10 Essential Shipping Documents for International Trade
1️⃣ Purchase Order (PO)
A purchase order is an official declaration of receiving an order. It includes transaction details, product information, and the parties involved.
2️⃣ Commercial Invoice (CI)
A commercial invoice verifies the sale and differs from the purchase order. It serves as a receipt for the purchase and can be easily generated for each order.
3️⃣ Bill of Lading (B/L)
The Bill of Lading is a contract between the transporter or the shipper and the freight carrier. It confirms the receipt of goods for shipment and must be authorized by the transporter.
4️⃣ Packing List (PL)
A packing list provides detailed information about the goods, including weight, packaging style, and measurements. It is used by the courier company to create the bill of lading.
5️⃣ Airway Bill (AWB)
An Airway Bill is a type of Bill of Lading used for air shipments. It contains all the necessary information about the goods being delivered and serves as a receipt upon arrival at the destination airport.
6️⃣ Letter of Credit (L/C)
A Letter of Credit is issued by a bank to ensure payment for goods sold from a merchant to a customer. If the buyer fails to make the payment, the bank covers the remaining amount.
7️⃣ Warehouse Receipt (WR)
A Warehouse Receipt is a document that proves the shipment of goods accepted by international transporters. It includes essential information such as measurements, weight, and size.
8️⃣ Certificate of Origin (C/O)
A Certificate of Origin declares the country of origin for finished products. It is often required by treaty agreements to ensure that goods are eligible for export.
9️⃣ Insurance Certificate (IC)
An Insurance Certificate guarantees that the exporter has an insurance policy for the shipment of goods. It covers liability and provides coverage in case of loss.
🔟 Export License (EL)
An Export License is an official document issued by the government. Exporters need this license to export specific quantities of goods.
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