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Documents required for Global Trade:

Airway bills

Airway charges fill in as a proof of receipt of the products for shipment, a receipt for the cargo, an endorsement of protection, a manual for carrier staff for the dealing with, dispatch and conveyance of the committal. Airway bill is issued when air freight is chosen. It serves as a thorough bill of lading for air freight, covering domestic and international flights moving cargo towards a specific destination. It is advised to keep airway bill number and the master airway bill number assigned to your shipment. Ensure to communicate about these with your customer along with other transportation details.

Airway bills are only issued in non-negotiable form which means that you and your bank have less protection towards the goods being shipped. You lose the title to the goods once shipment commences.

An aviation route bill has the accompanying considerations:

  • The shipper and consignee details.
  • The airport of departure and destination.
  • The goods description (weight, measure or shipping marks).
  • It must be signed and dated by the actual carrier or by the named agent of a named carrier.
  • It must mention whether freight has been paid or will be paid at the destination point

Bill of exchange

A bill of exchange is a unique sort of record under which a specific measure of cash is requested that the exporter can be paid by the shipper in future and the merchant likewise consents to pay the exporter that measure of cash at the very latest date commonly settled upon by both parties. This archive has exceptional importance in discount exchange where expansive measure of cash is included. It is negotiable instrument by seller to buyer. It includes reference details of shipment, amount of invoice that will be receives by the buyer, bank details etc. there is involvement of five parties within this i.e. drawer, drawee, payee, endorser and endorsee. Bill of exchange binds one party with another to pay fixed amount of money at a predetermined date. Moreover it is classified into few types these are clean, sight, documentary.

Following people are engaged with a bill of trade.

  • Drawer: The person who writes or prepares the bill.
  • Drawee: The person who pays the bill.
  • Payee: The person to whom the payment is to be made.
  • Holder of the Bill: The person who is in possession of the bill

Bill of Lading

Bill of Lading is a record given by the delivery office for the merchandise sent for transportation from one place to another signed by the agents of the vessel that is transported. Bill of lading can be considered as a contract between the owner of the goods and the carrier. It is the document to provide proof or evidence of shipment. Serves as a shipment receipt and contains details such as type, quality and destination of goods. It can be further categorized as straight bill of lading (non-negotiable) and a negotiable or shippers order bill of lading.

The main people involved in a bill of lading are:

  • Shipper: The person who send the goods.
  • Consignee: The person who take delivery of the goods.
  • Notify Party: The person, usually the importer, to whom the shipping company or its agent gives notice of arrival of the goods.
  • Carrier: The person or company who has concluded a contract with the shipper for conveyance of goods

Certificate of Origin

The Certificate of Origin is required by the customs authority of the importing country for the purpose of imposing import duty. It is usually issued by the Chamber of Commerce and includes information like seal of chamber, details of goods to be transported and so on. It is the document that certifies where the export commodity are manufactured originally. It is widely used in International trade transactions. It is required for import customs may be for all or may be for certain products. It is further classified as Non-preferable and preferable certificate of origin. It can be provided within two formats i.e. paper based certificate of origin or electronic certificate of origin. It is also used for claiming benefits under free trade agreements. The certificate must provide that the information required by the credit and should be according to the other documents.

What all it contains is:

  • The name of the company and address as exporter.
  • The name of the importer.
  • Package numbers, shipping marks and description of goods to agree with that on other documents.
  • Any weight or measurements must agree with those shown on other documents.
  • It should be signed and stamped by the Chamber of Commerce.

Commercial Invoice

Commercial Invoice document is provided by the seller to the buyer. A commercial invoice for export is also known as seller’s bill for commodities sold by him. It contains details in terms of name and address of the seller, description of goods, price per unit, quantity, total value etc. It is termed as most basic and important export document. Sometimes these invoices are also used by governments to determine the true value of goods when assessing customs duties. Also known as export invoice or import invoice, commercial invoice is finally used by the custom authorities of the importer's country to examine the goods for the purpose of taxation. The invoice must have the following inclusions:

  • Be issued by the beneficiary named in the credit (the seller).
  • Be addressed to the applicant of the credit (the buyer).
  • Include the description of the goods exactly as detailed in the credit.
  • Be issued in the stated number of originals (which must be marked "Original") and copies.
  • Include the price and unit prices if appropriate.
  • State the price amount payable which must not exceed that stated in the credit
  • Include the shipping terms.

