Documentation necessary for foreign trade

International freight transport is a complex issue in legal terms, and the documentation it requires proves it. This kind of exportation requires very precise paperwork. In addition to other reasons, this is to fulfil the contract and comply with authority controls in the countries through which the merchandise travels.

A document for each kind of transport

Roadway transport is not the same as air or ocean transport. We can even combine several, with multi-modal transport.  Each one of these alternatives requires its own international transport document, which are generally drawn up by transport companies.

CMR (Proof of Contract for Carriage by Road)

This is a document bearing the parties’ responsibilities and obligations in international freight transport by roadway. The form is normally completed by the lorry driver, but the party responsible for the information being correct is the exporter, who must sign it when collecting the freight. The recipient will also sign the delivery document.

Bill of Lading

The Bill of Lading is issued by the company conducting the ocean transport, and it must be signed by the captain to ratify reception of merchandise at the warehouse, as well as conditions for transport and commitment to deliver at destination.

It should be mentioned that maritime transport has a long series of contractual figures, such as the ship’s pre-manifest, the ship’s manifest, the High Sea Sales, the Admitase Colla and the charter.

Airway Bill (AWB)

The Airway Bill is a document that covers freight transport between two airports. It must include a consignee who may be the purchaser, or the forwarding agents in the purchasing country.

Forwarder Bill of Lading (FBL)

This is a document that covers two or more modes of transport, the most typical combination perhaps being container carriage by roadway and by sea. It is also used as a transport contract and proof of reception of merchandise.

Documents accompanying the freight

There are other documents drawn up by the vendor that travel with the freight itself. Three different kinds are noteworthy.

International Commercial Invoice

This is an administrative document with all the information on an international sale, from the item, the quantity and amount of the products and services sold, to the conditions for delivery and payment, and of course, the taxes payable. This invoice is both for the importer to make a statement to the tax authority in their country, and for the exporter, as proof of the sales made on the foreign market.

Packing List

This is much more focused on details, such as the description, weight and quantity of freight, the number of packages or bundles and numeration and shipping marks. A copy of this list travels with the freight, while another copy is sent to the recipient to facilitate verification of reception.

Delivery Note

Its purpose is to accredit the delivery of a load to the purchaser, who signs it to confirm proper reception. Although not compulsory, it is customary to use it in foreign trade, and it has a double role for the exporter: justifying outgoing freight from their warehouse and accrediting delivery to the importer. The importer uses it to verify that the load received matches the load on the purchase order.

Simplifying procedures with the help of experts

The list of documents that may be involved does not stop here. We could still mention different Foreign Trade Certificates, the Single Administrative Document (SAD) for customs, temporary admission of goods books the Secure Transport Certificate… in short, there is no lack of bureaucracy in international freight trade.

Therefore, the most reasonable thing to do is not risk it, and trust in international freight transport experts like Bilogistik. Our team takes care of meeting all contract and document requirements so your shipment makes it to any country, seamlessly and with no setbacks.

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