Getting documents ready is something that is tiresome but very necessary for a business transaction. Be it for the sale of a product, purchase, or shipping, even if a single document is missing or the information is incorrect, then the parties involved could find themselves in major trouble. Speaking of shipping, goods or commodities are not allowed to enter or exit from a particular country unless they are accompanied by an approved set of necessary documents. Here is a list of the most important documents required for international shipping for a smooth transaction of goods.
8 Important Documents that Must be Approved Before a Shipment
- Bill of Lading
This is the most important document for everyone involved in a particular shipment, all exporters and importers. In order to receive goods without any hassle, the exporter must share the bill of lading with the importer. It acts as the primary proof of ownership of the goods being shipped in the container. Once the shipment reaches its destination, the bill of lading must be presented to the concerned authorities.
- Certificate of Origin
Also known as the COO, it is proof that a commodity was produced in a particular country. This particular document is prepared by the manufacturer or the exporter and it must be attested by a government authority. The same certificate can be used for road, water, or air transport of the goods. There are also country-specific certificates that must be confirmed by the concerned authorities.
- Import Licence
It is a legal document which is issued and attested by the concerned government. It is mandatory for exporters or importers to have a licence to ship the items in certain quantities. There are some countries that only ask for this document under specific conditions, although in countries like Qatar, it is a necessary requirement.
- Letter of Credit
L/C, or letter of credit, is the most commonly used instrument to control imports and exports. After the letter of credit is obtained, the supplier must provide the certificate of origin and a certificate from the shipping agency stating that the vehicle carrying the shipment is allowed to enter their territory.
- Customs Declaration
Anyone who wants to ship goods is required to get themselves registered with customs and possess valid customs import or export code. This way, the person or the company gets legal authority to indulge in export or import activities. The materials that can be exported or imported must be cross-checked with the concerned authorities. Customs clearance is a smooth procedure given the condition that everything is clear from your end.
- Packing List
There must be a detailed packing list with the shipment mentioning what kind of goods the shipment is carrying, the quantity of goods, the use of the goods, and the gross weight of the goods. This is done in order to get an idea of what is being shipped in or out of the country and to keep a watch on everything. The list also identifies if there are any specific markings on the packages, and if there are any special instructions for ensuring the safe delivery of the goods to their final destination.
- Invoice Pro Forma
This invoice acts as the preliminary bill of sale, sent to the shipper before the shipment of the goods, serving as an official commitment to ship the goods at a specified date and time. One gets the proforma invoice after they finalise the booking process and order the shipping service. This invoice is also an integral part of customs clearance, and the customs will be calculated based on this document. The invoice is important in all kinds of shipments, including water transportation.
- Dangerous Goods’ Form
If your shipment carries something dangerous, then it is your duty to inform all the authorities concerned, and you must include the appropriate dangerous goods form with your shipment. Shipping dangerous goods can be a tricky task, so people dealing with such shipments must be aware of the risks involved.
Why Choose Travelite
Travelite will not only help you resolve all the queries associated with the documents and their approval but also get them approved by the relevant authorities. One must choose Travelite for a stress-free and hassle-free experience during the shipment of their commodity.
It must be kept in mind that if the paperwork is incomplete or some documents are missing, then the exporters and importers won’t be able to hand over the cargo or collect the same. There is also a possibility they would have to pay a penalty, or they could end up suffering a setback to their credibility. However, if you choose Travelite as your shipping agency, you will not have to worry about any of these unnecessary barriers in your shipment. So, enquire thoroughly and choose wisely.