Chapter 3: Commercial Documents for Export
Commercial Invoice: A commercial invoice is basically a bill from the seller to the buyer, enlisting the complete export transaction from the beginning to end. It is prepared at both pre and post-shipment stages and needed to get customs clearance, excise clearance, etc.
Bill of Lading: Bill of Lading is a document issued by the shipping company that states the details of the starting and end destination of the goods. It is an acknowledgment or receipt given by the shipping company for the goods received by it.
Packing List: It is a list of the goods being shipped, containing information on how it was packed, how the goods are numbered, and weight/height dimensions. It may not always be required but is an important document used by freight forwarders to prepare a bill of lading and to understand how much cargo is needed.
Bill of Exchange: Bill of exchange is a negotiable instrument in writing containing an unconditional order, signed by the maker, directing a certain person to pay a certain sum of money only to or to the order of a person or the bearer of the instrument.
The parties to a bill of exchange are :Drawer – Person who draws the bill, to whom the payment is due (Exporter)
Drawee – Person in whose name the bill is drawn, who is required to make the payment (Importer)
Payee – The receiver of payment (Exporter or his bank).
Letter of Credit: This is a written instrument issued by the importer’s bank that authorizes the exporter to draw the amount of the bill from his bank under certain terms as agreed. It is a guarantee that all such bills(drafts) will be honored.
Certificate of Origin: Certificate of origin identifies or confirms the origin of the country from where the goods have been exported or where they have been manufactured. It is certified by a government entity or the chamber of commerce.
Inspection Certificate: This document certifies that the items imported have been received in good condition and in correct quantities.