If you’re shipping internationally with your Chicago courier service for the first time, there is one message that they are going to be sure to try and communicate to you as strongly as possible. This is, that you are going to need to make sure that you have all your paperwork and documentation in order before your shipment ever leaves your facility. Failing to do so can create a delay that is going to potentially create a very large problem for your organization.
When you’re shipping across an international border, it is very important that you do your best to work closely with your courier company to stay informed about what sort of documentation you are going to need to ship your goods. The reason it is impossible to simply predict exactly what paperwork you are going to require in a single article is because this can change. Depending on what countries you are shipping too, and the nature of the goods you are shipping, you may need different permits and paperwork for every single shipment that you send out. Working with an experienced international courier company is the way you can learn what documents you need to have with every shipment, ensuring that any delays you encounter are not due to insufficient paperwork.
There are certain documents which you are going to need for every shipment though, so at a bare minimum you need to make sure that you include this paperwork with every order that you plan to send across a border. The BOL and the invoice are the two most basic requirements of every international shipment. These are so critical because the primary concern of most border and customs agents is making sure that they know the value and nature of all goods being moved into their country. This is how they can determine what laws, taxes, or permits must apply.
Sometimes, international trade agreements may apply to goods that you are shipping. In these cases, you may need a specific type of certificate showing that you are shipping under the terms of that agreement. A typical example of this would be if you were shipping goods to which NAFTA applied, and required a NAFTA certificate. In situations like these again, your courier company should be able to advise when these apply. If you’re unfamiliar with how to obtain such certification, they should also be able to instruct you in the processes that you need to complete.