Documents in an Export Transaction
Export Documentation is Required for U.S. Exporters and Freight Forwarders:
- The number and kinds of documents that the exporter must produce vary according to the destination and type of shipment. Because each country has its own set of import regulations, the exporter must take care to find out, well in advance, what documents will be required for the shipment of goods to clear customs in another country. It’s best to ask the foreign importer what documents are required in his or her country for up-to-date foreign import requirements and verification.
- Discrepancies or omissions in documentation may result in the export of merchandise being delayed, may result in nonpayment, or even result in the seizure of the exporter’s goods by U.S. or foreign customs officials. Collection documents are subject to precise time limits, and may not be honored by a bank if the date has expired. Most documentation is routinely prepared by freight forwarders and customs brokers, but, as the exporter, you are ultimately responsible for the accuracy of the documents.
- It’s important to understand what documents are required for a shipment and why they are required. Another option is to have a freight forwarder prepare documents for your exports.