requirements. The suitability of each approach depends on the nature of the product, the quantity to be purchased and the value of the order.

Past experience:

A simple method to appraise a supplier's ability to conform to quality requirements is to look at the supplying company's performance record. This approach is often used for low-value products and relatively small orders. An importer can make this performance appraisal from his or her own records for suppliers from whom the company has been making purchases in the past. For others the importer could rely on the supplier's market reputation. If the supplier already has a good reputation in the market, the risk of receiving faulty goods from that source is small. Even when the cost of nonconformance would appear low, an importer should make an effort to select reliable sources of supply by determining the degree to which the companies concerned have provided customer satisfaction. Because this approach is used mainly for small, low-value orders, the importer has limited financial loss if the goods do not conform to the specifications, because the shipment can be rejected or compensation claimed. Such a situation is, however, to be avoided to the extent possible because of disruptions that will result in production and delivery schedules.

Inference:

A second method for assessing a supplier's ability to comply with quality requirements goes a step beyond looking only at past experience or market reputation. It relies on a somewhat more formal approach to minimizing the risk of quality nonconformance by considering the commercial laws, rules and regulations in force in the supplier's country, as well as quality procedures being applied in the company, as evidenced by manuals or other published material used by the supplier outlining the in-house quality control methods. Subjects that arise in this context include product liability and implied warranty, quality certification systems and the supplier's in-company quality management.

Product liability and implied warranty: Some countries have national laws on commercial contracts in general, and/or on the sale of goods in particular. One of the aims of these laws is to protect the interests of the buyer and provide for implied warranties that require that goods supplied be of "merchantable" quality, meaning that they are suited to the use intended.

For example, the provision on merchantable quality in the United Kingdom Sale of Goods Act 1979 reads as follows:

"Goods of any kind are of merchantable quality if they are fit for the purpose for which such goods are commonly supplied as it is reasonable to expect, having regard to any description applied to them, the price (if relevant) and all other circumstances.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Measures for Ensuring Quality Conformance in Imports
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.