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7 point import export trade data checklist

It might be confusing for new import export data to understand the principles of international transportation. We've had our fair share of interactions with importers and exporters. This comprises seasoned shippers as well as aspiring entrepreneurs entering the maritime freight industry for the first time. Unsurprisingly, importers and exporters prefer shipping as their preferred method of cargo transportation because it accounts for almost 90% of global trade. It does, however, have its share of complications.


We'll outline the most fundamental elements of global trade in this post's export checklist, which you may use to prepare for your first export. These comprise a few of the most frequently raised queries and errors made by novice exporters. 


You can perhaps lessen the likelihood of an unforeseen delay and additional charges by using this export checklist.

  1. EORI Number 1

Economic Operator Registration and Identification is what EORI stands for. It enables tracking of imports and exports inside the European Union by the various customs departments. In order to facilitate quick identification by customs, it is typically assigned to specific legal identities. You must have the EORI if you are importing or exporting to or from the EU. Send an application to the customs officials of the nation where you are established to apply.


Note: you can get an EORI number even if your firm isn't registered. The number is accessible to both sole proprietors and individuals.


Be aware that the EORI and the VAT are not the same. The EORI helps with customs services by identifying you as a company operator, whereas the VAT number is for taxes. If your business is VAT-registered, you ought to already be in possession of an EORI number. In that case, you can always reapply at the customs office.


Visit the EU Taxation and Customs Union page for further details about EORI.

2. Incoterm

An incoterm is defined. The International Chamber of Commerce has produced a collection of pre-established international norms known as Incoterms. They choose the legal provisions that are included in international commercial sales contracts. The incoterm establishes who is accountable for the cargo and its costs at each stage of the international transport process, to put it simply. 


During the maritime transport procedure, certain obligations are taken on by one side or another, depending on the incoterm selected.


Note: Be sure you are familiar with the many incoterms accessible. Learn how to select an incoterm that works for your shipment, your budget, and the obligations you are willing and able to take on.


Don't forget to check off this item on your export checklist. If you're still unsure, ask your freight forwarder for guidance.

3. Loading/unloading of shipments

Depending on whether you have a Less than Container Load (LCL) or Full Container Load (FCL) shipment, there are different loading/unloading procedures. Each requires a distinct technique for removing the load. When dealing with an LCL, you should determine whether special procedures, such as a lifting platform to collect your cargo, are required. 


Note: to account for the finite amount of time allotted for the loading and unloading of your goods when using FCLs. This fluctuates from shipment to shipment.


The standard working time we have with our suppliers at iContainers is two to three hours. While this would seem like more than enough time, it's very uncommon for first-time exporters to go over this time limit by an hour, incurring detention fines. This is frequently the result of improper packing of the goods or failure to address the needs for loading and unloading their cargo.


Palletizing your products is advised, and having a forklift at the ready will hasten container loading. Once these preparations are complete, packing a 20-foot or 40-foot container shouldn't take longer than 1 hour and 1.5 hours, respectively.


Note: Going over your allotted time could cost you a fortune. Here's how to prevent being charged for delays.

4. Documentation.

One of the most important components of the process of international shipment is documentation. Exporters need a precise set of documentation. Others rely on the kind of goods you're exporting and/or the nation you're exporting to. Documents that are more frequently used include:

5. VAT statement: 

The EU has specific VAT regulations that differ by nation. Nevertheless, bear in mind that VAT shouldn't be added to exports to non-EU nations.

Baggage list: Each package's contents are listed on the packing sheet for your shipment. This covers both weight and size.


This must be as accurate as possible since it will be declared to customs. 

Inaccuracies in the packing list could cause delays and/or withdrawals in the event of an inspection. Make sure you understand how to properly fill out a packing list.


Letter of authorization for customs clearance: For all shipments, customs typically demands a permission letter from the recipient.

As indicated earlier, depending on your goods and location, you could need more specialised documents. For instance, a phytosanitary certificate is necessary for commodities connected to plants, and a certificate of origin is necessary for exports to specific nations with which preferential trade agreements have been made.


When scheduling your shipment, be sure to let your freight forwarder know whether you need these certifications. At Seair Exim Solution, you have the choice of our help in getting these credentials.


Note: Remember to double-check the necessary paperwork. Certain documents may be required, which could cause delays and additional fees at customs.

6. Bill of Lading 

The Bill of Lading (B/L) for your goods is comparable to an airline ticket for a passenger. However, it is essential to have precise knowledge of the Bill of Lading. Now include this on your export checklist!


With the supplied data, the transportation companies produce a draft of the B/L. The exporter's responsibility includes verifying that the information listed is accurate. First-time exporters frequently overlook how crucial it is to review and double-check each and every detail on the B/L. If you're hesitant, read How to Fill Out a Bill of Lading first.


Note: Modifying a B/L after it has been issued may incur charges.

7. Duration of your overseas transportation

We are aware of the thrill associated with facing your first export. However, we urge you to learn more about the various tariffs, dates, and any unique requirements for your shipment before finishing your export. This should be done a month before your intended shipping date.


It's best to hire a freight forwarding agency at least one week beforehand (or two, if possible). When it comes to any resulting time modifications and delays, this will give you greater options.


Note: Reaching out to your freight forwarder early allows you to select from a greater selection of sailing and price possibilities.

  • Seair Exim
  • 05-Aug-2022

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