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The Export Shipping Documentation Process

David Noah | December 8, 2021 | Export Basics, Export Forms

In a previous article, I explained the purpose of several common export documents and the information they typically include. This article expands on that discussion and explains how to use them in the export shipping documentation process.

Here’s how they work together:

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What Is a Bill of Lading: 3 Things You Need to Know

David Noah | September 27, 2021 | Export Forms

Are you a new exporter looking for a primer on bills of lading? Or maybe you’re at the opposite end of the spectrum—a seasoned professional seeking a reference or training tool.

Either way, this article is for you! We’ll explain, in simple terms, three things you need to know about the bill of lading form.

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11 Documents Required for International Shipping

David Noah | September 8, 2021 | Export Forms

You’ve heard people talk about how to do the sexy part of exporting—the research, the schmoozing, the travel and all the marketing and sales stuff that people think about when they think about the glamour of international trade.

But what I want to talk about is the not-so-sexy part of exporting: the basic export documents required for international shipping. It’s the stuff you need to do—and do correctly—to successfully deliver goods and make money. I’d argue that this not-so-sexy part of exporting is more important than the sexier side but maybe that’s just because it’s what I’ve been focusing on for more than 25 years.

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How to Complete an Electronic Certificate of Origin

David Noah | August 23, 2021 | Export Forms

As an exporter, you've probably been asked by your international customer for a certificate of origin to identify where your goods have been manufactured. In most cases, the customs authority in the country of import requires a generic certificate of origin that has been stamped by a chamber of commerce.

For years, the only option for exporters was to provide a paper version of the form that they had to deliver or courier to a chamber of commerce office to be reviewed and, hopefully, stamped. It was an expensive and time-consuming process.

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The Chamber of Commerce and Export Documents: The Certificate of Origin

David Noah | August 16, 2021 | Export Basics, Export Forms

In my first article in this series, I discussed the role chambers of commerce play in exporting.

In this article, I'm focusing on one of the most useful services a chamber of commerce provides to exporters: export documents. Specifically, their role in helping you create a certificate of origin.

We spoke with Wendy Baggett, a certificate of origin guru and former president and CEO of a national chamber of commerce, to find out what exporters need to know about that process.

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Proforma vs. Commercial Invoice: What’s the Difference?

David Noah | April 7, 2021 | Export Basics, Export Forms

A typical export process includes the use of both the proforma and commercial invoices. Shippers who don’t know better may think the two forms are interchangeable—but they’re not.

In this article, we’ll examine the differences between the proforma and the commercial invoice and the role each form plays in an export shipment.

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When Can You Throw Away Your Export Documents?

David Noah | February 24, 2021 | Export Compliance, Export Forms

Ever get in one of those moods where you’re ready to toss every single page from every single stack of paper sitting in a filing cabinet or bookshelf? Me too. But if you’re an exporter, you shouldn’t be too quick to throw away your export documentation.

Although it may seem like a headache to keep all your paperwork, there are quite a few rules regarding export document retention. If you do toss your export paperwork without paying attention to those rules, you could be in for an even bigger headache.

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Getting Paid for Your Exports: Required  Documents

Catherine J. Petersen | February 8, 2021 | Export Forms

What's the point of exporting if you don't get paid for your goods? Providing the correct export documents will help ensure you get paid in a timely manner.

The export quotation is often the first document you'll need to prepare.

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The Chamber of Commerce Role in Exporting

David Noah | February 1, 2021 | Export Basics, Export Forms

You've probably heard of a chamber of commerce—these private organizations have an easy-to-remember name. But what do you really know about the role chambers play in exporting?

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FAQ: Creating a Certificate of Free Sale for Your Exports

David Noah | January 27, 2021 | Export Forms

Successful exporters understand how important it is to properly complete and provide the required export paperwork. The export documents you may need for a particular shipment vary depending on where you are exporting, how you are transporting the goods and what you are shipping.

The Certificate of Free Sale is one export form you may need to provide. It provides assurance to the customs authority of the importing country that the items listed on the certificate are the same items that are manufactured in the United States and sold here without restriction, and that they presumably meet all state and federal laws and regulations. It provides that assurance because the form is certified by a U.S.-based chamber of commerce. Some countries may require a certificate from a government agency such as the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for certain products.

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