It is important to have a basic knowledge about the export and import documents when one wants to ship any goods from one place to another. As without proper documentation and all the required clearances, businesses can’t ship goods to other countries. For the export import documentation, one needs to follow some of the steps described below:
All one needs to know about export and import documentation process for shipping:
Collecting an inquiry–
It is the first step of the export import documentation, for any exporter. One will send a
Letter of enquiry when a probable buyer expresses interest in purchasing any goods.
With a letter of a formal or informal quote, one needs to send the letter outlining the terms of interest.
Screening the probable country and buyer–
An individual requires to make sure that he can start the business after he receives an enquiry from the buyer. One can surely check the name of the company, screen the names and the address of the buyer.
It is also necessary to check whether one can ship goods to the buyer’s country. If one applies for an export license, he can only ship the goods to that country. To avoid causing delays in the timeline, it is necessary to complete the licensing process early.
Providing a proforma invoice–
One may need to provide the purchaser with a proforma invoice for the transaction, after screening the country and buyer. It is necessary to make sure that one has the right proforma invoice, as this document will make the first impression on the buyers.
While it can be used for financing the buying of goods, it acts as an export import documentation, as a commercial invoice and acts like a quote. The final commercial invoice will closely resemble the proforma invoice if it results in an order.
Apart from the term outlined in the letter of credit, all the costs included in the quotation may not vary.
Certificate of Origin
The customs authorities of the other country, where the goods are destined to go, need a separate document referred to as a certificate of origin, while some of the countries accept a statement of origin on the commercial invoice.
The certificate of origin is the form, which indicates from which country the goods are being exported. It includes a packing list and a commercial invoice.
Shipper’s Letter of Instruction
One needs to prepare a Shipper’s Letter of Instruction, based on the discussion they had with the buyers about the type of export. The SLI includes, whom to contact for questions, written records of who received the shipping documents and who issued the export control information.
Finalizing the Sale
The buyers will either accept or reject the proposal after one sends the proforma invoice. They will likely negotiate the terms of the sale, as a part of the acceptance process. It will result in a written or verbal sales contract.
The negotiations include certain points and not only the discussion of price to be paid. These points are as follows:
- Ways in which the goods will be shipped
- The terms of payment one will be using
- The individual responsible for shipping the goods
- People responsible for the filing through AES
- Individuals responsible for hiring the freight carrier
Bill Of Lading
The bill of lading should support the exporting. For example, to move the goods to the port, one may require the inland bill of lading. If one is exporting any fragile item, one surely needs to provide the bill.
An individual needs to make sure that he follows all the required procedures associated with the export import documentation and ensure that the necessary documents are kept ready for a better shipping experience.