For you to carry out any type of export procedures, having necessary export documents is a must for smooth operations.
If you are an amateur in the exportation industry don’t worry as I am about to explain to you everything you need to know surrounding these documents.
What are Export Documents?
Just as the name implies, export documents are legal paperwork that is needed whenever you are exporting goods from one country to the other.
It does matter whether you’re importing from China or any other country.
Your documents must conform to the stipulated rules and regulations.
How Export Documents compare to Import Documents
Before knowing how export documents compare to import documents, you need to be knowledgeable about the difference between imports and exports.http://www.bansarchina.com/export-documents/%MCEPASTEBIN%http://www.bansarchina.com/export-documents/%MCEPASTEBIN%
By so doing it would be much easier to comprehend how the two types of documents compare.
Exporting can be defined as the selling of goods and services to another country while importing refers to purchasing goods or services from a foreign country.
Now, export documents mainly deal with goods and services that are sold to a foreign country.
On the other hand, import documents focus on goods and services being brought into a state from a foreign country.
Types of Export Documents
There are various types of export documents not excluding;
- Export license
- Bill of lading
- Bill of exchange
- Certificate of manufacturer
- Commercial invoice
- Insurance certificate
- Inspection certificate
- Export packing list
- Pro forma invoice
- Certificate of origin
- Export letter of credit
1) Export License
An export license is one of the most important export documents that you need to acquire before commencing your exportation process.
An export license refers to a document issued by the government to the exporter allowing him or her to export specific goods or services to another country.
Why do you need an Export License?
Not only does an export license allow for the smooth operation of export activities but it also accelerates the general exportation process.
Without an export license, you will experience several difficulties which are likely to lead to some delays.
To avoid all such hullabaloo make sure it’s one of the topmost documents to factor in whenever you are planning to export any type of goods or services.
Who issues an Export License?
An export license is issued by the government to the exporter.
How to Obtain an Export License
Export licensing might sound like such a complex task while it’s not.
First, you need to apply for an export license.
Start by determining whether the goods in question are legally allowed for exportation.
Thereafter determining whether they meet the required guidelines and regulations.
Also, you need to define who has jurisdiction over your goods.
Thereafter, classify your items based on the export control classification number which determines whether or not your goods need special controls.
After classifying your goods, you can now decide whether you need an export license or not depending on the control reasons for the goods and the country of destination.
Above all you need to know Import and Export License framework in China.
Contents of an Export License
An export license includes details such as the name of the shipper, the type of goods to be exported, and the dates of exportation.
2) Bill of Lading
A bill of lading refers to a document that outlines the details of the goods being transported for the efficient processing of the freight shipment and invoice.
Why you need Bill of Lading
In simple terms, a bill of lading serves as the receipt for your goods.
Not only does a bill of lading act as evidence of the contract between the carrier and the shipper.
But it is also considered a document that verifies ownership of goods.
Who issues a Bill of Lading?
A bill of lading is normally handed over to the shipper by the carrier.
How to obtain a Bill of Lading
Obtaining a bill of lading shouldn’t be much of a hassle.
Since it’s granted by the carrier, you have to make sure that you request it before beginning any exportation processes.
Contents of a Bill of Lading
Sample bill of lading
As compared to the export license, a bill of lading features more content not excluding;
- The shipper’s name and address
- Shipping bill number and date
- The name as well as the logo of the shipping line
- Name and the port of loading
- The number as well as the name of the vessel.
- Amount of freights paid or payable.
- Number of packages and containers
- Name of the port of loading
- Signature of the chief officer
- Name of the delivery location as well as the port of discharge.
- Name and number of the vessel
- Description of the container and packaging
- Seal number of the container
- Details on the number of goods being exported
3) Bill of Exchange
Why you need Bill of Exchange
A bill of exchange serves as a proper way of requesting a certain amount of payment of goods.
To add on that, a bill of exchange allows you to legally recover the amount of money in case the drawee fails to pay the amount.
Who issues a Bill of Exchange?
A bill of exchange is prepared and issued by the drawer who as well signs it.
How to obtain a Bill of Exchange
An endorsee or drawee can obtain a bill of exchange from the drawer as it is prepared and signed by the drawer.
Contents of a Bill of Exchange
Sample bill of exchange
The features found in a bill of exchange are not limited to;
- Terms of payment
- The amount to be paid
- The date of payment
- The place of payment
- The interested to be paid
- The maturity date of the bill
- A stamp is also included
4) Certificate of Manufacture
A certificate of manufacture is a document that indicates completion of goods ordered by the buyer certifying that the goods are ready and all risks are now borne by the buyer.
