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Packing List

Download and print this PDF of a Packing List for use with your exports.

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What is a Packing List?


While a packing list is not required by customs authorities in most countries, it is an important document in the export process.

The packing list may be used by the freight forwarder to prepare a bill of lading for the ocean or air carrier and to understand how much room is needed for the cargo. It may be used by banks as a supporting document presented for payment under a letter of credit or other payment terms. It may be used by U.S. Customs and Border Protection as well as by the customs authority in the country of import for compliance and duty liability.

A packing list is also used as a supporting document in the event of a dispute between the carrier and the exporter regarding the measurement and weight of the cargo.

Key Data Elements

In addition to including the basic details about the international transaction, the packing list will include:

  • The name and contact information of the exporter and ultimate consignee.
  • Details of which items appear in each of the packing containers.
  • Weight and measurements of each packing container.
  • Any marks and numbers including a container number and seal number if appropriate.
  • The total number of pieces and weight and measures of the entire shipment.
  • Any special instructions or additional information that is important for the shipment.

How to Create a Packing List for Your Exports

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