Shipper’s Export Declaration

US exporters will tell you that the Export Declaration remains a staple document for those looking to ship containers internationally. Some may refer to the document as SED, which stands for Shipper’s Export Declaration. This is the US Customs form completed by the exporter prior to departure of the container from the port. For years, the SED was a paper form. But nowadays, the SED form can be filed electronically. This improves the efficiency of completing this form, which exporters like. In essence, the SED form provides space for exporters to declare the amount and value of the cargo inside of their containers. Specifically, there are many details on the SED form, including the company name of the consignee or importer, the contact information of all parties involved in the shipment, the quantity of the shipment, the in bond code, the schedule B number, information about the containers (weight and size) and other vital details.

Although completing this export declaration form may see daunting, it is actually a common part of the exporting process. For export shipments not for commercial purposes and under $2,500 in value, you need not fill out the SED form. But if you are in the business of exporting, then you probably fill out the form before any shipment.

US Customs uses the information provided on the SED form for two purposes. First, they monitor the shipments at the ports for safety reasons. Second, they use the information to keep accurate statistics about the export business in the US.