Why you need a Certificate of Manufacture
A certificate of manufacture gives more detailed information on the processing of the products and all the general details of the product in question.
Who issues a Certificate of Manufacture?
The manufacturer is responsible for preparing and issuing the certificate to the buyer.
How to obtain a Certificate of Manufacture
Obtaining a certificate of manufacture is quite easy.
All you have to do is requesting one from your manufacturer.
Contents of Certificate of Manufacture
A certificate of manufacture is expected to highlight the following contents;
Certificate of manufacture
- Information about the product together with the number of outputs
- Details of the products (number, type, and product quality)
- The date when the manufacturer received the merchandise
- The amount of waste
- Production date
- If the waste could be important in production, the document should indicate its market value.
- The merchandise value at the factory
- Total amounts of the applicable duties and the numbers for import entry.
5) Commercial Invoice
A commercial invoice serves as a proof of sale between the seller and the buyer giving details surrounding the price, quantity as well as the value of the goods being sold.
Why you need a Commercial Invoice
A commercial invoice not only comes in handy when accounting for the goods but also when claiming incentives.
In addition to that, a commercial invoice will be needed when collecting or negotiating documents through the bank.
In a nutshell, here is a quick preview of the importance of a commercial invoice;
- Used for accuracy check
- It serves as an assurance for payment
- Helps in record keeping
- Serves as a piece of evidence for sales
- Serves as a notice for due payments
Who issues a Commercial Invoice?
A commercial invoice is issued by the seller (exporter) to the buyer (importer).
How to obtain a Commercial Invoice
The seller is responsible for creating the invoice and availing it to the buyer.
A commercial invoice is created through the following steps;
- Download a template for a commercial invoice
- Fill in all the details
- Allocate an invoice number
- Include the terms of sale together with the customer reference number
- Highlight the terms of payment and the currency used
- Include the method of shipment together with the quantity and the unit of measure of the merchandise.
- Outline the price and value of the shipment
- If the shipment includes multiple boxes, record the markings on the boxes.
Contents of a Commercial Invoice
Sample commercial invoice
The commercial invoice should have the following details;
- Invoice number
- Order number
- The invoice date
- Name and contact details of the exporter
- A clear description of the goods
- The number of goods as well as pacing details.
- The total price of the goods
- The currency used during transactions
- Delivery date
- The incoterms applicable
- The freight and insurance charges
- Exporters bank details
- Details on the country of origin of the goods and expected country of destination.
- Freight details (port of loading and offloading)
- The validity of the commercial invoice
6) Insurance Certificate
An insurance certificate is meant to protect the goods against loss or damage while in transit.
In simpler terms, it provides information on the insurance coverage of the goods.
Why you need an Insurance Certificate
Insurance certificate is important in the following ways;
- An insurance certificate secures your goods from loss or damage
- Not only does insurance offer peace of mind but it also ensure business stability in case of any inconveniences.
Who issues an Insurance Certificate?
An insurance certificate is issued by an insurance company or an agent verifying the issuance of a policy for a risk.
How to obtain an Insurance Certificate
Before getting a certificate of insurance you need to have general liability insurance together with any other type of insurance required by the law.
After acquiring one, your insurance company should be in a good position to direct you further on the steps to take for you to finally have your certificate of insurance.
Remember, you shouldn’t be charged for this and if you do then you better consider getting a new insurance company or agent.
Contents of an Insurance Certificate
Every certificate of insurance must include the following details;
- The name insured
- Types of coverage
- Limits of coverage
- The Policy number
- The insurance company
- The name insured
- The policy effective date
7) Inspection Certificate
An inspection certificate refers to a document that certifies that the goods in question have been passed through inspection and adhere to the terms of the sales contract.
Why you need an Inspection Certificate
An inspection certificate not only enhances your customer’s confidence but also reduces rejection losses.
In addition to that, an inspection certificate allows you to identify potential hazards.
Who issues an Inspection Certificate?
An inspection certificate is normally issued by an independent inspection company after confirming whether or not the goods meet the stated terms as outlined in the sales contract.
How to obtain an Inspection Certificate
A certificate of inspection can easily be obtained from an independent inspection company.
Contents of an Inspection Certificate
Every inspection certificate should include the following details.
Sample export inspection certificate
- Ate of inspection
- Name of the seller
- Insurance policy number
- Place of inspection
- Place as well as the date of issue
- Gross weight
- Country of origin
- Number of the pro forma invoice and date
- Goods description
- The name as well as the signature of the person who has been authorized.
- Port of discharge
- The type of packing as well as the number of packages
8) Export Packing List
Just as the name implies, an export packing list refers to a document that lists all the packaging details of a shipment.
