Checklist for international shipping from India

Checklist for international shipping from India
25 Jan, 2022

Export as it may sound fancy is not that fancier a process when it comes to the list of documents required. Every shipper prefers having a checklist in front of them while considering international shipping from India. In order to successfully deliver goods and money, it is imperative to have all the correct export documents in place. With that in mind, here is a humble attempt to make things a bit easier for the exporters. For export to be successful, here are 11 standard shipping documents that one needs to understand.

1. Proforma Invoice: Whenever there is an inquiry about one or more products in a typical export exchange, it mostly includes a request for a quotation. In an international transaction, the quote is provided as a proforma invoice. The reason behind providing a proforma invoice is for the international prospect to arrange for financing, to open a letter of credit, and to apply for the proper import licences and more. A proforma invoice ideally specifies the following:

  • The buyer and seller in the transaction
  • A detailed description of the goods
  • The Harmonized System classification of those goods
  • The price
  • The payment term of the sale, which would typically be expressed as one of the 11 current Incoterms
  • The delivery details, including how and where the goods will be delivered and how much that will cost
  • The currency used in the quote, whether it’s U.S. dollars or some other currency

Considering the amount of volatility involved in the export process, it is important to date the proforma invoice and also include an expiration date. This can help in minimizing the risk.

2. Commercial Invoice: The commercial invoice includes almost all the details of the entire export transaction right from the start to the finish. It is one of the most important documents that are needed to prepare goods for shipping. It is also one of those paper works that must accompany the goods.

3. Packing List: An export packing list is usually more detailed than a packing list or packing slip provided for domestic shipments. The packing list identifies items in the shipment and includes the net and gross weight and dimensions of the packages in both U.S. imperial and metric measurements. It also identifies any markings that appear on the packages, and any special instructions for ensuring safe delivery of the goods to their final destination.

4. Certificates of Origin: There is something called a certificate of origin to identify in what country the goods originated. Some countries require this document even if the country of origin information is mentioned on the commercial invoice.

5. Certificate of Free Sale: Certificate of free sale is also known as certificate for export or certificate to foreign governments. It acts as evidence that shipped goods are legally sold or distributed in the open market.

6. Shipper’s Letter of Instruction: It’s important to provide a shipper’s letter of instruction with all the information needed to a freight forwarder to successfully move goods. This practice is religiously followed by providers of top international supply chain services.

7. Inland Bill of Lading: An inland bill of lading is most often the first international shipping document created for export. It’s a contract of carriage between the exporter and the shipper of the goods stating where the goods are going and later, it serves as the receipt once the goods have been picked up.

8. Ocean Bill of Lading: When goods are shipped by ocean vessel, an ocean bill of lading is a must. It can serve as both a contract of carriage and a document of title for the cargo.

9. Air Waybill: When goods are shipped on a plane, an air waybill is a must. Unlike an ocean bill of lading, an air waybill cannot be negotiable.

10. Dangerous Good Forms: If goods are recognized as dangerous goods by either the IATA or the IMO, it would be imperative to include dangerous goods form along with the shipment.

11. Bank Draft: A bank draft is an important part of the international sales process. It is needed for transferring control of the exported goods from the seller to the buyer in exchange for funds.

Now that the checklist is stated, ticking the boxes would facilitate in having a successful and hassle-free export from India.

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