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Shipping Documentation – What do you need?

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To move freight internationally and cross-border you will need to provide certain paperwork to clear those goods through customs at both export and import.

The full set of paperwork that may be required will be dependent on the type of product, destination, and type of import but on almost all occasions a commercial Invoice and Packing List will be required.

These documents will generally come from your manufacturer. For example, if you are purchasing your product from a non-related Chinese manufacturer the invoice and packing list that they raise for those goods will be sufficient for customs purposes. There are occasions where this may differ, and you need to create your own invoice and packing list, this could be if you manufacture your own goods or have previously shipped the items from your manufacturer to your warehouse and are now moving onto a third country. In this instance the initial manufacturers invoice would not be sufficient. Because of this you may also need to consider the valuation build-up of the amounts declared on the invoice but see VALUATION for more info regarding this.

If you find that you do need to create your own invoice or even if you use your manufacturers commercial invoice and packing list, you will need to ensure certain information is contained on it to enable your agent to successfully complete the relevant customs entries on your behalf. Below is a list of basic information that should be included:

  • Exporter name and address
  • Exporter VAT/EORI number (if exporting from UK or EU)
  • Importer name and address
  • Importer VAT/EORI number (if importing into UK or EU)
  • Delivery address
  • Description of goods
  • HTS/Commodity Code
  • Product SKU
  • Value of goods (per unit and total)
  • Number of units
  • Number and type of packages
  • Gross & Net weight of boxes
  • Country of Origin

If you are unsure how to complete your own commercial invoice and packing list, please feel free to reach out to our team who can guide you through the process.