The main objectives of this learning unit are to learn about different types
of documents used in International trade (import and export), which documents are usually required
by customs, the requirements for various documents and how
to fill in these documents correctly.
In this unit you will: learn about the various types of documents used in
This will be achieved by:
- Analyzing the various classifications and requirements of export documents.
- Learning what functions export documents perform.
- Learning the different types of documents of origin that evidence the origin of
- Analyzing the various commercial and administrative documents.
- Examining other documents that may be required in International business transactions.
Example of the learning unit Import export documents:
Most International trade transactions require some transport documents, administrative documents, commercial documents and
insurance documents. There are a great variety of documents that may need to be
produced to complete export/import transactions; some estimates indicate 200 different documents are used in
foreign trade. However, in most export transactions, only a few certain documents are used (invoice, packing list and transport document.).
Documents fulfill the following functions:
- Proof of contract. Documents such as transport documents (bill of lading), insurance documents, etc. Evidence the existence of
contracts of sale and conditions stipulated there.
- Title to the products. Certain transport documents represent title to
the products, that is, they give the right to collect the products from the carrier
(just as a bank draft gives you the right to collect funds against the drawer).
- Information. Certain documents provide information on the
price for the
products (invoice), the contents of package
units (packing list), etc.
- Customs. The customs of the country of destination require documents
that evidence the origin of the products, etc. In order to establish whether the
products are importable to the country and in order to charge appropriate taxes and
- Proof of compliance. Certain documents serve as proof that the conditions stipulated in the contract of sale are complied with, such as date of shipment (transport documents), the origin of the
products (Certificate of origin), etc.
DOCUMENTS OF ORIGIN
The objective of these documents is to show where the products originated. Therefore, they play an important role in order to establish the taxes and duties to be
paid on the products at the customs. One must find out what type of document exactly is required at the customs in order to be able to benefit from possible reduced tariffs.