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Five for the Road (and Sea and Air): Shipping Documents 18 replies,10830 views

#1

Five for the Road (and Sea and Air): Shipping Documents

 


By Stuart Whitmore, November 29, 2012


International Trading Tips: It's one of the great ironies of e-commerce. The Internet has connected buyers and sellers from all corners of the globe, creating a virtual marketplace where goods are bought and sold at the speed of right clicks. Yet when it comes to shipping that merchandise things haven't changed much since the days of the typewriter and steamboat.


Getting goods from one country to another requires sheaves of paper documents that travel with the shipment and are every bit as important as the goods themselves. These papers are more than just address labels telling cargo handlers to move the packages from A to B. They're used by customs officials to check the shipment is legal and determine any duties; double as contracts confirming who owns the goods at each stage of their journey; act as identification papers so only the importer can pick up the package and even function as proof of an insurance policy.


Without the right documentation your consignment might be left on the docks, lost in transit or even seized by customs—and if you're the sender any discrepancies in the paperwork could have you shredding your nails in your paperless office, wondering if you'll get paid.


With so much riding on the outcome, it's no surprise that many exporters employ the services of a freight forwarder, professionals who can navigate the complex waters - and air corridors - of international shipping with their eyes closed. But even if an expert is called in the exporter is ultimately responsible for the accuracy of the paperwork, so it pays to be familiar with what's required. Here are five key documents you should be familiar with before your shipment sets sail.


1. Air Waybills

 


As you can probably guess from the name, an air waybill (aka an air consignment note) is used in air transport, each coming with an 11-digit tracking number to check on the progress of the shipment. It serves as proof the goods have been received for shipment, an invoice for the freight, an insurance certificate and a guide to airline staff for the handling, dispatch and delivery of the consignment.


An air waybill usually consists of three originals and nine copies. The first original is intended for the carrier and is signed by an export agent; the second original, the consignee's copy, is signed by an export agent and accompanies the goods; the third original is signed by the carrier and is handed to the export agent as a receipt for the goods after they have been accepted for carriage.


Unlike a bill of lading (see below) an air waybill is not a document of title and so does not confer ownership. The goods are usually consigned to the party named in a Letter of Credit. Unless that's a third party, such as the issuing bank, the importer can pick up the goods from the carrier without paying the issuing bank or the consignor. So if you're the exporter make sure you've got the cash in hand or the payment terms with the importer neatly sewn up.

2. Bill of Lading


A bill of lading (B/L) is used for sea shipment. It acts as a certificate of ownership of goods, so the importer needs to produce it at the destination port when picking up. The B/L is also a signed receipt for a specified number of packs, given to the export agent by the shipping line when it receives the consignment.


If the cargo appears to be in good order and properly packed the B/L is deemed "clean" and the owner accepts full liability for the cargo described in the bill. However, if the cargo is not deemed to be, well, shipshape, it is the ship master's duty to reject them or insert a clause into the B/L noting the deficiency.


Unlike air waybills, which do not confer title and are therefore always non-negotiable, the B/L is usually a negotiable document and you may sell the goods by endorsing or handing them over to another authorized party - even while the goods are still at sea. Beware, however, that some countries do not allow negotiable bills of lading, or make it hard to use them. Check their status in the countries you're shipping between before you make arrangements.


3. Commercial Invoices

A commercial invoice is a bill sent from the seller to the buyer that also provides a detailed description of the goods, their value and shipper information. Beware of fudged or downright misleading details: commercial invoices are often used by governments to determine customs duties. Nations that use commercial invoices to control imports will often specify the form, content, number of copies and language to be used in the invoice, as well as other important details.


4. Insurance Certificates

 


An insurance certificate is a representation of the policy taken out to cover the goods by the buyer or the seller, depending on the Incoterms agreed to. For an air shipment the air waybill does the job, but sea shipments require a separate document showing that a marine insurance policy is in place. Blank, pre-signed insurance certificates are supplied by the insurer, bearing the open policy number of the exporter.


5. Packing Lists

 


The packing list simply indicates the number of items in the contents of each pack, along with individual weights and dimensions. This list enables the importer to check that the correct number of units has been received and makes it easy for customs authorities to identify a specific pack should they wish to inspect it at the border.

