Exporting is an extremely administration-heavy business. There is at least one document for almost every step in the process.
Getting to Grips with the Documents
Firstly there are documents allowing you to export goods from South Africa. They include the exporter registration form, letter of credit, commercial invoice, custom declaration form, export permit.
The importer in the destination country will also require documentation from you, including a quotation, pro forma invoice, export contract, commercial invoice, packing list, letter of credit and various certificates relating to origin, health, fumigation and pre-shipment inspection, as relevant.
Finally, transport documents differ according to how you are transporting your goods. Sea freight requires a bill of lading, while air-transported goods use an air waybill. You’ll need a freight transit order for rail freight and a road consignment note if you are transporting by road.
Establish Structure & Protect Your Business
It is vital that you get your paperwork in order, from a business operations and legal point of view.
It can be a minefield to negotiate and you’d do well to source the advice of an expert to assist you until you are totally familiar with all documents and procedures.