Explaining the Export Process (Business Documents)

Anna Graf, international sales manager, explains the export process to Ai-Ling, the Chinese sales representative.

Anna – When we receive an order, the first thing we do is to send a confirmation of the order to the customer.
The dispatch process involves providing a lot of documentation, especially customs documents. As soon as the goods are ready to be shipped, a dispatch note is printed.
The freight forwarder picks up the goods and transports them to the port of departure. There, we need an international delivery note, the CFR, and a proforma invoice for customs purposes.
At the port of departure we also have to present a bill of lading to obtain customs clearance. Any outstanding customs duties are then paid and we receive a customs invoice.
When the goods arrive at their final destination, an acknowledgment of receipt is printed and the goods are released by the freight forwarder.
The next step in the process is that an invoice is sent to the customer within 14 days of receipt of the goods.
If the customer has not paid within 30 days net, he is sent a reminder with a copy of the invoice as an attachment.
Ai-Ling – Don’t we need an airway bill?
Anna – Only if we use air freight!
Ai-Ling – I see. Well, that’s quite a lot of documentation. Do you need all that when you export to EU countries as well?
Anna – No, just for non-EU countries thank goodness!