Common IMDS Rejections — Part 1: Incorrect Description or Part/Item Number on Provided MDS

International Material Data System (IMDS) rejections threaten to keep your products — as well as your customer’s products – from remaining market-compliant . With a complex system and even more complex regulatory needs, IMDS rejections can be confusing and time consuming to address. From using incorrect materials to building an assembly tree without the proper hierarchy, there are a multitude of reasons why your submission may be rejected. Knowing how to prevent these common mistakes will increase the chances of your submission’s acceptance.

To provide consistent reporting in the automotive industry, the IMDS Steering Committee requires suppliers to follow several general rules and guidelines set forth in IMDS Recommendation 001 (REC 001). These rules are available in the help section of the IMDS website and they require a thorough understanding to guarantee your submitted parts and assemblies are not rejected. This knowledge will not only speed up your data entry and increase reporting efficiency, it will also increase customer satisfaction.

Gain greater confidence and accuracy in IMDS! Read below for the first of a five-part series for one of the most common IMDS rejection reasons — and its solution.

IMDS Rejection #1: The Provided Material Data Sheet (MDS) Lists an Incorrect Description or Part/Item Number 

This is the easiest error to avoid and yet one of the most common reasons for IMDS rejection. It seems like an obvious step, but often entries are rejected and Production Part Approval Processes (PPAPs) are delayed because suppliers fail to enter this data properly.

In most cases, your company part number (PN) will be different than your customer’s. You need to ensure you capture the customer’s PN under the “Recipient data” tab “Details” once you have added the customer as a recipient. In some rare instances, the customer may also request that the product description/name be different than your company’s description, which carries over to the “Recipient data” tab by default.


If you do not have the correct customer PN (and/or the customer is requesting a name change to match their nomenclature) and your datasheet was rejected, here are a few simple steps you can follow to fix these problems:

  1. Search for the rejected datasheet (MDS) in the main screen.
  2. Right click the entry > select “Edit”* (see below).IMDS
  3. Click on the “Recipient data” tab.IMDS recipient tab
  4. When applicable, override the product Name to match the customer’s required description.
  5. Edit the Part/Item No., replacing it with the customer-specific PN.
  6. The status will change to “Modified,” like so: .
  7. You can now re-propose the datasheet.

*This will work if you only need to edit the “Recipient data.” If the rejection also includes an issue regarding the “Ingredients,” and had been internally released, you will need to select the datasheet from the search screen, right click and select Copy > New Version, make the edits, and re-propose the entry again.

If you follow these steps prior to your initial submission, you will have the peace of mind to know your customer will be able to immediately recognize the part as their own in their inbox; and, providing all the other data is correct, your part should be accepted right away.

Beyond this common reason for IMDS rejection, there are many more to be aware of. Check out more common rejections — and their fixes:

  • IMDS Rejection #2: Failure to Use IMDS Committee Published Materials When Creating Entries with Metals, Platings or Passivation Coatings
  • IMDS Rejection #3: Creating or Using a Polymer Entry Composed of Only One Substance
  • IMDS Rejection #4: Building MDS Trees That Do Not Follow the Proper Tree Hierarchy
  • IMDS Rejection #5: A Weight Variance Between Measured Weight and Calculated Weight

For further support with IMDS rules and reporting guidelines, consider our online IMDS trainings, which will provide you and your team with the expertise needed to achieve seamless quality compliance reporting. You can also reach out to Tetra Tech’s expert IMDS team for further guidance.

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