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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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How to Use the Fillable Commercial Invoice for Exports

David Noah | December 16, 2020 | Export Forms

For exporters shipping their products internationally, a commercial invoice is one of the most important documents completed in the export journey. This legal document is required to accompany your exports for customs clearance, duties and taxes purposes.

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The Pros and Cons of Creating Your Own Export Shipping Forms

Hubspot System | November 30, 2020 | Export Forms

How much time are you willing to waste today?

If you think that's a ridiculous question—but you're still searching for or creating your own export form templates—this article is for you. You may be underestimating the time and effort it costs to create your own export documents.

Here is a list of pros and cons to help you decide if the do-it-yourself route is profitable, or if you'd save time, money and hassle with an off-the-shelf software product.

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U.S. Origin Invoice Declaration for Exports to Israel

David Noah | November 2, 2020 | Export Forms

For years, exports from the United States to Israel would include the green U.S. Certificate of Origin for Exports to Israel form if the goods qualified under the rules of origin of the free trade agreement (FTA). As of April 2018, not only is that form no longer required—it is no longer allowed.

Instead, U.S. exporters or producers of qualifying goods must sign the new U.S. Origin Invoice Declaration. This declaration must appear on a commercial document—typically the commercial invoice.

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3 Keys for Correctly Preparing Your Export Proforma Invoice

David Noah | October 14, 2020 | Export Forms

The proforma invoices you use for your exports are quotations prepared to resemble commercial invoices. They lead your negotiation process, and if they are correct, the final commercial invoice you prepare for your buyer will closely resemble the proforma.

As straightforward as these documents appear, it’s important to carefully complete the document, paying special attention to these three things:

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3 Mistakes Exporters Make That Stunt Their Growth

David Noah | September 28, 2020 | Export Compliance, Export Forms

At Shipping Solutions, we talk to dozens of exporters each week who are looking for information and help to grow their exports. These people typically recognize that something in their export process is broken, and they want to find a way to fix it.

But too often these people become frustrated by the pushback they get from their company leadership, their co-workers, or even their freight forwarders or customers when they try to implement changes. It reminds me of a well-known anecdote about collective behavior that illustrates how difficult change can be:

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