Export Documents: What You Need to Get Started
As a first time exporter, you might have little knowledge of how commercial contracts work and which import/export regulations you must know about. Understanding every aspect of the export chain, from preparing international shipping documents to handling return of undelivered items, helps mitigate risks. This blog details the export documents list you must prepare and sign off on throughout the export journey.
The export documents list details about the shipment(s) and are used for quality control, taxation and inspection.
You will need the following shipping documents to complete your first trade:
1. IEC number: As a first time exporter, you must start by registering your company with the Director General of Foreign Trade (DGFT). The DGFT provides you with a unique 10-digit IEC (Import-Export Code) which you can use for both imports and exports. Your completed IEC application can be submitted to the nearest DGFT regional authority or online at the DGFT website.
2. Shipping Bill for export: It is checked by the Customs Authority before allowing the shipment to proceed.
3. Customs Declaration Form: The CP2/CP3 form is prepared in quadruplicate by the Universal Postal Union.
4. Dispatch Note: This international shipping document explains the action that the postal department must take at the destination in case the buyer address is non-traceable or the buyer refuses to accept the parcel.
5. Commercial Invoice for export: You must issue this invoice for the full amount of goods as per incoterms.
6. Consular Invoice: This is needed for export to Australia, Myanmar, Kenya, Tanzania, Cyprus, Ghana, Zanzibar, Uganda, Mauritius, Iraq and New Zealand.
7. Customs Invoice: This invoice is needed for exports to Canada and the USA, and it is a unique form that the Customs authorities in the importing countries present at the time of entry of the goods.
8. Legalised invoice: This invoice proves your company’s credentials and is cleared by the appropriate Consulate or Chamber of Commerce.
9. Packing List: This list outlines the details of the goods in each shipment.
10. Certificate of Inspection: This document prescribes the condition of the goods when received at the port and inspected.
11. Black List Certificate: This applies to exports in countries that have strained political ties with India. It validates the exporter by proving that the shipment has not crossed those countries.
12. Manufacturer Certificate: This document confirms that the shipment has been manufactured and is available for sale.
13. Shipment Certificate: This document ascertains that a certain shipment with x amount of goods has been shipped.
14. Shipping Order: This is issued by the Shipping Line to the exporter, to confirm space reserved for shipping the cargo through a specific vessel and to a certain port on a certain date.
15. Lorry Ticket: This is a ticket attached to the shipment to allow immediate admittance through the port, and has the exporter’s company name, lorry number, goods quantity, etc.
16. Short Shipment Form or Customs Clearance form: This is an application form addressed to the Customs at the port, to advise on short shipment. It is needed for claiming the return.
Please note that the above list is not exhaustive – you may need to add a few more forms as per the nature of the shipment, or if the importing country asks for certain unique permission forms.
For more information tailored to your needs, please go to our Knowledge centre, where you can find out more about incoterms, customs details and download relevant documents and samples.
Customs & Incoterms
Export Documents: What You Need to Get Started
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