Documents, documents, documents, documents, and more… documents.
International shipping is enough to make anyone’s head spin. The number of documents that are required by carriers and freight forwarders, we well as U.S. Customs for any international shipments can get overwhelming. Keeping track of who needs which document when is a task of it own. That’s why you want a great freight forwarder – let them take care of the crucial shipping details while you focus on the tasks that are most imperative for your company and its customers.
Moving on, not only are there specific regulations for documentation on all U.S. imports and exports – destination customs and laws may warrant specific rules regarding documentation and cargo entry that you’ll need to be aware of.
Shipping to Mexico: Cross-Border Transport
If your company is planning on shipping cargo over the U.S. border to Mexico, most of the process should be relatively simple. But if you want to make sure all your “i’s” are dotted and “t’s” crossed, here are a few things to be aware of:
If you’re reading this article, chances are very high you know full-well what a packing list is, but if not, it’s relatively simple. The packing list is intended to inform all involved parties on the contents of your shipment.
You will need a total of 3 sets of packing lists when shipping across the border. The first is checked by the driver to ensure that all cargo is onboard and ready for departure. The second is checked by Customs at the border (this only applies to LTL freight), and the third set will sit with the cargo itself for your destination customer to verify the contents of the shipping container.
Bill Of Lading
The Bill of Lading is an incredibly important document that serves three functions:
- Receipt of Goods
- Evidence of Contract of Carriage
- Title of the Goods
The Bill Of Lading needs to be completed by the U.S. shipper/exporter and submitted to your freight forwarder. Your freight forwarder will then use your House Bill Of Lading as well as their own Master Bill Of Lading to complete the document set for submission to Customs.
A commercial invoice is pretty self-explanatory – it itemizes the contents of a shipment out with the commercial value of each piece of cargo. The commercial value is important as all associated cargo insurance, and tariffs and duty rates will be calculated based on the monetary value of the cargo per the commercial invoice.
Shipper’s Export Declaration
This is a simple, ubiquitous international shipping document. It is to be completed by the U.S.-based shipper or exporter; however, an authorized agent may also fill this out and submit it for you. If you would prefer, a U.S.-based freight forwarder, such as Commerce Express, can handle filling out and filing the Shipper’s Export Declaration form on your behalf!
Summing It Up
Shipping to Mexico doesn’t have to be a headache! In fact, most of the cross-border transport projects to Canada and Mexico are much more simple than international ocean or air shipments. As long as you have all necessary documents ready to go, shipping to Mexico should be a breeze.
Commerce Express, Inc. has tons of experience shipping over the U.S. border to both Canada and Mexico. If you are looking for help with your next cross-border shipping project, or would just like advice on do’s and don’t for your next shipment to Mexico, please contact one of our team members! We’re happy to help and would love the opportunity to hear about your next shipping project!