Shipping: Documentation Documents
Documentation must be precise because slight discrepancies or omissions may prevent merchandise from being exported, may result in nonpayment, or may even result in the seizure of the exporter’s goods by U.S. or foreign customs officials. Collection documents are subject to precise time limits and may not be honored by a bank if the time has expired. Most documentation is routine for freight forwarders and customs brokers, but as the exporter, you are ultimately responsible for the accuracy of the necessary documents.
The number and kinds of documents that the exporter must deal with vary according to the destination of the shipment. Because each country has different import regulations, the exporter must be careful to provide all proper documentation. Remember to contact your local U.S. Commercial Service office for up-to-date foreign import information.