Shipping Documents used in Foreign Trade

Shipping Documents used in Foreign Trade

Shipping Documents used in Foreign Trade

International trade is the most extensive form of formal trading relation and the using of formal statutory documents. These documents make international trade easier and help traders of different countries to understand one another. These documents are used throughout the world. International trade documents are used to divide transaction costs and responsibilities between buyer and seller and to reflect the state of the art transportation practices.

Shipping Document

Bill of lading

A document issued by a carrier which is evidence of receipt of the goods and is a contract of carriage. It is the official document prepared by the carrier duly accepting the goods for the shipment containing information like an item, quantity, value, vessel details, date, port, consigner, consignee etc.

Insurance policy

An insurance policy is one of the familiar documents of international trade. According to the insurance policy, the insurance company gives assurance to the importer for paying the price if any kind of or insured loss has happened.

Bill of exchange

Bill of exchange is used in foreign trade to pay the price. Bill of exchange is the acceptance letter by the buyer to pay the money. This bill is prepared by the exporter and is sent to the importer for signature.


Invoice is another important document for shipping document. It means the letter prepared by exporter which contains the description of the products. Such as:

(a) Name of the products, (b) Amount of the products, (c) Size or shape of the products, (d) Price, (e) Way to pay the price, 9f) Transportation cost, (g) Name and address of the exporter and the importer.

Consular Invoice

To identify, the import duty of the imported products, the importing country demands the invoice which is attested by the diplomats of the exporting county. Diplomats examine the papers then submit a consular invoice.

Certificate of origin

Exporter declares by a certificate of origin that the origins of the products are given in the certificate of origin.