What documents are required for preshipment finance?

Last Updated: May 2024

Table of Contents

Introduction to preshipment finance

Preshipment finance aims to offer exporters economic assistance for procuring raw materials and processing goods before shipping them. Required documents may include commercial invoice, packing list, letter of credit, purchase order, insurance certificate and bill of lading. Providing these documents helps ensure the exporter’s credibility and security for the financial institution providing the loan. Without them, it may be difficult to obtain the necessary funding.

It is imperative to demonstrate accurate documentation that complies with applicable regulations, such as International Chamber of Commerce (ICC). Moreover, prior document preparation can hasten approval processes. Failing this could lead to delayed exports, penalties or worse potential export license revocations.

Many exporters have fallen foul of hefty fines due to lack of document adequacy leading to shipment recalls or even legal action being taken against them by buyers/customs officials. Proper compliance saves money in the long run.

In one case study from Hong Kong where false claims exposed a high-ranking official accused his company secretary for discrepancies on the Commercial Invoice(s). The contents and value juxtaposed those actually shipped; meaning potentially fraudulent gains through overseas tax relief. This included current payments backed by preshipment financing companies whose interest rates were therefore based upon misrepresented facts and figures which resulted in substantial legal fees fighting against investigations launched within multiple jurisdictions.

Get your paperwork in order, or you’ll be sailing the seas of stress without a financial lifeboat.

Documents required for preshipment finance

Preshipment finance is necessary for businesses that need to pay for goods before delivery. To obtain such finance, certain documents are required that prove the existence of a transaction between the buyer and the seller. Here are the typical documents that most lenders ask for:

  1. Purchase Order: This document specifies the buyer’s intent to purchase the goods and sets out the terms of the sale.
  2. Sales Contract: This document outlines the details of the transaction between the buyer and the seller, including the price, quantity, and delivery terms.
  3. Proforma Invoice: This document serves as a quotation and includes details of the goods, prices, and delivery terms. Lenders rely on this document to assess the risk involved in financing the transaction.

It is important to note that different lenders may require different documents, so it is always best to check with your lender to ensure you have all the necessary documents.

When applying for preshipment finance, it is also vital to prepare the documents accurately and ensure that they are complete. Any discrepancies or missing information can cause delays in obtaining finance or even lead to rejection of the application.

In the past, some businesses have faced challenges obtaining preshipment finance due to fraudulent activities in which fake documents were used. This highlights the need for lenders to exercise caution and for businesses to provide accurate and reliable documentation to secure financing.

“Getting paid or getting laid, always have a purchase order or Letter of Credit.”

Purchase order or Letter of Credit

In international trade, funding is an essential aspect of the business operations. Financing is required for purchasing raw materials or to manufacture goods for export. To alleviate this challenge, businesses often secure a loan from lenders in the form of preshipment finance. The central requirement that businesses need to fulfill to qualify for this facility is presenting a Purchase order or Letter of Credit.

A Purchase order or Letter of Credit serves as collateral for financial institutions providing preshipment finance to curb the risks associated with non-payment by foreign buyers. Typically, a Purchase order details the buyer’s name, shipping address, delivery timeline, pricing terms agreed upon by both parties, and other transaction details. Table 1 presents a detailed breakdown of what lenders require from businesses seeking preshipment finance:

Purchase Order / Letter of Credit
A legally binding document between buyer and seller detailing every aspect of the transaction.

Lenders carefully evaluate each Purchase Order or Letter of Credit presented by borrowers before approving their request. Businesses must present a viable Purchase Order or Letter of Credit issued explicitly for export purposes compliant with all necessary documentation regulations set forth by export authorities.

Consequently, stringent verifications run on Purchase orders and Letters of credit present specific documentation requirements depending on various parameters such as product image if available, company profile details.

Factually speaking – According to ICC (International Chamber of Commerce) Banking commission survey on trade finance conducted in 2020 around 61% considered Purchase Orders are critical when it comes to financing trade transactions across borders median approval time frame which goes upto 4-5 weeks.

Proforma invoice: the only document that can make you feel like you’ve been paid before you’ve actually been paid.

Proforma Invoice

A preliminary invoice that provides crucial information to the importer and exporter is known as a Commercial Invoice. It includes details of the commodity, its value, specifications, payment terms and conditions, transport mode and other relevant details needed for customs clearance.

Information Provided in Proforma Invoice Description
Name and Address of Importer and Exporter This helps in identification and clarification when dealing with clearing agents.
Commodity Description and Specifications Details about the goods being traded are necessary for customs processes.
Pricing and Payment Terms The costs involved in shipping need to be stated clearly on paper to help the exporter get financing from banks or other lending institutions.

To avoid confusion between the final invoice and proforma invoice, it’s wise to mark “proforma” conspicuously across the face of it. This will reduce errors related to payment due date calculations.

Pro Tip: Always double-check that all required documents are in order before uploading them for preshipment financing or any other trade finance arrangements. Mistakes may cause delays at customs or lead to serious financial losses for all parties involved.

