Merchandise that is being transported from one port to another requires documentation accompanying it in order to be cleared at the point of entry. Requirements differ from one country to another making it important to have a freight forwarder who is versed in the process of the countries in question. There are quite a number of documents required at different points of the process. A small to medium-sized entrepreneur would find it a laborious and time-consuming process to go through this process and so the reason for hiring a forwarder. These documents are the most commonly encountered within the process of freight forwarding.
==A Packing List==
This is a document listing down the weight of the package in gross, net, and legal values. The tare weight is also noted. The document also states the kind of package that is being transported, such as a crate, box, or carton. This document is a cross-check for the forwarder to ensure they have the correct cargo.
A commercial invoice is a requirement by governments who determine the worth of goods being imported in order to set the customs duty. It is a bill passed from the seller to the buyer highlighting the goods and their worth. It comes in the form required by the receiving government.
==Certificate of Origin==
Similar to the commercial invoice, this certificate is required in some countries as proof of the country of origin. It is usually acquired from an independent commerce body.
This is a contract entered into between the shipper and an airline that states the conditions set for the air freight transportation.
==Bill of Lading==
The Bill of Lading is an agreement used between an exporter and an ocean carrier that details the transportation and delivery of cargo to a specified party. It is written up when the ship has left port and the cargo has been entered into the ship’s manifest.
Other documents that are required in different countries are the Consular Invoice, the NAFTA Certificate of Origin and the Shipper’s Export Declaration, among others.