Prepare Shipping Documents
If you are well prepared before completing your documentation, shipping internationally can be easy. Begin by asking yourself two important questions:
Where do I want to ship?
The destination for your goods/products is crucial in determining what documentation you’ll need, the duties and taxes you’ll pay and much more. The full address and contact details of the final recipient should be included on all documentation.
What do I want to ship?
One of the most common reasons for customs delays is inaccurate or vague shipment descriptions. A consistent and detailed description of your shipment’s contents on all documentation will help reduce custom delays.
Here follows some of the important documentation to consider when preparing to send your international shipment:
- An International Air Waybill (AWB) is required for each shipment. As mentioned above the full address and contact details of the final recipient and a detailed description of the commodities being shipped is crucial. Other important information includes the sender’s full address and contact details, the type of service required, the declared value and the correct payer information.
- A Commercial Invoice is required by customs authorities for clearance of non-document shipments. Requirements vary from market to market and depend on the commodity type, value and quantity. Be sure to include this information in detail.
- A Packing List is required if there is more than one package under one AWB or if the shipment weighs above 100kgs. However this requirement may differ between markets according to the commodities being shipped. The list must correctly and clearly describe the goods, the quantity and weight.
- Certain commodities require a Special License or other documentation either at the origin or destination, or due to specific clearance procedures.
- When shipping to some destinations such as the U.S. and China, you may be required to complete additional documentation, which is required under destination country law. Accurate completion of the documentation will assist the customs authorities in processing your shipment more efficiently. Please download China Inbound Shipments Clearance Tips and U.S. Import Helpful Hints for Shipping with FedEx for more details.
You can use our Global Trade Manager to get help finding the necessary documents required or important regulatory information specific to your shipment. Alternatively, you may also contact your local FedEx Customer Service team to enquire about the required shipping documentation and customs clearance procedures for a particular market or commodity.