Who needs a passport when you’ve got a Bill of Lading or Airway Bill? They’re the ultimate travel documents for your cargo.

Bill of Lading or Airway Bill

For the transportation of goods, either by sea or air, a document is required that serves as proof of shipment. This document is known as ‘Shipment Documentation.’

To facilitate export financing, banks require certain documents to assess the risk and provide assistance. The most crucial among these documents are the ‘Shipment Documentation,’ which includes the Bill of Lading or Airway Bill.

The following table lists specific details about the Bill of Lading or Airway Bill:

Column 1 Column 2
Document Type Bill of Lading or Airway Bill
Issued By Carrier
Contents Goods specifications
Proof of ownership Original copies
Shipping route Destination and Origin Ports

Apart from serving as evidence for ownership and shipping conditions, a unique feature of Bills is that they act as negotiable instruments. These bills can be traded like cash, with endorsement signatures on them marking the ownership transfer.

In a survey conducted by Trade Finance Global in 2020, it was found that around 45% of businesses have faced rejection in their trade finance applications due to errors in their Shipment Documentation.

Therefore, obtaining proper documentation with accurate information is crucial for businesses seeking pre-shipment financing.

Make sure your packing list includes everything but the kitchen sink – unless, of course, you’re shipping a kitchen sink.

Packing List

The required Shipping documentation should cover every detail of the shipment. It includes an essential document called the “List of content” that contains all packages or containers included in the consignment. Here are some crucial points to remember while preparing the List of content:

  • It should include a comprehensive description of each package, including their dimensions and weight.
  • The total number of packages accompanying the consignment must match what is mentioned in this document.
  • Mention Marks & Numbers on each package, which will help identify individual packages easily, after they reach their destination.
  • For international shipments, it is necessary to use standard abbreviations to mention country names – ISO alpha-2 codes (two-letter) or ISO alpha-3 codes (three-letter).

To ensure smooth clearance through customs, exporters must be extra careful and keep all documents up-to-date and accurate during shipping. Lack of accuracy can lead to impoundment or delay in goods clearance.

It’s interesting to note that a Packing List carries a lot of significance when it comes to international shipping as it acts as evidence for insurance claims regarding lost or missing items during transportation.

If only my high school inspection certificate had the same level of thoroughness as this one required for preshipment finance.

Inspection Certificate

In terms of export financing, an attestation can be required to certify that products are in good condition and ready for shipping. This document is called a Cargo Certificate or Marine Inspection Report. It may also be referred to as a Quality Compliance Certificate or Goods Inspection Certificate.

Document Name Description
Marine Inspection Report/Cargo Certificate A certificate that verifies the items being shipped are in good condition and ready for transport.
Quality Compliance Certificate/Goods Inspection Certificate Certifies that each item being shipped meets the requirements set forth by the buyer.

It’s crucial to note that a Marine Inspection Report should ideally be conducted by an approved surveyor who has no connection with either the buyer or seller.

Companies should also understand that certificates implying compliance with safety, environmental protection, or other regulations may also need acquisition before shipment.

Once certified, goods can now be exported from whence it shall arrive at its destination in optimal shape.

A company learned this lesson following the loss of almost $3 million worth of merchandise due to damage caused by inadequate packaging while awaiting shipment via sea freight.

Hopefully your shipment doesn’t need insurance, but if it does, at least you’ll have a piece of paper to cry over when it sinks to the bottom of the ocean.

Insurance Certificate

One of the crucial documents required for preshipment finance is a document that assures the safety of the shipment. This assurance comes in the form of a Maritime Insurance Policy which is necessary for financial assistance during export. The policy covers damages or losses that may occur during transportation and guarantees coverage for any major setbacks.

The insurance certificate serves as evidence to confirm whether the shipment is insured or not and outlines specific details such as quantity, type, mode of transport, and issued date along with its validity period. The insurer certifies it after assessing different aspects of risk coverage that should be looked at while shipping, including fire, theft, natural calamities, etc. Furthermore, it acts as proof of ownership or title whenever dealing with banks.

It’s important to note that there are different types of marine insurance policies available with varying levels of protection. Cargo shipments having a higher value tend to have broader coverage due to their increased risk factors involved; whereas lower-risk cargo receives standard protection only. Therefore, it’s advised to select an appropriate policy based on specific needs.

According to a recent report by International Chamber Of Commerce (ICC), around 80% of global trade finance transactions include some elements of insurance coverage; showing the significance it holds in international trade practices.

Sending an invoice with a smiley face emoji probably won’t fly with the bank, unless you’re trying to sell them a comedy routine instead of goods.

Commercial Invoice

A Payment Document that serves as a crucial proof of the transaction between the seller and buyer is what we call Commercial Invoice. While requesting preshipment finance, this document plays a key role in determining the Buyer’s ability to pay for the goods. The document includes essential details such as the quantity, description, and value of goods that are being sold.

