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International Shipping Documents

April 19, 2016 by InterChez in InterChez, Tips To Ship By

Shipping documents can cause a headache even for the seasoned shipper. Make it an international shipment and the headache can just get bigger. To avoid costly delays or unnecessary penalties and fees, make sure that your international shipments have all the required paperwork. Here’s a breakdown of the documentation that should accompany every international shipment.


Commercial Invoice GraphicCommercial Invoice
Outlines the value, goods description, and selling agreement

Shipper’s Export Declaration GraphicShipper’s Export Declaration 
Filed with the Census Bureau detailing what you are exporting.

Export License GraphicExport License
Required for the export of some goods, dependent on the commodity and the destination country/buyer.

Shipper’s Letter of Instruction GraphicShipper’s Letter of Instruction
Outlines all of the details in the shipment that your freight forwarder needs to accurately book your shipment.

Packaging List GraphicPackaging List
Details the goods that you are shipping and how they are packaged.

Certificate of Origin GraphicCertificate of Origin
Certifies where the goods were manufactured. May be a specific form depending on the free trade agreement in place (eg NAFTA).

Importer Security Filing (ISF or 10+2) GraphicImporter Security Filing (ISF or 10+2)
Required for ALL ocean imports into the US. Must be filed 24 hours before the vessel departs the origin.

DEA, FDA, or NRC Requirements GraphicDEA, FDA, or NRC Requirements
Depending on the commodity you are importing there may be requirements from other government agencies.

Country Specific Import Requirements GraphicCountry Specific Import Requirements
Some countries have requirements above and beyond what is listed above. For a comprehensive list visit export.gov/ccg/

If you have questions regarding your specific shipment, contact InterChez or your freight forwarder to make sure you have all the documents you need.

About InterChez

InterChez is a full-service national and international logistics, translation, and consulting company based in northeast Ohio. InterChez is proud to offer our clients technology-driven solutions that integrate and simplify complex global operations. Our proven dSEC principles – Design, Source, Execute, and Continuously Improve – complement our industry-specific experience, our innovation, and our dedication to excellence, enabling us to provide our clients with a competitive global advantage.

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