Coronavirus Update!

3 Mandatory Documents that Exporters and Importers Need to Have for a Hassle-free Shipping Experience

Documents are a necessary evil in all business transactions. Be it sales, purchase, or shipping, if even a single document is missing, it creates havoc for all the parties concerned. 

In shipping, documentation is an indispensable part of transporting goods from country to another. Goods cannot enter or leave a country without relevant and complete documents accompanying the cargo. 

It is therefore necessary that the exporters and importers double check all the documents. Without the complete set of documents, they will not be able to handover or collect the cargo, and might even end up incurring a penalty.

Earlier, exporters or importers were required to submit around 7-8 mandatory documents and any other paperwork required depending on the nature of the cargo or the importing/exporting country’s rules and regulations. This had made the process quite tedious and expensive.

What's new?

In 2015, in an effort to improve the export and import process, the Department of Commerce had set up a committee to study the procedure and recommend ways to reduce the documentation required in the export process. The committee, after due study and consultation with concerned authorities, recommended to keep three mandatory documents for exports and three mandatory documents for imports.

Based on the recommendations of the committee, the Director General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) had issued a formal notification to announce the changes in the documentation requirements. The new rule came into force from April 2015. According to the new rule, the three mandatory documents required for export and import are:

3 Mandatory Documents Required for Exports:

Bill of Lading: The bill of lading is the most important document in the shipping process for both export and import. It is a legal document which contains all the details pertaining to the cargo being shipped, the destination, the terms of sale, and the details of the recipient. It must be signed by the appointed signatory of the shipping line, the exporter, and the importer.

For smooth transportation of goods from one place to another, it is necessary that the exporter obtain a correct and complete bill of lading from the shipping line/forwarder. He must then send the bill of lading to the importer. The importer can collect the cargo only after he presents the bill of lading to the shipping line at the destination port.

Commercial Invoice-cum-Packing List: A commercial invoice, as the name suggests, is a document that provides the details of the sales transaction like name of seller and buyer, the value and quantity of the goods sold.

A packing list contains the details of the goods that are being shipped. It should mention the correct description of the goods, quantity, weight (gross and net), number and type of packages, and marks and numbers, carrier name, export date, export license number, and letter of credit number. This information is necessary for the Customs to ascertain the value of the goods and to facilitate examination at the time of clearance.

Importers in India must obtain a copy of the commercial invoice and packing list as they need to present the same to collect the cargo.

Shipping Bill/Bill of Export: A bill of export or shipping bill is a document requirement by the customs authority. It provides the details of any benefit that the shipper has availed in terms of customs duty, export schemes of the government, credit obtained under DEPB. If the goods are re-export of previously imported goods, then such details are also mentioned in the bill. The Customs do not provide clearance without a shipping bill or bill of export.

3 Mandatory Documents Required for Imports:

Like in exports, bill of lading and commercial invoice-cum-packing list are also mandatory documents for importing goods into the country. The importer needs to collect these documents from the exporter. Apart from these two documents, importers also need to present a bill of entry to be able to collect their cargo at the destination port.

Bill of Entry: A bill of entry is a declaration by an importer or his appointed agent. It provides details of the type of cargo, its value, and quantity. It is prepared in three copies. The Customs inspect and clear the goods based on the information provided in the bill of entry. To ensure that there is no malpractice regarding the value of the goods, the bill of entry is tallied with the sales invoice or insurance policy.

These are the main documents that must accompany every import or export shipment. 

*Additional documents might be required depending upon the nature of the cargo, or due to any other rules and regulations of the authorities in India or of the country with which the exporter or importer is doing business. For any specific country or product related documentation, traders must check with their agents or shipping lines.

To read the complete notification, click here.

Importer
Export Policy
Editorial Team
Editorial Team
Customer success manager

More articles

Know What India Exports

Know What India Exports

Indian Export Industry

Editorial Team
Editorial Team
This is some text inside of a div block.
How to Build a Trust Relationship with Your Consignee

How to Build a Trust Relationship with Your Consignee

Looking to build a relationship with your consignee? Read more about these key communication factors to build a strong relationship between a consignee and consignor.

Editorial Team
Editorial Team
This is some text inside of a div block.
Get Freight Rates and Manage Your Export Shipments, the Tech Savvy and Easy Way with Cogoport

Get Freight Rates and Manage Your Export Shipments, the Tech Savvy and Easy Way with Cogoport

An overview of how Cogoport is helping simplify international logistics for exporters and importers.

Editorial Team
Editorial Team
This is some text inside of a div block.
7  Interesting Facts About the Shipping Industry You Should Know!

7 Interesting Facts About the Shipping Industry You Should Know!

Fascinating facts and tidbits about the industry that runs the global economy.

Editorial Team
Editorial Team
This is some text inside of a div block.
Bill of Lading | Meaning, Types & Usage for exporters & importers

Bill of Lading | Meaning, Types & Usage for exporters & importers

A Bill of Lading acts as a contract of carriage of goods. Switch B/L, SOB B/L, Seaway B/L are some the most commonly used bills of lading.

Editorial Team
Editorial Team
This is some text inside of a div block.
A Step-By-Step Guide To The International Shipping Process And Export Process

A Step-By-Step Guide To The International Shipping Process And Export Process

A step-by-step guide to the export process for shipments originating from India

Editorial Team
Editorial Team
This is some text inside of a div block.
Coronavirus Update!

Heading

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

Sara Smith
Customer success manager

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

Heading

What’s a Rich Text element?

The rich text element allows you to create and format headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, images, and video all in one place instead of having to add and format them individually. Just double-click and easily create content.

Static and dynamic content editing

A rich text element can be used with static or dynamic content. For static content, just drop it into any page and begin editing. For dynamic content, add a rich text field to any collection and then connect a rich text element to that field in the settings panel. Voila!

How to customize formatting for each rich text

Headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, figures, images, and figure captions can all be styled after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.

Resources

No items found.