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Do I need what types of shipping documents ?

Bill of Lading
The information on the Bill of Lading must be consistent with the information listed on the Commercial Invoice, it must contain a complete and accurate description of the goods, and it must be legible. Please clearly indicate the following: the type of clearance preferred by the consignee, and the name of the Customs Broker (or their appointed agents) at the frontier port or inland sufferance warehouse.


Air WayBill
An AWB is a bill of lading which covers both domestic and international flights transporting goods to a specified destination. Technically, it is a non-negotiable instrument of air transport which serves as a receipt for the shipper, indicating that the carrier has accepted the goods listed therein and obligates itself to carry the consignment to the airport of destination according to specified conditions. Normally AWB refers to the Air Waybill issued by carrying airlines and also called Master Air Waybill (MAWB) which comes with three digits of numeric airline identification codes issued by IATA to non-U.S. based airlines and Air Transport Association of America to U.S. based airlines. However, air freight forwarders also issue HAWB (House Air Waybill) to their customers for each of the shipments. 


Commercial Invoice
You will need two copies of the Commercial Invoice, one must accompany the freight from the point of pickup to the point of customs clearance, the other should be attached to the Bill of Lading. This document is simply an invoice with a complete description of the goods being shipped, along with the proper valuations and currency information.


Certificate of Origin
The Certificate of Origin is used by the broker to determine the correct rate of duty under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). If this document is missing, the highest rates may be applied to each consignment, and U.S. Customs may not allow the goods into the country.

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