Preshipment Inspection

The practice of employing private companies to check shipment details such as price, quantity and quality of goods ordered overseas. The Agreement on PSI recognizes that principles of the GATT Agreement apply to such activities. The purpose is to safeguard national financial interests (prevention of capital flight and commercial fraud as well as customs duty evasion, for instance) and to compensate for inadequacies in administrative infrastructures.


Preshipment Inspection in the WTO
Links to the section on Preshipment Inspection in the WTO guide “Understanding the WTO”.

The mandate 

Summary of the Agreement on Preshipment Inspection
A technical summary

Agreement on Preshipment Inspection

Browse or download the text of the Agreement on Preshipment Inspection from the legal texts gateway

Find decisions of WTO bodies concerning the Agreement on Preshipment Inspection in the Analytical Index — Guide to WTO Law and Practice

Work in the WTO and official documents on Preshipment Inspection 

In the WTO the Preshipment Inspection agreement is a responsibility of the Committee on Customs Valuation.

Search Documents Online
Documents on Preshipment Inspection use the code G/PSI/*.
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  • Notifications under Article 5 of the Agreement on Preshipment Inspection (Document code G/PSI/N/*)   > search
  • Working documents on Preshipment Inspection (Document code G/PSI/W/*)   > search
  • Documents of the Working Party on Preshipment Inspection (Document code varies)   > search
  • Working documents of the Committee on Customs Valuation on Preshipment Inspection (Document code G/VAL/W/63/* and keyword “preshipment”)   > search
  • Independent Entity (Independent Review Procedure, decisions, reports, list of Experts for Independent Reviews) (Document code varies)   > search
  • Technical Cooperation Handbook on Notification Requirements (Document code WT/TC/NOTIF/PSI/1)   > search

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Disputes involving Preshipment Inspections

The agreement establishes an independent review procedure(1) to settle disputes on Preshipment Inspection between an exporter and a PSI agency. It is administered jointly by an Independent Entity with participation of the International Federation of Inspection Agencies (IFIA), representing inspection agencies, and the International Chamber of Commerce, representing exporters.


  1. See document WT/L/125/rev.1. Back to text