What Export Documents do I Need?

In international shipping, many rules and regulations must be followed to ensure the proper flow of goods from one country to another. In exporting from the United States, there are standard documents that will be needed before shipping. The first is the commercial invoice. This is the invoice that is sent with the agreed upon amounts for each item shipping. Not only will it be a detailed description of the goods with their prices, but it will also be used in assessing duties upon arrival at destination. The next item is a detailed export packing list of the shipment. This should spell out which pallets hold which material and is much more detailed than the commercial invoice. There is also an insurance certificate that will need to be included in the packet of documents which is proof of insurance for the consignee. Further documentation is the Electronic Export Information or EEI which was previously known as the export declaration. This is one of the most important documents since it shows value and weight as well as other details such as destination and the Schedule B number being used. This allows the Bureau of Census to follow the commodities being shipped out of the country and must be sent with any shipment over $2500 and/or requiring an export license. An export license is only needed for commodities to destinations that are under embargo or are otherwise being regulated. Depending on the country being shipped to, a certificate of origin may be needed as well as inspection certificates. These are sometimes required by the destination countries to ensure that the imported goods are not contaminated. Although some countries require additional documents, if all of these documents are in order, there should be no reason for delay in your shipment.