Common Import / Export Documents

Start your day with Continental breakfast, Moroccan Couscous for the Lunch Hour, and finish off with a Chinese take-away for Dinner. Everyone fancies a versatile food-day. In today’s global world, people want to relish food items from all around the world. They like to share their mealtimes on Social Media, create small digital stories with the different types of gourmet from a diverse variety of countries. Food Industry has given meaning to the term GLOCAL in the real sense by exporting/importing the Local foods on a Universal scale. People want to eat their Olives from California, Mangoes from Pakistan, Pasta from Italy, Spices from India, and the list goes on. The industry that serves the international edible needs requires documentation. We have jotted down a listing for your comfort so that you can check the list when you are exporting your items or importing those.

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These papers are of following natures:

  1. Lading Bill

    is a paper requirement of the Government, which is a signed contract between carrier and seller. It is to emphasize the Cargo procedures, which include goods type, destination, origin, and it serves as a receipt. The shipping company compiles this document with the help of Exporter. It also comes with waybills of airways or

  2. Commercial Invoice

    is another obligation, produced by the Exporter to interpret the complete transaction from start to end. It includes essential information for each party involved in the process. These parties are banks, brokers, customs, shippers, and importer.

  3. The Export Packing List

    that allows authorities to know precisely what is in the container you are sending. It contains a piece of detailed information about which product is being exported, the quantity, the packaging… It is a mandatory document when shipping your product as it permits to customs, insurance and other partners to clearly evaluate the value of the transported goods and protects you as well when goods are missing at arrival or from any other inconvenient that might cause losing products before it gets to your client.

  4. Certificates of Origin

    , Manufacturer, and Inspections come in Food items are perishable; this credential ensures Quality and Quantity. Traders need to declare the origin as many countries have restrictions in place, and the importing authorities need to verify the source. Production certification requires a notarized paper depicting the Manufacturer’s details to make sure the product is ready for shipment.

  5. The Health Certificate

    is a document delivered by the competent authorities. It officially certifies the quality of the product. It is a crucial document, as countries do not have the same standards when it comes to quality, origin and ways the products have been manipulated. Indeed, before entering a country, the authorities need to make sure that your product is allowed in it and won’t breach the norms.

  6. Insurance

    papers are generally the insurance policy for the goods on-board. One needs to buy Insurance to prevent any significant losses or to take care of the liability. It needs to list down the specifications of the product, the extent of coverage, and proof of Insurance to satisfy buyers or the host country. The Exporter could produce this with the help of a broker, or the Insurance Company can issue the report to provide security of the goods in

  7. Commercial Demand Note

    or the Invoice is the reflection of the Sales Contract, which shows the agreement between both parties. The details contain Payment Conditions, Goods Sold, and the Trade Terms. The importer will use it for Customs’ clearance, and the document provides a legal binding for the Exporter. It is best to consult your legal advisor beforehand to work on this vital

  8. Quotation. of Terms is the detail of delivery, payment, import, export, quality, quantity, and price of the products shipped. The seller is to cultivate a Quotation before actually starting the process, and it is roughly the first step of the trade

  9. Letter of Credit

    is a Bank’s guarantee to the Exporter to pay the decided amount and to emphasize on the satisfactory completion of essential documentation. This financial document secures both parties involved in the

If you have closed a sale/purchase successfully and are getting the documents ready for the process, the list mentioned above will sort you out. Some countries might require other documents.

How to choose freight solutions for export?

Exports business could turn tricky if you don’t get your shipments right, and things could go south quickly. You should choose the appropriate freight solution for trading internationally by considering the following tips.

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Prepare well

When you visit freight forwarder, and you have no homework with you, it will waste a lot of time and effort. You need to identify your objectives and research your industry niche. Decide which form of transportation and the size of the shipment you are going to require. You should chart out the job-specific services that your task demands. You must research the export treaties and other obligations as are necessary for your exporting business. Also, verify if the freight forwarder is authentic and registered with the relevant organizations. A company should always plan the required speed of delivery and cost of service, including the options of rail, sea, roads, and air.



Consider your options

There are many factors when transporting merchandise internationally. Freight rates, or the infrastructure costs like warehouses and the way-fare, play the deciding factor. Price impacts your decision, but one should not always go for the cheapest possible option, instead find value for money. The face-price might be more affordable, but when all the additional services, some of which are essential, are considered, then the process might be expensive. You should not fall for the asking price, and due research is what you must conduct, and this is how you choose freight solutions for export.

