Freight forwarding involves a lot of paper documents, especially when shipping goods to and from overseas. When shipping for the first time, freight forwarders can help direct you on how to get all the paperwork related to your immediate cargo delivery and other deliveries you might want to deliver later. Your carrier (freight forwarder) can control the logistics movement of your shipment once you get the relevant documents ready. Freight Forwarding Documents helps the freight forwarders to secure the cargo for the owner. This article is to help you understand all the necessary documents you will be needing for a smooth process. These include:
* Customs declaration / commercial invoice
* Bill of lading contract
* Export license
* Export packing list
* Certificate of origin statement
* Inspection certificate
* Shippers export declaration document
Customs Declaration/Commercial Invoice
Commercial invoices are used as  Customs Declarations and are provided by the individual or company that exports the item. The key to smoothing customs clearance is a complete and correct commercial invoice. Customs authorities need it to determine taxes and tariffs. If completed correctly, you can avoid delays.
Bill of Lading Contract
The bill of Lading is a contract between you, the owner of the cargo, and the freight forwarder, which indicates which goods you are shipping, where they are shipped from, and where they are going. It also acts as a receipt issued by the freight forwarder when the cargo is picked up.
Export License
An Export License is a government document that authorizes or permits the conduct of a particular export transaction (including the export of technology). It is issued by the competent license authority after careful consideration of the facts surrounding the export transaction in particular.
Export Packing List
One of the key documents used in international trade is the Export Packing List. It provides the exporter, international freight forwarder, and ultimate consignee with information about the cargo, including how it’s packed, the dimensions and weight of each package, and the marks and numbers that are noted on the outside of the boxes.
Certificate of Origin Statement
A Certificate of Origin (CO) is a document that indicates a product or the country in which it was manufactured. The certificate of origin contains information about the product, its destination, and the country of export. For example, a product can be labelled “Made in Nigeria” or “Made in South Africa “.
Inspection Certificate
An Inspection Certificate is a document used to verify that the delivered cargoes have been inspected to ensure they comply with the terms specified in the sales contract. It is required only for certain commodities such as Industrial plants, fresh food and meat.
Shippers Export Declaration Document (SED)
An Export Declaration, or Shipper’s Export Declaration (SED), is an official paperwork that contains details of cargoes that are being exported or imported. It also serves as an export control document and provides information on the type, value, and quantity of exports.

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