ista certification

ISTA retail package testing

Guarantee the quality of your products

Guarantee the quality of your products


ISTA is the International Safe Transit Association, the organisation that established and continues to develop the most frequently used packaging standards for manufacturers and retailers. A product’s packaging needs to be robust enough to withstand the common knocks, bumps and shocks that can affect goods when in transit. ISTA provides the facilities and certification for suppliers to prove that the packaging being produced has been successfully tested by an accredited third-party lab.

With over 60 years’ experience of 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 authorisation from ISTA, buyers can be confident that products will reach their warehouse undamaged and ready to be shelved.

To reflect the complexity of modern shipping methods, ISTA has developed a series of seven different standards for specific types of transportation, products and requirements from various buyers.


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 means a quicker turnaround time, fewer returns and exceeding the expectations of your customers 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:

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


TÜV SÜD provides you with ISTA-accredited retail package lab testing facilities around the world. Our experts have worked with multiple manufacturers to ensure their packaging complies with ISTA standards. 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.

TÜV SÜD’s in-house testing facilities focus completely on the unique testing needs of each e-commerce retailer. Our teams work closely with you to understand your packaging needs, providing advice and guidance on improvements to eliminate the risk of damage during transit. This tailored approach enhances efficiency ensuring our turnaround times exceed the expectations of the customer.


Our highly experienced technical teams conduct retail package lab tests in our ISTA-accredited facilities globally. Our service ensures that we work alongside your internal quality control programme, 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.

TÜV SÜD’s package testing simulates real-world environmental and transportation conditions using a number of different methods. Some of our most frequent retail package material testing services include:

  • Vibration testing - for both random and repetitive vibrations
  • Shock testing - 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 palletised 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 authorised to perform assessment, testing and certification of packaging used by suppliers and intermediaries in the network according to international standards.


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