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Cargo is defined as goods that are transported by ship, air or motor vehicle such as a truck. If you’re in the business of transporting products across borders and you are looking to fully prepare yourself for all the documents that will be required, you need to know exactly what paperwork you’ll need to have on hand for the smooth facilitation of your transportation. With this in mind, take a look at the list of transport documents required to send an international package.

What international transport documents do you need?

In order to ensure your shipments are perfect in terms of documentation, you will need certain documents to transport goods. Here are some of the most important ones.

  • Commercial invoice: this is suitable for ocean freight and is required in the customs clearance process. The commercial invoice is generally issued by a seller to a buyer.
  • Packing list: this list contains a detailed overview of each item that is being transported. It is also often used in ocean shipping and expands on what is listed in the commercial invoice. Further to this, it also mentions information about the method of packaging for each item as well as which marks and numbers are generally noted on the outside of the shipment boxes.
  • Export/import customs declaration: this declaration provides a list of all the goods that are being imported or exported. It is an indication that one party would like to follow a given customs procedure before passing the goods onto a different party. This declaration is also crucial for calculating the duties, taxes or VAT which may be applicable to the cargo. The invoice and packing list are used for its preparation and this is usually done by a customs broker.
  • Bill of lading and sea waybill: this refers to the transportation contract as well as all the most important details of the shipment. It can act as proof that the carrier has received the goods in good condition. The bill of lading must include the name and address of the consignor and consignee. Furthermore, it should have the routing instructions for the carrier. It will also contain a description of the goods to be transported, the quantity for each of the commodities and the class and rate of the commodity.
  • CMR or waybill: the waybill document can be created digitally, and once done, it sets out the obligations and responsibilities of the parties involved in the transaction.
  • Carnet or TIR carnet: an international transport document allowing transit through countries that are not the destination of the goods or that do not belong to the EU. Although it is not compulsory to have this document, it does ease the crossing of borders.
  • T1: goods which are imported from countries outside the EU must be accredited in the territory of the EU community. As a result, this document should be presented before leaving the country of origin of the load.
  • Free On Board (FOB) terms of sale: this document sets out which party will be liable for the transportation costs, which party is in control of the movement of the goods, and when the title passes to the buyer.
  • Proforma invoice: this is issued after the booking process and shipping service has been done. It needs to be handed to a courier and can be used in the customs clearance set of documents.
  • Certificate of origin: normally issued by the chamber of commerce in your country, this certificate proves that a specific product was “obtained, produced, manufactured or processed in a particular country”.
  • Shipper’s Letter of Instruction (SLI): this is a compilation of documents which may include a limited Power of Attorney (which is assigned to your chosen freight forwarder if you opt to use the services of one).

In conclusion

As you can see, transporting goods abroad can be a very simple or very complicated process. It will depend on your chosen courier or shipping partner and your established relationship with them. With Spain being a large exporter of multiple types of products, you will certainly need the right courier company in Barcelona to assist you with your international shipments from Spain. With a strong reputation behind our back and extensive experience and knowledge in transporting and shipping goods to almost any location in the world, choose DRG Solutions as your partner of choice and let us help you prepare all the right documentation and ensure your parcels arrive safely and on time each and every time.