The International Trade Blog Export Forms
How to Complete a Shipper's Letter of Instruction (video)
On: September 5, 2018 | By: Lisa Nemer | 2 min. read
Shipping Solutions export documentation and compliance software includes two types of Shipper's Letters of Instruction (SLI).
One type of SLI is used as a cover letter to convey specific instructions from the exporter to the agent, usually an international freight forwarder. The second type of SLI is used to provide to your freight forwarder all the information needed to file your Electronic Export Information (EEI) with AESDirect.
Welcome to Shipping Solutions export documentation and compliance software. Shipping Solutions includes two types of Shipper’s Letters of Instruction or SLIs. The first type is used as a cover letter to convey specific instructions from the exporter to the agent, usually an international freight forwarder. The second type of SLI is used to provide to your freight forwarder all the information needed to file your Electronic Export Information with AESDirect. This video shows you how to do both types of SLIs.
To complete the cover letter version of the SLI, go to the EZ Start screen, create a new shipment, and then click the Contacts screen to enter the parties involved in this shipment. The Exporter, Ultimate Consignee, Freight Forwarder, and Intermediate Consignee (if there is one) are shown on the SLI. If you have commonly used contacts stored in Shipping Solutions, you can click Add Contact from Database. Or, if you use the Shipping Solutions Data Exchange Manager or DXM, you can pull the contact information from your accounting or ERP system.
Next, enter the line items in the shipment on the Product Detail screen. You can click Add Product from Database if you have the information stored in Shipping Solutions, or you can pull the line items in using the DXM. I have entered three line items in this shipment.
Enter your transportation method, such as air or vessel, on the Carriers and Ports screen, and enter your Incoterm and shipment date on the Invoices screen.
The rest of the items for this version of the SLI are entered on the Shipper’s Letter of Instruction screen. You can see fields such as whether insurance is required and any special instructions you have for the forwarder.
To take a look at the document, click the Preview/Print/Email button and then click Preview.
The second type of SLI can be given to your freight forwarder to file through AESDirect on your behalf. Although Shipping Solutions makes it easy for companies to file their Electronic Export Information or EEI themselves, some still prefer to let their freight forwarder file for them. The SLI in NCBFAA format can be used for that purpose and is the format recommended by the National Customs Brokers and Forwarders Association of America.
Please be aware that you can outsource the responsibility for your AES filings, but not the liability. You should always request a copy of the AES filing from your forwarder to confirm its accuracy.
To create the document, enter the Contacts and Products the same way that you did for the first SLI. Enter the date on the Invoices screen, and the special instructions for your forwarder on the Shipper’s Letter of Instruction screen. Then, enter the information specific to AES filing on the EEI screen. On this screen, you can see fields like Date of Export, Filing Option, and a check box to authorize your forwarder to file on your behalf.
To take a look at the document, we can click the Preview/Print/Email button and click Preview.
For more information give us a call at 888-890-7447 or visit our website. Thank you for watching!
About the Author: Lisa Nemer
Lisa Nemer leads the customer service and finance teams at Shipping Solutions, a software company that develops and sells export document and compliance software targeted specifically at small and mid-sized U.S. companies that export. If you have ever called Shipping Solutions with a question or problem you've probably talked to Lisa! Prior to joining Shipping Solutions, Lisa spent 14 years in finance and technology-related jobs for a Fortune 500 company in Minneapolis.