Basic Document Requirements for Export


Basic Documents required for Export

Even though throughout the world, the necessary documentation for trade/exporting is widely different, there are some basic documents that are required for all exports. Let’s discuss a few of the necessary documents required for exporting.

Commercial Invoice

One of the most important documents is the Commercial Invoice. All purchases have an invoice.  If you go to your local super market and buy something, you will be given a receipt, that receipt is an invoice.  In the global marketplace it is known as a Commercial Invoice.  Its function is to provide a detailed and itemized description of what you are purchasing. The exporter provides the invoice to his buyer or foreign importer. The importing country’s government uses the commercial invoice in order to determine the correct classification of goods. The clarification as mentioned, assists government in assessing the customs duty. In the document, every minute detail gets recorded such as, number of copies, language, characteristics etc. to learn about the commercial invoice in detail and download a commercial invoice sample follow the links highlighted.

Packing List

Another basic export document is the Export Packing List. This document is comparatively more detailed and informative than a packing list intended for domestic business. This document holds vital details about the seller, buyer, invoice number, shipment details, quantity of the products, description of it and the type, shape of packet. An ideal export packing list will contains number of package, total weight of the package etc. Both the foreign customs officials as well as US government officials may use this document for examining, identifying and inspecting the cargo/shipment.

Waybill – Airway bill or Ocean bill of lading

Another basic document is the waybill. This document is essentially a contract between the proprietor of the product and shipment agency.  The form changed on the basis of mode of shipment. If the shipment moves by air, then the form is referred to as an air waybill.  Ocean shipments move on an ocean bill of lading or ocean B/L.  Ocean B/Ls can be negotiable or non-negotiable. In cases of the negotiable ocean B/L, the contract/products may be bought, sold, or even traded, when the shipment is in route.

The waybill provides the conveyance information.  It provides the shipping details and how the shipment is moving from the country of export to the country of destination.


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