It can be challenging to memorize the entire band of the documents you’ll need to transport your inventory internationally, even if you’re a seasoned pro or not. You must have already discovered that omitting even one document can create immense difficulties.
We at Apex Logistics have spent years assisting customers with international cargo shipping and understand the obstacles that come with it. You’ll need the following essential documentation for international shipping to ensure that your shipments leave on time:
Commercial and Proforma Invoices
Preliminary bills of exchange are commercial and proforma invoices. They’re issued to the shipper before the products are shipped. They function as a promise to ship the goods on a specific date and time.
The tasks covered in the contract and the shipping weight and expenses are listed on a proforma invoice.
Bills of Lading(BOL)
A bill of lading (BOL) is a receipt used to pay for freight services. It’s a contract that specifies the means of transportation and route of a shipment between a freight forwarder or carrier and a shipper.
There are many different forms of BOLs in the international shipping industry:
Overland bill of lading
When shipping freight across the land, overland BOL, also known as Truckers’ BOL, is utilized.
Ocean bill of lading
As the name implies, Ocean BOLs transport freight across the ocean. They can be “first” or “seaway” or “express” releases.
Airway Bill (AWB)
Airway bills (AWB) are utilized when sending freight via air carriers.
Combined bill of lading
Multimodal BOLs, also known as combined BOLs, are a single contract covering merchandise travelling via multiple means of transport.
It might be a railway and an ocean vessel, a semi and a plane, or any two different modes of transportation. However, one of the most common modes of transportation is via sea.
A packing list is similar to the packing slip you’d use for a domestic shipment, but it’s comprehensive. It should include the following:
- What’s inside the package?
- Where is the cargo being transported?
- Each item’s amount, size, weight, and so forth
- Each container must have its packing list when transporting containerized items. The list should include the container number and seal and what is packed in that container.
Shipper’s Letter of Instructions (SLI)
The SLI – Bill of lading instructions is a crucial document that provides your freight forwarder with a few vital bits of information to guarantee that the items are transported correctly. A limited power of attorney may be included in the SLI, allowing the forwarder to act on your behalf.
Certificate Of Origin-(CO)
A CO is a critical document depending on the destination of your cargo. It attests that the commodities are entirely sourced, produced, made, or produced in a specific country. When exporting to specific regions or nations, this certificate is frequently necessary. The United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) and many Middle Eastern countries demand it. The CO also shows where the material came from and checks that the cargo complies with applicable trade agreements.
Safety Data Sheet (SDS)
An SDS, also known as a Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS), is a report that lists instructions for managing, using, storing, and disposing of potentially hazardous materials safely.
International Commercial Terms (Incoterms)
Incoterms are a framework of universal standards that aid in international commerce facilitation. The guidelines spell out the obligations of both sellers and customers. These documents specify who is responsible for paying and managing cargo, insurance, certification, customs checks, and other factors.
Shipping Under a Letter Of Credit
A bank’s letter of credit is issued and serves as a payment guarantee for the shipper or seller. For document preparation, letters of credit have a lot of precise requirements. It’s critical to follow them strictly, on time, and give them a promissory note and all appropriate documentation to the bank.
It’s critical to point out that only documentation you’ll need when shipping your cargo globally. Certain specialty commodities, such as self-propelled equipment and dangerous goods, are subject to additional regulations. Additionally, if you’re seeking a trusted international shipping partner who can assist you with the correct documents, Apex Logistics is your way!