Export Documents

Commercial Invoice

Commercial invoice presents all the details of export dealing in its entirely including the shipping terms when the international sale is done and cargos are equipped to be shipped out. Commercial invoice is considered as one of the main documents since it provides critical information and instructions to all parties involved such as import broker, buyer, freight forwarder and so forth.

Pro Forma Invoice

This document could be used as an offering for sale or price quotation. In addition, the exporter prepare this invoice before shipping the goods, informing the buyer that the goods to be sent and other statements.

Shipping Order

Confirming a shipment’s booking on a vessel is the document that is by the carrier and it’s called a shipping order. This document includes the location of the empty container to pick up. A shipping order also includes information on booking detail such as the time of sailing or the vessel number.

Bill of Lading (BL)

The contract between the owner of the goods and the carrier is called the bill of lading which is used in international shipment. Mostly, the bill of lading is the first common document. The information that includes in this document is about what goods are shipping, where they are going and where the shipment started. Moreover, the carrier serves the bill of lading as a receipt issued once the shipment is picked up.

Certificate of Origin (CO)

Certificate of Origin is the kind of document that manufacturer prepares and it certified by chamber of commerce or government entity. The usage of this document is to identify the country of the manufacturer where the goods were made.

Packing List

All the information about how the goods were packed, how they are numbered and weight/height dimensions could be included in a packing list. This is a document that lists all the goods being shipping.


One of the important part of incoterms is dedicated to inspection. The responsibility of providing the inspection is by the supplier. In some conditions, the buyer is unwilling to have it or the volume of the loading is not considerable, in this case, the supplier is not in charge anymore.

Certificate of Analysis (COA)

To be assured that a regulate product faces its product specification, certificate of analysis comes up which is one of the export documents. The actual result of testing that presents the quality control of each product is included in certificate of analysis.

House Bill of Lading

House bill of lading is called as a bill of lading issued by a freight forwarder or NVOCC. As soon as after receiving cargo from shipper and after customs formalities, the House Bill of Lading is released by freight forwarder to the shipper. Furthermore, House Bill of Lading is considered as a negotiable document and accepted similar to any Bill of Lading.

Original Bill of Lading

This document is a contract of carriage which work on as a title of the cargo as well as confirmation of the carrier’s receipt of the cargo. The time that an export is carried out, the Bill of Lading can be in the form of a physical hard copy of the document known as the Original Bill of Lading.

Switch Bill of Lading (SBL)

The second set of bill of lading which might be issued by the carrier or their agent in case of “substituting” or “in exchange of” the first set of bill of lading originally issued when the shipment was effected, is called A Switch Bill of Lading. Generally, customers require this document in four different situations:

  • When the original conditions have been changed;
  • When the seller is reluctant about revealing the actual name of exporter to the consignee in case the consignee has set up strike to deal directly with the exporter;
  • cargo has been resold and the port accordingly has changed;
  • The seller doesn’t tend to know the buyer to know the actual country of origin of the cargo, therefore he requests some other port to be shown as the one the cargo was loaded from.

Certificate of Quality and Quantity by Third Party Inspector

An export document that is called Certification of Quality and Quantity is related to a third-part inspector who is in charge of confirming the quality of products. The third party inspector ought to confirms that a standardized product meets its product specification. The actual results which is taken from testing performed in the processes of quality control of each product, are included in this export document.