International trade has made it possible for your products to reach a global and diverse clientele. Shipping your products to a big player like the United States of America sounds like a dream come true, but this requires good organisation and flawless documentation.

This process may not be glamorous and seem tedious, but it forms the backbone of successfully exporting goods. For starters, your products must comply with U.S. export regulations even to leave your current location, let alone enter the States. Next, the list of documents required for export must be organised beforehand so that the process is not hindered due to unpreparedness.

This article explores a few of these standard documents that you must understand to smooth your export plans and grow your business. So, let’s get started!

Proforma Invoice

Everything starts in a typical export exchange when you receive an inquiry about one or more of your products. That inquiry may include a request for a quotation.

Usually, during any export exchange, the inquiry for a product is accompanied by request for quotation. For an international transaction, your response with a quote would be in the form of a proforma invoice. It contains information such as the names of the buyer and seller, a detailed description of the goods involved, and the harmonised system classification.

Performa invoice also includes financial information like the price of the goods and the currency in which the quote is given. Furthermore, the payment term of the sale, details regarding the delivery location, and the mode of transportation are also mentioned.

Commercial Invoice

The commercial invoice is an integral part of the list of documents required for export accompanying the shipment of goods. It includes the shipment and seller details. This facilitates the checks done by the authorities and customers to know that the shipment has arrived without any damage.

It is almost like a shipment bill raised by the seller to the receiving party and includes all the export transaction details.

Bill Of Lading

The bill of lading is a contract between the owner who is exporting the goods and the carrier. It specifies the parties between which the goods have to be exchanged. Moreover, it helps protect the shipment from being handed over or delivered to any recipient not mentioned in the document.

A negotiable bill of lading would allow the entrustment of the shipment to a third party who may be responsible for its delivery to anyone with the original bill. There are three types of bills of lading, namely, inland, ocean, and air waybill.

Certificate Of Origin

The next one in the list of documents required for export is the certification of origin helps the authority identify the country in which the goods originated. It is necessary as the rate of duty varies with the location the goods were shipped from.

Packing List

Packing lists are one of the most important documents required for export and itemises the shipment materials and includes the type of packaging used, such as a box, carton, etc.

All freight forwarders use this to create the bills of lading and clear the shipments through U.S. customs. It also helps customs officials to locate the origin of some packages they may wish to examine.

Learn More And Boost Your Export Business

These are a few essential documents that you should have in order before initialising the export process. Depending upon your business and the type of shipments, you may encounter some additional documentation and procedures. You must prepare and research for such a scenario to avoid the loss of monetary resources and time.

Author's Bio: 

Alisha Hill is a freelance writer cum blogger.