Important Documents You Can’t Forget While Getting Your Products Shipped to US
August 6, 2015
You’re in the big leagues now – shipping your finished products to the US in something bigger than an envelope.
While an eager market ten times the size of this one can seem heaven-sent, remember that there are only three certainties in life: death, taxes, and paperwork. You will certainly need plenty of the latter when using courier services in Toronto to ship to the US.
So, should you leave all the documentation to your freight forwarder? Even if you do turn this task over, it’s still good to know what important documents will be required to get your products across the border successfully.
Your International Shipping Documents
- Commercial invoice: This is the primary document used for reporting because it outlines how much your buyer is expected to pay for your goods, so it’s a true representation of value and therefore useful for calculating any customs duties.
- NAFTA Certificate of Origin: Whether you’re old enough to remember Meech Lake or not, the historic accord between Canada, Mexico and the United States means that if your shipments qualify, your products will enter the country duty-free! This certificate provides proof.
- Bill of Lading: This document lists exactly what you are shipping to the US and specifies the transport terms. It also acts as a receipt for the goods and a title document proving that its owner has title to the goods. For shipping on the high seas, there are actually two different types of Bills: a straight bill of lading and a negotiable one. As the name implies, a negotiable bill of lading can be bought, sold or traded while the goods are still on the ship; customers looking to purchase such a bill should ensure they receive an original copy to avoid problems at port later.
- Air Waybill: This will come into play when shipping your freight by air.
- Certificate of origin: This form may be required over and above the commercial invoice, to prove the origin of your export item
- Inspection certificate: Depending on what and where you are shipping, a third party inspection may be required from an independent testing organization to verify the specs of the shipment
- Dock/warehouse receipt: When shipping by liner, this is your receipt when the courier services in Toronto domestic carrier moves your goods to the port of embarkation, all ready for its ocean voyage.
- Shipper’s Export Declaration (SED) must be prepared for shipments through USPS if the value of the contents is over $500, or over $2500 if not using the postal service.
- Export packing list: Itemizes what is in each individual package, along with its dimensions, weight and measurements…extra proof for picky US Customs agents that you are shipping what you claim to be.
Remember, if you are shipping specialty items like dangerous goods, perishables, or certain types of equipment, additional Customs forms may be needed.
Looking for a Reliable Courier Service for Your Business?
At Power Link Expedite, we assist countless businesses achieve their needs through our state-of-the-art technology, experienced drivers, and high quality customer service. For over 15 years, we have shipped items large and small across the GTA, Canada and to the US.
For more information about how we can help you, visit our website to learn more about our services, or contact us to request a quote, and step up your game to offer quality courier services like the biggest players.