When I first talk to exporters frustrated by the amount of time it takes to complete their export documentation, they often tell me they can spend two hours or more on every single shipment. If they have multiple export orders to ship, the time they have left to do any other part of their job is virtually nil.
A typical export shipment can require five or more documents including a commercial invoice, a packing list, a shipper’s letter of instruction, a bill of lading, and a certificate of origin. On top of that, a shipment valued at more than $2,500 per Schedule B code needs to be filed electronically through the Automated Export System (AES). And, of course, every shipment, regardless of value, needs to be screened against U.S. export regulations.
It’s easy to see why it can take so long!