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To help you better understand the types of documents in import and export, The One Logistics will introduce you to all important documents indispensable in the customs procedures normally.

To export or import a specific item, you need to have a set of supporting documents to prove the facts, as a basis for the payment of goods or claims for compensation ... The basic documents The performance of a foreign trade contract is evidence of the performance of the contract, such as the confirmation of the delivery of the goods by the seller, the carriage of goods, the insurance of the goods and the performance of customs procedures.

Based on their function, the documents are divided into the following categories: cargo documents, transport documents, insurance documents, warehouse vouchers and customs documents. In the course of performing the contract, parties are always exposed to credit facilities such as the Bill of Exchange, checks, etc.


Import and export documents



Commodity vouchers shall state the characteristics of the value, quality and quantity of the goods. These vouchers will be paid by the presenters and buyers upon receiving them. The main documents of this type are commercial invoice, detailed list, packing slip, certificate of quality.


1. Commercial Invoice:

It is the basic document of the stage of payment. It is the seller's request that requires the buyer to pay the amount stated on the invoice. The invoice stating the goods' characteristics, unit prices and total value of goods; delivery conditions; payment methods; mode of transportation.

Invoices are usually made in several versions and are used in many different things: invoices are presented not only to the bank for claim but also to the insurance company to calculate insurance premiums when purchasing goods for the foreign exchange control agency of the importing country to apply for the grant of foreign currency, to the customs office for tax calculation.


Commercial Invoice


According to its function, invoices can be classified into:


  • + Provisional invoice is the invoice used in the preliminary payment of goods in the following cases: New price is temporary; the receipt of goods in quantity and quality made at the port of destination; The goods are delivered in several times, each time only partially paid until the delivery party completes the payment.
  • + Final Invoice is the invoice for final payment.
  • + Detailed invoice detailing the components of the price.
  • + Pro Forma invoice is a voucher that looks like an invoice but is not for payment because it is not a claim. However, the similarity in its function with the regular invoice is: It states the price and characteristics of the goods. Thus, it will represent the number of goods sent to the exhibition, for sale or to make an offer or to apply for import.
  • + Neutral invoice with no vendor name.
  • + Certified invoice is the invoice signed by the Chamber of Commerce and Industry, confirming the origin of the goods. This invoice is often used as a voucher for both the invoice function and the certificate of origin function.

In international trade, two types of invoices are used, but they do not account for goods receipts but they are customs documents. These are:

+ Custom's Invoice is the invoice that calculates the value of the goods at the customs dutyed price and calculates the customs fees. This invoice is less important in traffic.
+ Consular invoice is a receipt from the consular officer of the country where the buyer is working in the seller country. A consular invoice is a substitute for a certificate of origin (see Customs Documents).

2. Specification

A voucher detailing the goods in the shipment. It facilitates the inspection of goods. In addition, it has the added effect of invoicing when the shipment consists of different types of goods with different names and different qualities.


3. Packing list

A packing list is placed in the packaging so that the buyer can easily find it, also when placed in a container (box, box, container). bags attached outside the packaging.

The packing slip is usually a detailed packing list if it has such title and the content is relatively detailed or Neutrai packing list if the contents Its not showing the seller's name. At times, packing and weight lists are also issued.


4. Certificate of quality 

It is the document certifying the quality of the goods delivered and proof of the quality of the goods in accordance with the terms of the contract. Unless otherwise stated in the contract, the qualification certificate may be issued by the factory or factory producing the goods.

Among the qualification certificates, the standard certificate and the final certificate are distinguished. The final quality certificate confirms the results of the quality inspection at a location agreed upon by the two parties.


5. Certificate of quantity 

It is a document certifying the quantity of goods actually delivered. This document is used in cases where goods are traded in quantities (pieces, packages) such as tea bags, cigarettes bags, wine bottles etc. This paper can be assessed by the company.


6. Certificate of quantity 

Verification of the quantity of goods actually delivered, usually used in the sale and purchase of goods whose value is calculated on a weight basis.



The transport document is the document issued by the carrier confirming that it has received the goods for transport. The most common transport documents are:

  • + Bill of lading; Receipt of the deputy; port receipts; Sea shipping, etc.

  • + Railway bill of lading, when goods are transported by rail;

  • + Air freight, when goods are transported by air

  • + It is the document issued by the carrier (ship owner, captain) to the consignor to confirm that the goods have been received for transport.


1. Mates receipt


Is the certificate of the deputy in charge of cargo on board of the receipt of cargo. In the depot of the deputy, the results of the cargo inspection were carried out by the Ships Tallymen crew while cargo was loaded onto the ship.

The receipt of the vice-captain is not a certificate of ownership of the goods so it is often necessary to change the receipt of the bill of lading for the bill of lading, unless the terms of the contract permit.


2. Sea waybill

Sea freight is the alternative to the bill of lading. However, seafreight is usually assigned to the recipient, so there is no negotiable effect. It is only used in cases where both parties are familiar with each other and usually make payments by bookkeeping.


3. Shipping note

The consignment note is delivered by the goods owner to the carrier for the purpose of storing the shipment on board. This is a consignment note and is the basis for preparing the bill of lading.


4. Manifesto

A cargo manifest is a canifest, providing information about a freight (freight manifest). A brief is prepared by the shipping agent and is used to declare customs and to provide information to the forwarder or shippers.


5. Stowage plan (Cargo plan)

A line chart is a drawing of the location of shipments on board. Knowing this diagram we can know the time to load on the ship, and know where the shipment is located next to the shipment.


6. Statement of facts

This is a list of natural and social phenomena related to the use of loading / unloading time (eg, rain, holidays that can not be continued on loading / unloading). This statement is the basis for calculating the penalty for loading / unloading.


7. Time sheet sheet.

It is a summary of savings time or must be extended beyond the specified loading / unloading period. On that basis, the amount of the reward or penalty for loading / unloading is calculated.


8. Report on Receipt of Cargies (ROROC)

This is the agreement signed between the port (the port's warehouse) and the ship's head about the total number of packages delivered and received between them.


9. Cargo outturn Report (COR)

It is the written agreement between the port (the port's warehouse on the condition of damage, breakdown, loss of cargo when it is unloaded from the ship to the port.


10. Certificate of shortlanded cargo (CSC)

It is a voucher issued by the Vietnam Ocean Shipping Agency (VOSA) after inspection of cargo unloaded from the ship to the port.


11.Bill of lading (Waybill, bill of freight, railroad bill of lading)

It is a basic transport document for the carriage of goods by rail. The railway bill of lading serves as proof of the contract for the carriage of goods by rail and is the receipt from the railway authority confirming receipt of the goods for transport.

In the railway bills of lading there are basic details such as: Name of shipper; name and address of the consignee; name of station; name of arrival and name of border station; The name of the goods, the number of bales and the weight of the freight.

The railway authorities usually sign a copy of the railway bill of lading and some duplicates. The original is attached to the shipment and will be delivered to the consignee. Subscriber is given to the consignor for use in his work such as payment for goods delivery notice.


12. Other Documents (if any)

+ Certificate of Fumigation

+ Phytosanitary Certificate

+ Booking Note

+ Bill of Lading Terms and Conditions

+ Export Clearance Form

+ Import Clearance Form

+ Sale Contract


To find out more or need support import export service please contact us through hotline: 090.328.8872 (Mr Thang) nhé!


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