Insurance Certificate

Also known as Insurance Policy, it certifies that goods transported have been insured under an open policy. Insurance certificates are the modes to assure the consignee that insurance will cover the loss of or damage to the cargo during transit. These can be easily obtained from your freight forwarder or publishing house. It falls under insurance documents which are classified as Insurance policy, certificate of insurance and insurance broker’s note. While securing your goods few things must be considered in advance i.e. get enough coverage, decide who will secure the insurance, decide who pays for it or just leave a paper trail. It is necessary that the date on which the insurance becomes effective is same or earlier than the date of issuance of the transport documents. Also, if submitted under an LC, the insured amount must be in the same currency as the credit and usually for the bill amounting more than 10 per cent. The requirements for completion of an insurance policy are as follows:

  • The name of the party in the favour which the documents have been issued.
  • The name of the vessel or flight details.
  • The place from where insurance is to commerce typically the sellers warehouse or the port of loading and the place where insurance cases usually the buyer's warehouse or the port of destination.
  • Insurance value that specified in the credit.
  • Marks and numbers to agree with those on other documents.
  • The description of the goods, which must be consistent with that in the credit and on the invoice.
  • The name and address of the claims settling agent together with the place where claims are payable.
  • Countersigned where necessary.
  • Date of issue to be no later than the date of transport documents unless cover is shown to be effective prior to that date.

Inspection Certificate

Certificate of Inspection is a document issued on the request of seller when the consignment needs to be checked by a third party at the port of shipment before the goods are sealed for final transportation. It provides proof for what you are shipping, what customer ordered and quality of commodity. It ensures that commodities were in good condition at the time of inspection and this is done immediate prior to shipment or we can say pre shipment inspection is done. It includes Applicant-The name of buyer company which has opened the LC, Consigned to the Order of -The name of the LC opened bank or buyer banks, Beneficiary: (The name of the seller), LC No. and LC Date, Custom Tariff Code No., Pro-forma Invoice No. and Date, Purchase Order No. and Date, Insurance Policy No., Country of Origin, Place of Inspection, Date of Inspection, Port of Discharge, Type of Packing, Bill of Lading No. and Date, Gross weight, Name and Signature of Authorized Person, Place and Date of Issue. In this process, seller submits a valid Inspection Certificate along with other trade documents like invoice, packing list, shipping bill, bill of lading etc to the bank for negotiation. On demand, inspection can be done by various world renowned inspection agencies at nominal charges.

Letter of Credit

An LC is a financial document which is provided by a third party i.e. a bank or a financial institution that guarantees the payment for goods and services to the exporter once the exporter submits the required documents. A letter of credit has three important elements – the beneficiary i.e. seller who is the recipient of the LC, the applicant i.e. buyer who buys the goods and services and the issuing bank that issues the LC on the buyer’s request.

It is the most versatile and secure instruments for international traders. LC can also be termed as letter of guarantee. The required documents are responsible to protect the interests of both the buyer and seller as they can get paid immediately or at a later predefined date. If the required payment is done immediately to the seller than we call it on sight, but there are chances that the importer might do the payment once the shipment has reached the destination.  It can be classified into two categories i.e. revocable and irrevocable. Irrevocable cannot be changed until both parties agree over it whereas, revocable can be changed as per one. Thus revocable is inadvisable to avoid risks.

Packing List

An export packing list can be explained as a detailed document that states all of the product and packaging details contained in each shipment. It includes name of shipper/exporter with its contact details, name of consignee/importer with its contact details, the gross and net weights of the cargo, nature quality and specifications of goods, type of package and measurement of each package, invoice number and date, reference to bill of lading, method of dispatch, type of shipment and other specified documents. This list contains detailed information about the packing materials used in the shipping of goods. It also includes details like quantity and type of goods.

  • Have a description of the goods ("A") consistent with the other documents.
  • Have details of shipping marks ("B") and numbers consistent with other documents