A common hidden trap in purchase agreement is the use of the manufacturer’s quality requirements (Quality Control Plan, or “QCP”) during inspection. These QCPs vary tremendously, with some manufacturers reportedly having dozens of possible QCPs that may be applied to the same manufacturing lines. If the purchase agreement allows using the manufacturer’s QCP or does not mention which QCP will be used during production, quality may suffer despite presence of an independent inspection body on site.
Similarly, leaving the choice of the auditor/inspector to be “commonly-agreed” is a hidden trap which gives the manufacturer the opportunity to block all auditors/inspectors except the one of their choice. The buyer should be the sole decision maker for the choice of the inspection body.
To avoid these hidden traps, we recommend using the STS Standard (STS-STD-PVM1©) for manufacturing and dispatch approval of PV modules, the most common cross-manufacturer QCP used in the solar industry today. We also recommend inserting a transparency provision, in the form of a right to audit directly in your Code of Conduct.
Contact us for more information on how to integrate the STS Standard (STS-STD-PVM1©) in your purchase agreements.