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ISTA Packaging Testing & Certification

Ensure that your goods are well-protected during delivery

ISTA standards for packaging

The International Safe Transit Association (ISTA) is the organization develops the most frequently used packaging standards for manufacturers and retailers. To reflect the complexity of modern shipping methods, ISTA developed the following series of seven standards for specific types of transportation, products and requirements from various buyers:

  • ISTA 1 Series: Non-Simulation Integrity Performance Tests 
  • ISTA 2 Series: Partial Simulation Performance Tests
  • ISTA 3 Series: General Simulation Performance Tests
  • ISTA 4 Series: Enhanced Simulation Performance Tests
  • ISTA 5 Series: Focused Simulation Guides
  • ISTA 6 Series: Member Performance Tests
  • ISTA 7 Series: Development Tests.

ISTA-Certified packaging testing overview

ISTA-certified packaging testing ensures that a product’s packaging is robust enough to withstand the common knocks, bumps and shocks that can affect goods when in transit. Transit conditions can be harsh and global transportation hazards are constantly changing. Without the proper packaging to protect it, products can easily become damaged. Conducting retail package material testing highlights any weaknesses in the packaging that need to be resolved before the product can be shipped. Fewer damaged products mean a quicker turnaround time, fewer returns, and exceeding your customers’ expectations to deliver top-quality goods in the expected condition. 

While many tests reveal that products need added packaging to adequately protect it, many package tests also reveal unnecessary packaging. This results in the reduction of packaging, which can be hugely cost saving.

ISTA certification means you can:

  • Comply with retailer and supermarket requirements
  • Boost customer trust
  • Maintain expectations
  • Protect your products
  • Avoid losses
  • Reduce time to market

With over 60 years of experience in package testing, ISTA is considered a trusted partner and knowledge base for this type of service. Many retailers and buyers require that their suppliers use a testing lab that is ISTA-accredited and that the packaging being produced has been ISTA approved. With authorization from ISTA, buyers can be confident that products will reach their warehouse undamaged and ready to be shelved. ISTA also provides the facilities and certification for suppliers to prove that the packaging being produced has been successfully tested by an accredited third-party lab.


TÜV SÜD provides you with ISTA-accredited retail package lab testing facilities around the world. We are highly experienced when it comes to testing against all seven series of ISTA certification and can verify the performance of your packaging and certify that it’s safe for transit. We'll work closely with you to understand your packaging needs, providing advice and guidance on improvements to eliminate the risk of damage during transit.

ISTA Packaging Testing ServicesWe specialize in handling and testing of large-sized packaging up to 1000 kg crates which majority of other labs are unable to provide.

We'll work alongside your internal quality control program, supporting your current system. We learn how your products are shipped, the kinds of pressures they may face as well as potential new markets that your retail packaging could be sent to and the complexities within them. We then conduct appropriate testing against ISTA standards for packaging and, if successful, provide you with an ISTA retail package testing certificate.

We simulate real-world environmental and transportation conditions using a number of different methods. Some of our most frequent retail package material testing services include:

  • Shock and vibration testing - for both random and repetitive vibrations; to address unexpected impacts
  • Compression testing - to determine the strength of packaging and to ensure the safety of stacked loads
  • Side impact testing - for carton or palletized loading, unloading and shunting
  • Tilt testing - to evaluate product stability
  • Environmental stress testing - to evaluate the impact of temperature, humidity and thermal cycling

Other product package quality assurance tests we conduct include:

  • Carton drop test
  • Biodegradability
  • Bottom end dome reversal
  • Buckle resistance
  • Burst resistance
  • Carbonation retention
  • Closure removal torque
  • Corrosion resistance
  • Drop impact resistance
  • Internal pressure
  • Permeability testing
  • Perpendicularity testing
  • Secure seal
  • Simulated palletising
  • Vibration resistance
  • Vertical top load

TÜV SÜD is a member of the Amazon Packaging Support and Supplier (APASS) network. Our experts are authorized to perform assessment, testing and certification of packaging used by suppliers and intermediaries in the network according to international standards.

Our ISTA Testing equipment includes

  • Drop Testers
  • Vibration machines
  • Shock Impact Testers
  • Compression Testers
  • Climatic Chambers
  • Incline Impact Tester  


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