This text is from the second edition of ISO 9001, The Standard Companion. It is based on the now obsolete 1987 version of the ISO 9001 Standard. The third edition, based on the current 1994 standard, is available from Simply Quality.

4.15 Handling, Storage, Packaging, and Delivery

Use Care During Product Handling, Storage, Packaging and Shipping

4.15.1 General

Implement procedures that protect the product during handling, storage, and packing, from the time materials are received, through each intermediate manufacturing operation to delivery and installation of the product.


If the product is damaged in shipping, it is your responsibility.

4.15.2 Handling

Handling the Product

Establish practices that provide for maintaining product quality during all handling operations.


For sensitive electronic components, provide ESD (Electrostatic Discharge) protection procedures as necessary. For chemical products, ensure that they are not mixed or contaminated by accident, that they are not subjected to temperature extremes or other environmental conditions that would cause abnormal deterioration, and that required operations or inspections are not missed.

4.15.3 Storage

Storing the Product

Create a secure and environmentally controlled area for storing raw materials and the final product. Document methods for transporting materials to and from this storage area. Check the stored materials from time to time to see if they are deteriorating.


Prevent damage or deterioration to the raw material, intermediate assemblies and final product while it is being stored. Products and materials with limited shelf-life or special storage requirements need to be identified and stored in accordance with procedures that meet these special requirements.

4.15.4 Packaging

Product Packaging

Control packaging, product marking procedures and packaging materials.


The word "packaging" may refer to boxes, barrels, tank cars, oil tankers or other containers depending on what is used to transport the product. The packaging must be selected to avoid damage or deterioration to the product during its transport. Packaging requirements will differ depending on the nature of the product. For example, eggs will require more care in packing than lead bars.

4.15.5 Delivery

Delivering the Product to the Customer

Protect the product after final inspection and testing have been completed. This includes protection during shipping to the final destination if this is what was promised to the customer.


Maintain the quality of the product from the time it passes final inspection and testing until it is shipped. Have clear agreements with your transportation suppliers, your own transportation systems organization and the customer how each will share responsibility for maintaining product quality during shipping.

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