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Extrans Global - What are the most frequent shipping documents?

🔹Shipping documents are essential documents that are basically required in import and export trade transactions.

🔹It includes all documents delivered for the purpose of receiving payment for goods in relation to trade transactions.

🔹The most frequently used types of shipping documents include bills of lading, insurance policies, commercial invoices, and packing lists. In addition, if necessary documents are requested depending on the country, a certificate of origin or inspection certificate is attached.


1. B/L

B/L (Bill of Lading)

B/L is a document that certifies the receipt or shipment of cargo according to the transport contract and documents the right to claim delivery of the product.

Securities that promise to deliver the cargo to the rightful holder of the securities at the designated port or airport of destination, transported according to the conditions stated in the securities.

This is issued by the shipping company at the request of the shipper, and in the case of HOUSE B/L, it is issued by the forwarding company.

B/L has the effect of real rights and bonds, and is a negotiable securities that can be transferred according to endorsement.


2. CI & PL

2-1. CI

C/I (Commercial Invoice)

C/I is a transaction statement sent by the seller (exporter) to the buyer (importer).

The terms and conditions of the transaction contract are mainly described, such as product name, quantity, unit price, and payment terms.

Through C/I, it is an important data for calculating the taxable amount of customs duties and taxes on imported goods.

In addition, in the case of bill of exchange payment, C/I is a required document when purchasing a bill of exchange at an exporting bank.


2-2. PL

P/L (Packing List)

P/L refers to a document that describes details of packaging.

Therefore, the quantity and contents list in the package, net weight, gross weight, and product specifications are mainly listed.

It serves as a supplement to the commercial invoice and most often does not include a price.

P/L is also used as data for customs clearance or product confirmation in case of cargo accident.


3. I/P

I/P (Insurance Policy)

I/P is a document proving the establishment of an insurance contract in trade transactions and is issued upon request by the insured.

When exporting, an insurance policy is required when the price condition is CIF or CIP condition.

When proceeding with a letter of credit, the amount requested in the letter of credit must be insured, the minimum insured amount is 110% of the invoice amount (CIF), and the insured date must be before the shipment date on the B/L.


4. Certificate of Origin

C/O (Certificate of Origin)

An official document proving that an item is authentically produced or manufactured in that country.

It is usually issued by the importing country's consulate in the exporting country or the exporting country's chamber of commerce.

This is to prove that the goods imported through C/O satisfy the origin criteria set forth in the Free Trade Agreement (FTA).

In addition, through this, it is submitted in order to be applied Conventional Tariff, which is relatively lower than the National Tariff in the importing country.

Alternatively, importing countries require it for anti-dumping or foreign exchange management, and there are cases in which laws and regulations require submission of C/O.

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