A packing list is a document that outlines all of the contents of a package. It acts as a supporting document that will allow transport companies, government authorities, and customers to make the proper handling decisions. The packing list includes the shipper’s name, buyer’s name, and ship-to address, as well as a detailed listing of the commodities to be shipped. It will also enable inspectors to easily unpack a package and determine its weight.
When you ship internationally, a packing list is important to protect against wrongly shipped freight. It specifies the contents of a shipment, as well as its weight and size. When shipping internationally, export packing lists are even more critical than those used domestically. The packing list also serves as a document for the freight forwarder to create a Bill of Lading (BOL), a receipt acknowledging receipt of the shipment. When there is a dispute regarding a shipment, the packing list will act as a supporting document.
While a packing list isn’t required by Customs authorities in most countries, it is important to complete one before sending any goods overseas. Customs authorities will use this document to determine whether or not to approve your shipment. It will also help your freight forwarder prepare a bill of lading, and may even be required by the country of importation. However, the shipping process is significantly easier when you have a packing list. Therefore, it’s worth investing a little time in the process.