There are diverse types of export documents required during the export. Trade Service Provider easily provide you and manage all the documentation like- invoice, packing list, proforma invoice, airway bill etc.
Export documentation is an important export procedure followed by exporters. Shipping or export documents outline the shipment, sale and responsibilities of the parties taking part in the trade. Thus, it help in easy understanding and fast completion of transaction and avoiding the delay. Documents ensure the conformity of all regulations.
Documentation can have various requirements as per the country, commodity and products, like quality control inspection certificate required for the export of many products. Another example can be pharmaceutical products which require sanitary or health certificate. Following are the factors which determine the documents needed for shipment-
All these documents are prepared by the exporter and then processed by a Freight Forwarder. Most important documents which are required for every export shipments are invoice and bill of lading. The information on all other associated documents must match with the information on these ones. Here are the main data elements which must be uniform on all documents-
Invoices are basically of three types- pro-forma invoice, commercial invoice and consular invoice. Following the details about each:
Pro-forma invoice is sent to buyer before the shipment, so that he could recheck the specifications and quantity of products. It gives buyer a chance to get the import license if required in his country. Also information in pro-forma invoice are used by the bank of buyer, in the financial process like opening a letter of credit. Once the buyer confirmed that there's no change required on the pro-forma invoice, it can be changed into commercial invoice by changing the date and title.
Commercial invoice is the first document prepared by exporter/seller and sent to the importer/buyer, after the agreement of the transaction. It may have multiple "purchase order" numbers. Data elements a commercial invoice contains are-
Consular invoice is the invoice notarized by the embassy or consulate of buyer's country as per the customer's requirement. Exporter or freight forwarder get this done by paying a fee to consulate. Consular invoice can only be legalized in the buyer's country so time/costs associated with this invoice should be added to the price of the products seller is shipping.
Packing list is a break down of the items within a shipment and is prepared by the shipper. The main details it should reference are- purchase order number and destination. Also it may include any special marks which could help in identification, tracking and insurance claims. Packing list is taped on the box or carton to help transportation handlers or customs agency to know about the products and where is it going. The details on packing list must match with the details on commercial invoice.
Shipper's letter of instruction (SLI)- This is not a standardized document but considering one is always a good practice for organizations. One could give limited authorization to freight forwarder with the SLI at the time of shipment. It gives more time to organization to make arrangements and to prepare documents. A freight forwarder act as an agent who handles the overseas documentation matters. Although it's not absolutely necessary to use a freight forwarder for successful export shipment.