Acceptable Quality Limits (AQL) Inspection Standard

AQL standard

To determine the AQL sampling size for inspection in China, we refer to the AQL table. In Table I, you can locate the range of total items produced.

As far as inspection standards in China are concerned, general inspection levels are adopted by most clients. You can choose between levels I, II, and III, with level I being the least stringent. Level II is standard and most commonly used. Level III is the most stringent for testing.

For example, if you are producing 12,000 items at level II, the result is the letter M, which corresponds to the inspection of 315 items in the second AQL sampling chart.

The second AQL chart reflects the defect levels, ranging from 0 to 6.5. You can choose which level to apply to each type of defect: critical, major, and minor. Most importers choose standard defect levels, which are 0/2.5/4. You can, however, refer to the AQL sampling table and pick 1/1/1 or 0/1.5/2.5 for high-risk products such as those found in the automotive industry.

Going by using the standard 0/2.5/4 defect levels and a sample size of 315, if you have more than 0 critical defects, 14 major defects, or 21 minor defects, you should reject your shipment.

Of course, what you do after receiving the inspection results is for you to decide. Most importers discuss all inspection findings with their vendor/manufacturer to enable improvements wherever possible.

If the inspection results closely resemble the AQL limits, make sure to recheck whether or not the level of defects is acceptable.