Why you need an Export Packing List
An export packing list is crucial for both the ultimate consignee and the freight forwarder.
The following are some of its importance in international trade.
- An export list is used when acquiring other export documents such as an inland bill of lading.
- It highlights specifics needed for a certificate of origin.
- An export packing list also plays a role when booking international carriers.
- It backs up an insurance claim in case of damage or loss of goods while in transit.
- Not only does an export packing list support issuance of Material safety data sheet but also reimbursement under a letter of credit.
Who issues an Export Packing List?
An export packing list is normally issued by the seller who sends it to the location of the goods so that it can be used in the calculation of the goods.
How to obtain an Export Packing List
You can obtain an export packing list from the seller who creates the list from the template available.
Contents of an Export Packing List
An export packing list should feature the following details;
Export packing list
- The exporter’s details
- Reference number of the shipment
- The country of destination
- The invoice number
- Details of the consignee
- Port of loading
- The port of offloading
- Physical description of the shipment including the eight and dimensions.
- The terms of payment and delivery of the shipment
- An authorized signature that includes a date and has a stamp.
- The purchase order number
9) Pro Forma Invoice
A pro forma invoice is an estimated invoice that a seller sends to the buyer highlighting all the goods details before they are delivered.
Why you need a Pro Forma Invoice
A pro forma invoice not only helps in calculating the cost estimate of your shipment but also facilitates a smooth process when your goods are passing through customs.
Who issues a Pro Forma Invoice?
The seller is responsible for issuing of a pro forma invoice before the goods or shipment is delivered.
How to obtain a Pro Forma Invoice
To obtain a pro forma invoice you only have to request from your seller. The seller creates the pro forma invoice using excel or word.
However, in recent times, most choose to use invoicing software as they are not only considered to be more accurate but also efficient.
Contents of a Pro Forma Invoice
Every pro forma invoice should highlight the following details;
Pro forma invoice sample
- The buyer’s and seller’s contact details
- The date of issue
- Terms of payment
- The reference number
- All taxes including VAT
- Total amount due
- Full description of the goods
- Exporters banking details
- The incoterms applicable
- Country of origin
- The validity of the pro forma invoice
- The unit pricing
- Signature and the title
10) Certificate of Origin
A certificate of origin is an international trade document that declares that goods have been purely produced or manufactured and obtained from a certain country of origin.
Why you need a Certificate of Origin
A certificate of origin has proved to be of great importance during import clearance.
In addition to that, it increases the competitiveness of exporters with others from different countries.
Who issues a Certificate of Origin?
The country’s or territory’s chamber of commerce is the body responsible for the issuance of a certificate of origin.
How to obtain a Certificate of Origin
Each and every country has a chamber of commerce that offers a certificate of origin.
For you to obtain a certificate of origin you have to contact your local chamber of commerce and they will guide you on how to get your certificate.
Alternatively, some chambers choose to send a digital certificate of origin online.
Contents of a Certificate of Origin
A certificate of origin should have the following details included;
Certificate of origin
- Exporter’s contact details as well as address
- The departure date
- Port of loading and offloading
- The destination country
- Consignee’s contact and address details
- The certificate number
- Exporter’s reference
- Name of the vessel as well as the voyage number.
- Products details
- Signature and name of the legal representatives.
11) Export Letter of Credit
An export letter of credit refers to a document that states that the buyer’s bank is responsible for the payment provided the terms stipulated in the letter of credit are met.
Why you need an Export Letter of Credit
An export letter of credit is important in a number of ways not excluding;
- It minimizes the supplier’s risk
- Provides security to the exporter
- It simplifies settlement of transaction disputes.
- An export letter of credit assures the exporter that money will be received on time.
- In addition, there’s the assurance to receive the full amount of money
Who issues an Export Letter of Credit?
Export letters of credit are issued by banks on behalf of their customers.
How to obtain an Export Letter of Credit
Acquiring an export letter of credit is primarily done through your bank.
After contacting your bank, most probably you might also need to liaise with international trade.
Thereafter you will be advised accordingly on how you could obtain your document.
Contents of an Export Letter of Credit
The following details are included in an export letter of credit;
Letter of credit
- The issuing bank
- The applicant contact details and address
- The confirming bank
- Total amount due and currency
- The beneficiary
- Date of expiry
- Place of expiration
- Type of letter of credit
Now, once you have all these export documents, it will be easy to go ahead with the transactions.
At Bansar, we make the entire process easy and simple by handling all the paperwork for you.
Contact us now for all you importing from China to global destination needs.