(This article was originally published on Alizila, Alibaba Group's corporate news and e-commerce news website.)

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#2
Re: Five for the Road (and Sea and Air): Shipping Documents

You forgot to mention documents for shipping goods with Lithium battery 2013 policy.

#3
Re: Five for the Road (and Sea and Air): Shipping Documents

It is really advantageous for us to take a look at the requirements of shipping documents. In fact, you can also take the help of freight forwarding agent for the shipping. For example, if you need to ship from China to the world, it is also advised to obtain useful information from China Freight forwarding agent. 

 

http://www.mychinafreight.com/

#4
To Ship: SEA. LAND or AIR?

The decision to ship by which mean of transportation has the following factors:

 

1. Time

 

2, Cost

 

3. Convenience.

 

4. Safety.

 

5.  Cargo

 

What type of cargo? What is the weight, Volume and class. Small amount of cargo, less than 100 kg and volume of less than 1 M3 how much cost involved to ship by sea freight?  This is a typical case of sea freight shipping.

 

The shipper does the delivery from port to port. Send the original Bill of Lading to consignee of vessel name, cargo packing list or Bill of Material, Tax Invoices and ETA of vessel. Consignee received the information, gives order to his forwarding agent to collect the goods from the port and transport them by land to your destination warehouse.

 

A list of papers to prepare and declarations: Is cargo hazardous or non hardous?

 

Is the cargo in the list of Restricted items by the Customs for import? 

 

Do your business license permit you to import such goods?

 

You have to get a CR Number from the Customs for imports. Should you decide to collect the goods yourself, the tedious amount of paperwork, tax to pay, and hussels of getting the goods out of the container and load them to your truck, which need entry permit to the port warehouse.  Cost of one such experience come up to about $60 just for the clearance of the goods from the port warehouse. All in, the cost is estimated to be about $80 to $100 to bring the cargo to your vacinity, not considering the time spent. If your forwarder does it, they will charge a fee of about $200 for small load of cargo less than 100 kg. This amount is addition to the sea freight plus insurance from supplier port to your port.

 

For this small amount of cargo, it might be cheaper, faster and less hussels to send by air courier. Courier Companies provide box for shipment of 10kg, 20kg. Envelops and paded bags. There is also EMS shipment by air through the Post Office, but beware of the hidden costs and there are occassions where the cost for EMS are higher than by the other couriers, further more thay deliver door to door, wheras the Postal Service operates from Post Office to door, some cases to Post Office and be cleared after payment of GST.

It comes to Cost, time and convenience, the Courier services give Credit Payment and Post Office is cash in advance.

 

 

 

 

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#5
Re: Five for the Road (and Sea and Air): Shipping Documents

Just do these things.

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#6
Re: Five for the Road (and Sea and Air): Shipping Documents

Hello. I can help you. Pls send email to me. Anyway, If you have anything import from China, you can contact me. I am a freight forwarder in China specialized at sea and air. we can help you fix your problem b/c whether it is FOB or EXW , we can help you to ship your cargo and servce door to door service .like DDU or DDP .  pls feel free to contact with me if I can be of any help in China. You can contact me.

 

 

Best Regards

Stephen Qiu

Imp&Exp Dept./Exp.Operator

Shining Ocean International Logistics Group

Tel: 86-755-33990802    Fax: 86-755-33995396   

Mobile:+ 86-15899790764   Email: stephen_qiu@shiningocean.cn    Skype:stephen-qhy 

www.shiningocean.cn 

NVOCC  Licenses:MOC-NV02238 ; WCA NO.53576;  CIFA NO.1187;   FMC NO.23354;  Copper medal ZN30781

Shenzhen Headoffice Address:The 6th, 8th &10th Floor, Foreign Trade Light Ind. Bld. No1002, Aiguo Road, Shenzhen,China

 Our head office located at Shenzhen& 13 branch offices at Qingdao,Shanghai,Hongkong,Beijing,Ningbo,Xiamen,Guangzhou,Dongguan,Foshan,Xiamen,Yiwu,Wuhan,Los Angele,USA.

