Logistics & Supply Chain Management

International Documentary Formalities

If you export, you will have to comply with additional documentary requirements.

Customs Clearance

If you are importing or exporting you may need assistance with customs clearance. As indicated in The ExportersAlmanac – Logistics - Customs Brokers can provide all the information and services you need to cover your import\export customs clearance requirements – so you don’t have to worry about this.

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Export\Import Documentation

As a first step, if exporting, your buyer should be able to tell you what their requirements are. However, you can also check the relevant requirements with:

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Product Packaging and Labelling

Any goods exported will be subject to the labelling and packaging regulations of the importing country. Therefore, these must be agreed with the importer before concluding any contract and exporting the goods concerned.


Export Shipping Packaging and Marking

Export packages need to be properly marked and labelled to meet shipping regulations, ensure proper handling, conceal the identity of the contents, and help receivers identify shipments. The buyer usually specifies export marks that should appear on the cargo, e.g.:

  • Mark containers legibly to prevent misunderstandings and delays in shipping.
  • Stencil lettering onto packages in waterproof ink.
  • Markings should appear on three faces of the package -- on the top and on the two ends or the two sides.
  • Old markings must be completely removed.


Product Packaging and Labelling

Any goods exported will be subject to the labelling and packaging regulations of the importing country. Therefore, these must be agreed with the importer before concluding any contract and exporting the goods concerned.


General Considerations

Exported goods face greater physical risks in transit than domestic shipments. They are more vulnerable to breakage, theft, and damage. At some ports, goods may still be loaded or unloaded in a net or by a sling, conveyor, chute, or other method, putting added strain on the package. In the hold, goods might be stacked atop each other or bump sharply against other goods in transit. Overseas, handling facilities may not be up to domestic standards, so the cargo might be dragged, pushed, rolled, or dropped. Moisture from condensation is also a danger, even if the ship’s hold is equipped with air conditioning and a dehumidifier. The cargo also might be unloaded in the rain. Some foreign ports do not have covered storage facilities.

To minimise problems:

  • Use strong, reinforced boxes or crates to pack the goods. Seal and fill with lightweight, moisture-resistant material. Distribute the weight evenly to brace the container.
  • To deter theft, use strapping, seals, or shrink wrapping where possible.
  • Don't list the contents or show brand names on the outside of the packages.
  • For sea shipments, containerise your cargo whenever possible.
  • For air shipments, you can use lighter weight packing, but still take precautions.


For more details see: The ExportersAlmanac Packaging and Labelling

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