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With decreasing product life cycles and time-to-market, the challenge to deliver quality products on-time increases. If a product is found not to meet the appropriate quality specifications for the marketplace – either after or late in the production stage – the result can be loss of product and revenues, delayed shipment or wasted materials, and the potential risk of a product recall.
An inspection is the verification of product quality and quantity to pre-identified specifications before, during or after the production process. Prior to the manufacturing process, raw materials can be inspected to identify if the materials themselves meet specifications. During the manufacturing process, products are inspected at the factory to verify that quality requirements and specifications are being met. After production, goods can be inspected prior to loading and unloading to verify that the approved final product is shipped and received according to the buyer’s requirements. Inspections throughout the various stages of production can help both buyers and manufacturers monitor that quality requirements for the product are being met and support on-time delivery of quality products.
Pre-Shipment Inspection (PSI)
What is PSI? This service carried out for governments combines confirmation of the buyer’s specifications, and quantity and value controls of imports/exports. It is done in compliance with WTO (World Trade Organization) requirements. In carrying out pre-shipment inspection of goods on behalf of Customs authorities, Bureau Veritas helps international trade operators to comply fully with current legislation. This improves their business efficiency and eliminates risk wherever possible.
BIVAC General Information
Category of goods requiring an IPD (Import Permit Declaration) from the Ministry of Commerce. (Administrative notice MCI/No.008/06/2013)
- Fresh or frozen meat and meat products, including poultry
- Fresh and frozen fish and crustaceans
- Fresh and frozen vegetables and tubers (excluding canned, preserved, or dried)
- Fresh fruits and nuts (excluding canned, preserved, or dried)
- Dairy produce, including milk, cream, butter, cheese, and eggs (excluding powder)
- Bottled water and alcoholic beverages
- Products of the milling industry, including rice, flour, and starches
- Live animals, all types
- Prescription medicines/pharmaceuticals and biological substances
- Specialized medical, dental, or veterinary apparatus and equipment
- Inorganic and organic products of the chemical industry, chemical elements, acids, and chemicals (e.g. lead, mercury, sodium, monosodium glutamate, formaldehyde, sulfuric acid), including ozone-depleting substances
- Fertilizers containing nitrates
- Petroleum products, including crude and refined oil and petroleum gases
- Explosives, pyrotechnics, fireworks, and combustible liquid or gas preparations
- Military tanks and weapons, arms and ammunition
- Hazardous waste (including clinical waste, municipal waste, sewage sludge, and other wastes)
- Building materials (including lime, cement, steel rods, plywood, PVC pipes, sheets of zinc, and ceramic flooring blocks)
For all other type of goods a RFI must be opened at BIVAC’s office
Product Exempted from Inspection Scope
- Imports below the Threshold* value, with the exception of motor vehicles (used and new), which are subject to Pre-Shipment Inspection regardless of their value;
- Reasonable amount of personal, household or removal articles as defined in regulation by the Minister of Finance;
- Supplies for missions, United Nations Organizations and NGO’s;
- Gold, precious stones, objects of art;
- Explosives and pyrotechnic products, arms, ammunition, weapons and implement of war imported by the Liberian Armed Forces and the Liberian Police service;
- Live animals, trade samples, foodstuffs from West Africa region, fresh fish caught by local Liberian canoe.
An inspection is mandatory in the following cases:
- For goods imported by sea when the FOB is above USD 3,500.00
- For goods imported by air when the FOB is above USD 1,500.00
- For goods imported by road when the FOB is above USD 1,500.00
All vehicles excluding duly authorised exempt vehicles are subject to PSI, regardless of their value.
For exemptions 1, 2 and 3 an IPD or a RFI will have to be opened anyway and follow the normal process except that no BIVAC fees will be required.
For 1), the exempt stamp will have to be gotten from the Ministry of Commerce and Industry.
For 2) and 3), the exempt stamp will have to be gotten from the Ministry of Finance.
The following shipments are exempted from PSI and will undergo DI without penalty:
- Less than Container Load (LCL)
- Open Top containers
- Shipments coming by road freight
- Shipments of used personal effects and household goods coming from the USA
- Office containers
Break bulk (including all vehicles) and loose cargo must undergo PSI.
The following shipments must undergo DI but will be charged a penalty by Customs:
- All imports that have not undergone PSI (except where the shipment is PSI exempted).
- All containers that have undergone PSI, but for which the seal affixed further to the inspection has been broken. This additional service will be charged to the importer separately.
A request for inspection should be filled in at BIVAC’s office in Monrovia in order to schedule the destination inspection.
- The fee is 1.2% of the FOB value with a minimum fee of USD 190.00
- The fee for Rice is USD 1.00 per Metric Ton
- The fee for Fuel is USD 2.00 per Metric Ton
- The fee for Bulk Vegetable Oil is USD 2.00 per Metric Ton
BIVAC will charge as well:
- USD 10.00 for replacement of lost RFI (upon presentation of a letter from the importer)
- USD 50.00 for replacement of lost CRF (upon presentation of a letter from the importer)
- USD 10.00 per amendment (upon presentation of a letter from the importer)
In case the importer disagrees with the valuation or classification or any detail on the CRF he has the right to appeal against it. He is then required to submit a claim letter to the Helpdesk or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org or by filling a claim form (available at the Helpdesk).
Each claim must be accompanied by supporting documentation as evidence. For example:
- Freight Petition: Freight receipt from the shipper
- HS code: Catalogue/Data Sheet/Picture or Product Manual
- FOB: Sales contract/Export price list from the exporter, etc…
Please do not attach original documents to the claim form/letter.
Claims will be responded to within 2 working days.
In case of the Importer is not satisfied with the final decision from BIVAC, a last appeal can be done by sending a formal appeal letter to Customs.
PLEASE COLLECT YOUR CERTIFICATE BEFORE THE ARRIVAL OF YOUR SHIPMENT AND CHECK THE INFORMATION ON IT. DO NOT WAIT FOR THE ARRIVAL OF THE SHIPMENT TO INFORM US OF ANY ISSUE / CLAIM. IT WILL AVOID DELAYS IN THE CUSTOMS CLEARANCE OF YOUR GOODS.
The brokers must bring an official letter (headed paper and stamp) from importer’s company/organization explaining in details the amendment they are requesting. No Original Document must be attached to the amendment letter, only copies. Amendment and replacement will be done in 1 working day.