the ultimate guide on documents in export business-2022

documents in export business



The life cycle of an export firm and keeping track of different export transactions both require proper paperwork. You will need to apply, submit, obtain, and generate paperwork at each stage of starting and operating an export business.


 To become export ready, you must go through a mountain of papers, including the partnership agreement for your export company, a PAN Card application, current account documentation, the IEC Code, and the RCMC.

 Additionally, don’t forget the paperwork you’ll require each time you accept an export order.

List of Export Documents Needed for Shipments to Export Destinations from India.


(According to the Foreign Trade Policy (FTP) 2015–2020)

1.Airway Bill, Bill of Lading, Truck Receipt, Rail Receipt, and Postal Receipt

2.Packing List and Commercial Invoice (As per the Central Board of Excise and Customs circular under the Customs Act, separate commercial invoice and packing list are acceptable)

3.Shipping Bill, Export Bill, or Postal Export Bill.

But in addition to these essential three, there are other documents you would need if you want to ship internationally. The list of documents commonly needed for exporting products is provided below.

The exact documentation list for your export business will depend on the requirements of the Government of India at that time and those of the importing country, as well as any specific requirements of your export sector. Please note that this is only an indicative list and is not intended to be exhaustive in any way.

Further list of documentation required for export shipping.

Proforma Invoice-PI


The proforma invoice, which provides the buyer with all the details on the item, price, delivery, payment terms, etc., is frequently the first document.

Purchase or Export Order


The buyer submits an order with the exporter based on the proforma invoice, outlining their specifics and requirements in the Purchase Order.

Commercial Invoice


The exporter creates a Commercial Invoice once the products are produced and packed. Before shipping, the Customs countersign the document.


Packing List 


A packing list containing a list of all the things that will be shipped must be provided if more than one item is being exported.

Certificate of Origin


A notarized statement known as a “Certificate of Origin” details the location of the items’ manufacturing.

Exchange agreement

The exporter created this internal document to direct the importer to pay the specified sum to the exporter or the payee bank.

Letter of Credit

A Letter of Credit is a crucial document created while honoring a buyer’s purchase order, although not being a part of the shipment process. 


It is issued by the bank of the buyer, which agrees to pay you on the buyer’s behalf at the end of the credit period. If the payment is made via the Documents against Payments or Documents against Acceptance modalities, it is not necessary.

Inspection/Quality check

To ensure product quality and ensure that proper packing guidelines are being followed, an importer may require inspection or quality control (QC) of the items before delivery. The exporter must also have records on hand that attest to such fulfillment.

Fumigation certificates and phytosanitary certificates


The buyer has the right to request the phytosanitary certificate and the fumigation certificate, with the latter being even required in many nations. 


Although the names of these quality and goodness tests may vary according to the product and the location, they are essentially documentation showing agreement with global quality standards and norms. Before packaging, exporters must make sure that they are prepared.

Marine Insurance policy

This is necessary for the foreign shipment of goods to be covered for safety.

Mate’s Receipt


The cargo can enter the port and be loaded onto the dock with the proper paperwork, such as a Certificate of Origin, Commercial Invoice, Export Order, Letter of Credit, Certificate of Inspection, and Marine Insurance Policy. 


The Mate’s Receipt, which confirms the same, is issued once the shipment has been put onto the carrier. 

Bill of Lading (BoL) or Airway Bill (AWB) (BL)


The Mate’s Receipt is sent to the carrier by the C&F (Cost and Freight) agent, who compares it to the cargo before issuing an AWB or BL. The primary carrier of the commodities issues a master AWB/BL, while the freight forwarder issues a house AWB/BL.

FEMA Exporter Declaration

According to notifications from Indian customs, this declaration has taken the role of the previous Self-Declaration Form and signifies the exporter’s consent to abide by the principles of the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA), 1999.

Shipping invoice

This is a customs document that can be electronically generated via the special portal. This document must be submitted by all exporters in order to receive customs clearance for their exports.

Let Export Order


After export customs clearance procedures are complete, the customs officer issues the LEO. It serves as evidence that all export-related customs procedures have been followed.

Export General Manifest


After the items have left the exporting nation, the shipping carrier files the manifest. It is registered with Customs and starts the production of the export promotion copy of the shipping bill, which is the formal proof of export.


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