Shipping & Logistics Company in India

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10 Most Important Shipping Documents for Transporting Cargo

Whenever you take the initiative to ship cargo, it is critical to understand which documents are in need for the shipment. And it is significantly crucial to get approved legally for the safe shipping of your cargo. Listed below are some of the mainly considered documents needed for cargo shipping. 

Commercial Invoice

Exporting your cargo without the Commercial Invoice would be the biggest blunder. It is an invoice sent to the purchaser by the seller. It’s a criterion for customs clearance.

Bill of Lading & Sea Waybill

The Bill of Lading is a comprehensive document that must be in your hands. It is a transport agreement, and it provides critical shipping information. It is another important aspect of sea transport and evidence that the carrier obtained the items in fine shape from the shipper. The person who has this document is also in charge of the shipping.

This bill can be considered as a contract for transportation. The Sea Waybill, on the other hand, is not required for goods delivery and will only be given out as a cargo receipt. As it is non-transferable, it is required to avoid the presence of a third-person.  

Packing List

Another necessary shipping document for moving cargo internationally is the packing list. It’s a comprehensive list of the items listed on the Commercial Invoice. It also includes descriptions of the items’ packaging characteristics as well as the marks and numbers on the outside of the packages.

Customs declaration for exporting and importing

An Export or Import Customs Declaration is to report the products that are imported or exported. This customs declaration is critical when transporting cargo internationally. In legal terms, a Customs Declaration expresses a person’s desire to place cargo under a specific customs procedure. The Declaration is needed to clear customs and compute any applicable tariffs or taxes on the cargo. 

Rail or Air Waybill

You will receive an Air or Rail Waybill based on your means of transportation. An AWB is another name for a bill of lading. However, because it is in a non-negotiable form, an AWB provides minimal security than a bill of lading. For the consignor, the AWB also functions as a receipt (the shipper). This document includes the shipment’s destination address with the consignor and consignee’s contact information. 

The Rail Waybill, on the other hand, is a document used for railway shipments. After obtaining directions from the shipper, the shipping agent or railway company can set this paperwork.

Letter of Credit

In an international commercial transaction, a Letter of Credit is the most common form of payment. It is irrevocable by default. This letter is a bank’s pledge to the seller (the exporter) on behalf of the buyer (the importer) to pay a defined sum in an agreed currency. Furthermore, the seller is supposed to present all required paperwork by a date. It also contains data about the items’ description, quantity, technical description, and documentation requirements.

Certificates (production, vessel, phytosanitary)

You may be requested for one of the following certificates as part of primary shipping paperwork, depending on the type of cargo:

Production certificate

This Certificate refers to the components or methods of manufacture that are products of renewable sources and permitted processes. It is necessary to get permission to carry cargo into or out of regions where production laws may govern.

Vessel certificate

A Vessel Certificate’s prime aim is to certify a vessel’s ownership. One can easily get the data about the age of the vessel and the maintenance through Vessel certificate. The certificate is generally part of the Letter of Credit application process.

Phytosanitary Certificate

A phytosanitary certificate assures the pest-free status of plants and plant products. It also mentions that the shipment complies with the importing country’s phytosanitary criteria.

Notice of Arrival

The Arrival Notice, also known as the Notice of Arrival, is another crucial document used when shipping. The package has reached its destination, according to this document. It contains pertinent information, including the item description, shipping details, destination country customs costs, and the ocean freight carrier’s contact information. It gets approved by the ocean freight carrier’s destination agent to the receiver and any other parties who may be required to inform as per the Bill of Lading.

Certificate of Origin

A Certificate of Origin is a document that specifies the country of origin of a product or commodity. It is required consistently. This file provides details about the item, its intended destination, and the exporting country. It’s a crucial document because it decides whether items are allowed for import and whether they’ll be subject to the act.

Importer Security Registration (local customs requirements)

An Importer Security Filing might get needed for your shipment. It is a law by the United States Customs and Border Protection that solely applies to ocean cargo imports. Importers should transmit the essential data for this documentation to their US customs broker before placing their shipping order since it must get lodged with US customs and border protection 24 hours before departing from the last origin port. The seller’s and buyer’s names and addresses, the importer of record, the final consignee, the manufacturer’s name and address, and the country of origin are all required information.