Arranging the right documents using a software

Many software is available in the market to do this task for you. When you need to confirm whether you have arranged all the necessary documents and those are typo-free, you can use the digital tools to save time. These apps/tools also enable you to email directly from the interface. Screening the package against the export regulations in place is possible as well. It would help you avoid the penalties. Using computer tools for exports is an excellent strategy. If you are using software for the surface work, you will choose the freight solution without much trouble and lesser costs.



The reputation of the freight service

Use your corporate network to gain knowledge of the reputation the freight service provider possesses. You could check their website for reviews, but it is always best to use your reference to conduct the research. Once you have determined that the transporter has the right reputation in the market, you could decide easily. The legitimate freight solution company would be able to provide you testimonies from their respected clientele. Additionally, their licensing documents and registration certificates could guide you as well.



Choose one with experience in your field

The freight solution, you are going to choose, needs to be professional and expert in handling the goods of your business. The food industry, for instance, could be a naïve field for the general shipment services. The products are perishable and delicate, which would require a skilful shipment. Take a look at the freight solutions your competitors are using. Best of luck!

Managing Exports Risk In The Food Industry

If the Chinese Yuan weakens relative to India Rupee (INR), import of Chinese toys in India becomes relatively cheaper and therefore adversely affects the sales of Indian toy manufacturer.

Many businesses are going global! The expansion of any enterprise has not entirely flourished without indulging in the export function. There could be many reasons for exporting your products, ranging from better prices & more significant margins to market niche & business share. Whatever your reasons are for the export business, you need to be prepared for the jittery wind along the way. It has high risks of transportation, demographics, cultures, stereotypes, laws, and lack of time management for every industry. It is imperative to manage those risks to grow your business through exports.

As far as the food industry is concerned, many developing nations largely depend on their food exports. With high dependence comes excellent preparation! They need to ensure food safety and quality, meaning their items should reach their buyers in the global economy as per their standards. Keeping the global supply chain intact and every country playing its part by maintaining food control measures can manage it. If it is a balanced fit between industries and the Government, then the risk factor is minimized.

Budgeting is an export-risk factor. It depends on foreign currencies that keep fluctuating. A company’s budget could see an incline or decline based on the rapid variation of forex rates. However, in reality, the currency fluctuations even impacts companies with no dealing in international markets. For instance, a domestic toy manufacturer, who is competing with traders importing toys from China, is also exposed to fluctuations in the prices of Chinese Yuan (CNY). If the Chinese Yuan weakens relative to India Rupee (INR), import of Chinese toys in India becomes relatively cheaper and therefore adversely affects the sales of Indian toy manufacturer.

The other types of risks involved with exports can be either related to payment, transportation, customs procedures, or insurance …

However, in reality, the currency fluctuations even impacts companies with no dealing in international markets. For instance, a domestic toy manufacturer, who is competing with traders importing toys from China, is also exposed to fluctuations in the prices of Chinese Yuan (CNY). If the Chinese Yuan weakens relative to India Rupee (INR), import of Chinese toys in India becomes relatively cheaper and therefore adversely affects the sales of Indian toy manufacturer.

If you export the product without clearing the debt first, there is the risk of non-payment. Especially when you are dealing with new clients with no prior credibility, it is best to receive cash in your account before supplying. In the case of a regular client, you may afford to take such small-scale risks based on previous experiences.

“What if your client refuses to pay you the amount before receiving the product?”

Credit sales constitute a significant risk involved in the export industry. If you shipped a container of grains, for instance, on a 20 days’ credit, and the party refuses to lift stock from the shipment yard due to any given circumstances. This interruption will delay the payments and disrupt your cycle of debts. There could also be a scenario where your client claims the delivered product is unsatisfactory; hence, the fee is not cleared in time. We can not emotionally or morally influence the buyer in export business, whether it is only the food industry or as a whole. However, if it was a local customer, we could set up a real meeting in an instance and resolve the issue.

What if your client refuses to pay you the amount before receiving the product? Many people in the trading business and particularly in the food industry use a Letter of Credit. This document is a financial instrument that is secure for both sides without any risk. The payment mechanism in the export business usually revolves around the Letter of Credit. We can manage this export risk efficiently by using this instrument.

There are many risk factors, but if one learns how to overcome them or manage them, rest is only a heavenly story. Generally, all industries face risks, and the food industry is no different. The only thing that matters the most is the management of those risks. You could manage them by avoiding credit, introducing a stable exchange policy, ensuring safer financial instruments, and maintaining the highest level of quality.

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Ali Iftikhar

Ali Iftikhar

Ali Iftikhar is a Blogger from Pakistan and a Sales Manager with the experience spanning over a decade.

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