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Essential Documents for International Shipping

International Shipping

International shipping requires accurate, and thorough documentation. Businesses looking to export products need to navigate government regulation, trade agreements, and variable duty rates. Governments across the globe ask for documentation for international shipping in order to control and monitor goods across borders. Delays can occur if you don’t have accurate, and complete information for your shipping. Below are some essential documents for international shipping.

U.S. Certificate of Origin (CO)

This form proves that the goods your are shipping is from the United States. This is only used for items that are produced or manufactured in the United States. Also, some nations limit the imports from certain countries.

Also, some nations will ask for a Certificate of Origin for certain goods. To see if the country you are shipping to will require a Certificate of Origin, contact us[link] for more information.

Pro Tip the CO form needs an official signature of the local Chamber of Commerce Secretary, and the seal of that organization.

NAFTA Certificate of Origin

This document is utilized by Mexico, Puerto Rico, Canada and the US as authentication of goods imported into these countries. This form marks reduced duty, or duty free as agreed upon in the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

The NAFTA Certificate of Origin is available in web format, and it can be sent electronically as part of your invoice package. Although, if you are shipping from the United States, keep an original and make 2 copies for your invoice. Also, you are required to include the NAFTA Certificate of Origin if your shipment is:

  • $1,000 USD, and is going from Mexico to Canada or the United States
  • $2,500 CAD, and is going from Canada to Mexico or the United States
  • $2,500 USD, and is going from the United States to Mexico or Canada

U.S. Shipper’s Export Declaration

The Shipper’s Export Declaration (SED) form is for data on stats about exports and controls. It is for international shipping of single commodities that are worth over $2,500, or commodities that require a license exemption or a license.

This document is mandatory for international shipping on exports from the United States and Puerto Rico, that are not going to Canada. Although, shipments heading for Canada that require an exemption or export license will also need an SED.

New Rule – All SEDs are now required to be filed electronically before your shipment is exported.

Wrapping Up

Moreover, if you are looking into international shipping, and want to get the most reliable shipping with the best rates. So, contact us today to find out more about the PPLUS advantage. We have the experience and expertise to take care of all the logistics, so you can focus on your core business processes.


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