International Trade Documents

International Trade Documentation

Correct completion and use of all the required trade documents for exporting


What international trade documentation do you need?

As an exporter you will normally provide the commercial invoice and the packing list, and if you're responsible for delivery you will also need to provide transportation documents. Some importing countries also require certain goods to be accompanied by special certificates, which the exporter will have to provide or obtain. It can be a minefield, especially as changing regulations and procedures can make it difficult to stay on top of requirements.

Common international trade documentation
  • Commercial Invoice
  • Export Packing List/Cargo Manifests
  • Pro Forma Invoice
  • Certificate of Origin
  • Bills of Lading/Air Waybills
  • Delivery Notes
  • Import Licenses
  • Dangerous Goods Certificate
  • Insurance Certificate
  • Shipper's Letter of Instruction

It's our role to understand your – and your consignees' – requirements, ensuring compliance with the latest regulations and legal obligations in the countries you deal with, and ensuring you avoid customs penalties and delays.


What language should be used on international trade documentation?

Ideally, you should use the customer’s own language on his invoice, but this is not always practical. English is used increasingly throughout the world, and invoices written in English alone will be accepted in many countries. However, the destination country’s culture must guide your decision, and for some destination countries the invoice must be produced in that country’s own language.


Need completion of a consular invoice or certificate?

Some destination countries require completion of a consular invoice or certificate (a standard form authenticated by the destination country) – usually in addition to your standard commercial invoice. You must normally present the consular invoice to the destination country’s UK embassy before shipping the goods.


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