Export Documentation KEI World Trade Center of KY

Export Documentation
 Documentation
 Commercial invoice
 Bill of lading
 Export Packing list
 Export and license declaration
 Certificate of origin
 Certificate of free sale
 Insurance certificate
 Letter of credit
 Other documentation
 Best practices and resources
Commercial Invoice
 Key accounting document describing commercial
transaction between buyer and seller
Identifies the buyer and seller, describes the goods sold
and all terms of sale (incoterms, payment terms, relevant
bank information, shipping details)
Often used by governments to determine the true value
of goods when assessing customs duties
Should be tied to purchase order
Consular invoice may be required for certain countries
Should include destination control statement should be
part of invoice
Bill of Lading
 Contract between the owner of the goods and the carrier
 Receipt for merchandise and contract to deliver
 Straight (non-negotiable) vs. shipper’s order (negotiable)
 Shipper's order bill of lading can be bought, sold, or
traded while the goods are in transit. The customer
usually needs an original as proof of ownership.
 Provides most details regarding the shipment and its
transit from origin to destination
 Master vs. house bill of lading
Export Packing List
 Detailed breakdown of items in shipment
 Individual net, legal, tare, and gross weights and
measurements for each package are provided
May include special marks for identification
Used by consignee to check that shipment is complete
Attached to outside of containers
Quantity of items on invoice must match quantity on
packing list
Sometimes used by customs authorities to look for
particular item in shipment
Export and license declaration
 Formerly know as Shipper’s Export Declaration (SED)
 Electronic Export Information (EEI) - must be electronically
filed via AES Direct
Used by Census to collect trade data on the products,
quantities, dollar value, volume and destinations of U.S.
Internal Transaction Number (Sample: ITN
X20091110000001) is applied to key shipping documents
such as the Invoice, B/L
Required for U.S. exports valued $2,500 or more per
individual Schedule B Number (except Canada).
Export license is issued for individual transactions
determined by the product, country, end-use and the enduser.
Certificate of Origin
 Issued by certifying authority attesting to country of
origin of goods
 Certifying authorities are generally city and regional
chambers of commerce
 Acts as key document to qualify for preferential
 Some countries will accept generic certificate of
origin, but others (e.g. Mexico) require specific form
(NAFTA certificate of origin)
Certificate of free sale
 Proves that goods offered for entry comply with
domestic requirements for selling in US
 Very common requirement for agricultural,
medicinal, or cosmetic products
 Depending upon purpose, may be issued by
chamber, World Trade Center or government entity
such as FDA
Insurance Certificate
 Indicates the type and amount of insurance in force
on a particular shipment for loss or damage while in
 Sometimes referred to as marine insurance, but may
cover the entire voyage and other modes of transport
Letter of Credit
 Risk mitigation tool
 Issued by a bank committing to pay the
seller/exporter a stated amount of money on behalf
of the buyer/importer as long as the specific terms
and conditions are met.
 Must meet exact conditions outlined on the letter of
 Errors on the L/C are the most costly and time
consuming for seller and buyer
Other documents
Shipper’s letter of instructions
Declaration of dangerous goods
Pre-shipment inspection
ATA Carnet
Dock Receipt and Warehouse Receipt
Fisheries certificate
Fumigation certificate
Halal certificate
ISPM 15 (Wood Packaging)
Phytosanitary certificate
Certificate of weight
Best practices
 Verify documentary requirements through multiple
Send documents in advance of shipment as a “trial
Be careful of discrepancies between letter of credit
and other export documentation
Utilize knowledge of distributor for export
documentation purposes
Network with exporters who have extensive

similar documents