#7
Re: Five for the Road (and Sea and Air): Shipping Documents

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#8
Reply # 3

Good day. If you have anything import from China, you can contact me. I am a freight forwarder in China specialized at sea and air. we can help you fix your problem b/c whether it is FOB or EXW , we can help you to ship your cargo and servce door to door service .like DDU or DDP .  pls feel free to contact with me if I can be of any help in China. You can contact me.

 

 

Best Regards

Stephen Qiu

Imp&Exp Dept./Exp.Operator

Shining Ocean International Logistics Group

Tel: 86-755-33990802    Fax: 86-755-33995396   

Mobile:+ 86-15899790764   Email: stephen_qiu@shiningocean.cn    Skype:stephen-qhy 

www.shiningocean.cn 

NVOCC  Licenses:MOC-NV02238 ; WCA NO.53576;  CIFA NO.1187;   FMC NO.23354;  Copper medal ZN30781

Shenzhen Headoffice Address:The 6th, 8th &10th Floor, Foreign Trade Light Ind. Bld. No1002, Aiguo Road, Shenzhen,China

 Our head office located at Shenzhen& 13 branch offices at Qingdao,Shanghai,Hongkong,Beijing,Ningbo,Xiamen,Guangzhou,Dongguan,Foshan,Xiamen,Yiwu,Wuhan,Los Angele,USA.

#9
Reply # 4

Good day. If you have anything import from China, you can contact me. I am a freight forwarder in China specialized at sea and air. we can help you fix your problem b/c whether it is FOB or EXW , we can help you to ship your cargo and servce door to door service .like DDU or DDP .  pls feel free to contact with me if I can be of any help in China. You can contact me.

 

 

Best Regards

Stephen Qiu

Imp&Exp Dept./Exp.Operator

Shining Ocean International Logistics Group

Tel: 86-755-33990802    Fax: 86-755-33995396   

Mobile:+ 86-15899790764   Email: stephen_qiu@shiningocean.cn    Skype:stephen-qhy 

www.shiningocean.cn 

NVOCC  Licenses:MOC-NV02238 ; WCA NO.53576;  CIFA NO.1187;   FMC NO.23354;  Copper medal ZN30781

Shenzhen Headoffice Address:The 6th, 8th &10th Floor, Foreign Trade Light Ind. Bld. No1002, Aiguo Road, Shenzhen,China

 Our head office located at Shenzhen& 13 branch offices at Qingdao,Shanghai,Hongkong,Beijing,Ningbo,Xiamen,Guangzhou,Dongguan,Foshan,Xiamen,Yiwu,Wuhan,Los Angele,USA.

#10
Reply # 2
HI

We focus on service from China to America,Europe,Middle Aast,Afric,Oceania,Asia destinations

 more than 20 years. As one of the biggest shipping agents for MSK, CMA, EMC, HAMBURG SUD, HANJIN etc, our service covers all of ports in
 China. We Provide with sea freight FCL/LCL, warehousing and logistics, customs broker, distribution, import and export service. We also offer
 a variety of quality support services such as packing, depot storage and marine insurance. 
If you have any shipment from /to China you can contact with me

Best regards
Lucy

China Wilson International Logistics Co.,Ltd
Mobile:86 13858842056
Skype Account no:lucy.wu58
MSN account:Shuijing00@hotmail.com
EMAILECLL_WORLDWIDE@163.COM
#11
Reply # 4
HI

We focus on service from China to America,Europe,Middle Aast,Afric,Oceania,Asia destinations

 more than 20 years. As one of the biggest shipping agents for MSK, CMA, EMC, HAMBURG SUD, HANJIN etc, our service covers all of ports in
 China. We Provide with sea freight FCL/LCL, warehousing and logistics, customs broker, distribution, import and export service. We also offer
 a variety of quality support services such as packing, depot storage and marine insurance. 
If you have any shipment from /to China you can contact with me

Best regards
Lucy

China Wilson International Logistics Co.,Ltd
Mobile:86 13858842056
Skype Account no:lucy.wu58
MSN account:Shuijing00@hotmail.com
EMAILECLL_WORLDWIDE@163.COM

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