Seamless tubes of the highly corrosion resistant austenitic steel 1.4539, X1NiCrMoCu25-20-5 (Alloy 904L) were observed to exhibit signs of inter-crystalline damage to a depth of several layers of grains and in particular on their internal surface. The material had been stored and had not been put into service. A number of hypotheses had been discussed to explain the predominant cause of the damage. Using optical light and scanning electron microscopy investigation techniques, clear evidence was obtained indicating it to be inter-crystalline corrosion due to the sensitisation of the grain boundaries. The most probable cause of this was determined to be the presence of residual deposits from the rolling process, which due to poor cleaning, had not been completely removed prior to the final solution annealing treatment. This explaining why predominantly the internal surface of the tubes was affected.