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 Documents sent by an exporter’s bank to a bank or
other organization in the importer’s country , who
delivers them to the importer when the importer
pays for the goods or accepts a bill of exchange.

 Basically, a document issued by relevant government

department authorizing the exports of goods under
controlled manner.
Their are some institution where the export documents
are to be sent in case of international trade.
These are :
 Importing organization- that has placed order and
Exporting organization- that is selling the goods
 Taxation ,custom control, and exchange control
authorities of both the countries
 Port authorities for loading and unloading of goods
 Shipping and warehousing authorities for transporting
and storing goods
 Inspection agencies that inspect and verify
the products
 Banks of exporting and importing countries if
 Relevant government departments
depending upon the type of goods exporting.
Export documentation are classified into two main types.
These are as follows :

Commercial Documents
Export Auxiliary
Documents Documents
 Regulatory Documents -
These are the pre-shipment documents prescribed by the
exporting country. The compliance of these documents is
mandatory for an export contract . It includes :

 Shipping bill
 Export application prescribed by port authorities
 Insurance payment certificate
 Excise gate pass for clearance of goods
 Commercial Documents -
These are those documents that are important for transferring
the ownership from the exporter to the importer. These
documents are necessary to meet the rules of the export trade.
It includes
 Bills of exchange
 Letter of credit
 Marine insurance policy
 Bills of landing
 Shipping instructions
 Shipping order
 Inspection documents
 Certificate of origin of goods
 Export Assistance Documents:
It involves those documents that are required for
getting government assistance, such as subsidies. It
includes documents, such as export-import contract
and certificate of quality control.

 Documents from importer’s country:

It includes pre-inspection, quality approval and

child labor norms related documents
Under commercial documents there are 15 documents in which
eight are principal documents and 7 are auxiliary.
Eight principal documents are:

 Packaging list
 Bill of landing/Air way bill
 The commercial invoice
 Certificate of inspection/ Quality control
 Certificate of origin
 Bill of Exchange
 Shipment Advice
 Insurance Certificate
The seven auxiliary documents are
 Pro-forma Invoice
 Intimation for inspection
 Shipping instructions
 Insurance Declaration
 Application for certificate of origin
 Mate’s Receipt
 Letter to bank of collection/negotiation of
Some of major documents and their functions are as

* Quotation: An offer to sell goods and should state

clearly the price , details of quality, quantity, trade
terms ,delivery terms , and payments terms.

* Pro-Forma invoice: An invoice provided by a supplier

prior to the shipment of merchandise, informing the
buyer of the kinds and quantities of goods to be sent,
their value, and importation specifications (weight, size
and similar characteristics).
• Commercial in-voice : It is a formal demand note
for payment issued by the exporter to the
importer for goods sold under a sales contract .It
should give details of the goods sold , payments
terms and trade terms .It is also used for the
customs clearance of goods and sometimes for
foreign exchange purpose by the importer.

* Packing List : A list with detailed packing

information of the goods shipped.
• Inspection Certificate : A report issued by an
independent surveyor( inspection company) or the
exporter on the specifications of the shipments
,including quality, quantity , price etc ; required by
certain buyer and countries.

* Insurance Policy/ Certificate: An insurance policy is

an insurance document evidencing insurance has
been taken out on the goods shipped , and it
gives full details of the insurance coverage.
* Product Testing Certificate: A certificate to certify
the products are conformed to a certain
international / national technical standard ,such as
product quality ,safety and specifications, etc.

* Health Certificate : Document issued by the

competent country when agricultural or food
products are being exported ,to certify that they are
following the law with reference to the relevant
legislation in the exporter’s country and were in
good condition at time of inspection ,prior to
shipment and fit for human consumption.
* Fumigation Certificate : A pest control
certificate issued to certify that the
concerned products have been undergone
the quarantine and pre-shipment fumigation
by the approved fumigation service
providers. It is mainly required in countries
like US, UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand’s
customs on solid wood packing material.
* ATA Carnet: An international customs document
used to obtain a duty – free temporary admission for
goods such as exhibits for international trade fairs
,samples and professional equipment, into the
countries that are signatories to the ATA Convention.
* Consular invoice: A document required by some
foreign countries , showing shipment information
such as consignor, consignee, and value description,
etc. Certified by a consular official of the importing
country stationed in the foreign country, it is used by
the country’s customs officials to verify the value,
quantity and nature of the shipment.
There are seven regulatory documents associated with
the pre-shipment stage of the export transaction. They
 ARE Form (for central excise)
 Shipping Bill/ bill of export (for customs)
 For export of goods Ex. Bond
 For export of duty free goods
 For export of dutiable goods
 For export of goods under claim of Drawback
 Port trust copy of shipping bill/ dock challan
 Vehicle ticket
 Exchange control Declaration
 Freight Payment Certificate
 Insurance Premium Payment certificate
 Air-Way Bill (AWB): A kind of waybill used for the
carriage of goods by air. This serves as a receipt of
goods for delivery and states the condition of carriage
but is not a title document or transferable/ negotiable
 Packing list: A list providing information needed for
transportation purpose, such as details of invoice,
buyer, consignee, country of origin, vessel/flight date,
airport of loading, airport of discharge, place of
delivery, shipping marks including packing information.
 Dock Receipt: A receipt to confirm the receipt of
cargo on warehouse pending shipment. The dock
receipt is used as documentation to prepare a bill of
lading. It has no legal role regarding processing
financial settlements.

 Bill Of Lading: an evidence of contract between the

shipper of the goods and the carrier. The customers
usually needs the original as proof of ownership to
take possession of goods.