The following table shows the details included in the Commercial Invoice:

Column 1 Column 2
Invoice number example: INV/2021-22
Date example: 10/08/2021
Supplier name ABC Pvt Ltd.
Buyer name XYZ Inc
Product name Example: Shoes
Quantity Example: 500 pairs
Value Example: $50,000

It is required to be submitted by the seller along with other documents such as purchase order, packing list, and transport documentation while applying for preshipment finance from a bank or financial institution.

A significant point to note is that commercial invoice should be free from any errors as it can lead to customs clearance issues, delays in payment and shipment.

According to trade experts at Export.gov, “Making sure that all relevant documents are correctly completed before commencing an export transaction contributes significantly to preventing disruptions in shipping arrangements.”

Time to double-check that export license or risk feeling like a smuggler caught at the border.

Export License (if applicable)

If there is a requirement for an export license, it must be acquired before exporting goods. This license authorizes the exporter to ship their products legally to the destination country. The export licensing system can vary with different countries and products.

For Export License (if applicable):

Document Type Details
Export License A legal document issued by an authorized agency that permits the export of specific goods.

While applying for an export license, necessary documents and details such as product information, shipping details, and destination are mandatory. It ensures compliance with foreign regulations and avoids any legal issues in the future.

It’s highly recommended to consult with an experienced customs broker or freight forwarder to form a comprehensive plan involving all shipping-related tasks. A freight forwarder can help find the best modes of transport, prepare documents such as a commercial invoice, packing list, certificate of origin along with obtaining an export license if needed.

By being well-prepared with all required documents and dealing with competent professionals, exporting goods becomes a hassle-free process.

Fill out the Customs Declaration Form like you’re confessing to a crime, but with less detail.

Customs Declaration Form

A vital document required when applying for preshipment finance is the document that declares detailed information about the contents of a shipment. This document is known as the ‘Customs Declaration Form’. It provides customs officials with necessary data such as – which country the shipment originates from, what items it includes, their value and quantity, and other relevant information.

In the following table, you will find additional columns of critical data that need to be included in a Customs Declaration Form:

Country of origin Name of Exporter Importers Name and Address Packages produced Product Packaging details
USA ABC Co. CDE Pvt. Ltd., Mumbai. India. 25 boxes
  • Gross weight – 1.35 Metric tons.
  • Cube size – 45 CBM.

Another crucial thing to note while filling out this form is ensuring all information given is accurate and up to date. Incorrect or incomplete data on this form can result in rejection or delay at customs clearance ports.

It’s always advisable to double-check all the details listed before submitting it for processing. A slight error may cause unnecessary inconvenience and loss of time during shipment clearance procedures.

Remember, the only thing more fun than getting preshipment finance is realizing your documents were wrong and having to pay it all back.

Importance of providing accurate and complete documents for preshipment finance

In international trade, providing accurate and complete documents is crucial in obtaining preshipment finance. Without it, neither the importer nor the exporter can benefit from the financial aid necessary for trade operations. This is because preshipment finance is granted to businesses based on the quality of documents presented. Incomplete documents or discrepancies in information could lead to delayed transactions and loss of financial aid.

Furthermore, the provision of accurate and complete documents allows banks to confidently assess the risk involved in granting preshipment finance to businesses. By assessing the possibility of trade risks such as shipment delays, damage to goods, and payment default, banks can determine the eligibility of businesses for financial aid. Incomplete documents can result in ambiguous risk assessment, leading to either rejection of the application or the granting of inadequate financial aid.

It is important to note that several documents are required for preshipment finance, including:

  • a purchase order
  • a sales contract
  • an invoice
  • a packing list
  • an insurance policy

These documents must be in line with international trade rules and regulations, and any inconsistencies could lead to financial loss.

In recent years, many businesses have faced challenges in obtaining preshipment finance due to incomplete or inadequate documents. One such instance is the case of a small-scale exporter who failed to provide accurate and complete documents for his shipment of goods. This led to a rejected application for preshipment finance and subsequently delayed the shipment and resulted in financial loss.

Get your docs in a row and sail through preshipment finance without hitting any choppy delays or rejection reefs.

Avoiding delays and rejections

To ensure timely and efficient preshipment finance, submitting complete and precise documentation is crucial. Precision in documentation can avoid the time-consuming process of approvals, rejections, and delays. Providing accurate trade documents like commercial invoice, purchase order, packing list, and other supporting papers to the lender will help in swift approval of loans.

Incomplete or incorrect documents can cause major delays in loan processing which may impact a business’s ability to deliver goods on time as scheduled. Thus, it is important to provide impeccable documentation for a smooth transactional process that aids business success. Properly completed documentation ensures quick verification from banks and other financial institutions to speed up transactions.

In addition to this, it is advisable to verify the authenticity of the provided documents since banks are very stringent when it comes to verifying any financial documents. In case of any missing or incomplete information detected during the verification process, banks can reject loans that cause significant delays.

The importance of accuracy in documentation can be seen from the true history where businesses have experienced immense difficulties while availing preshipment finance due to discrepancies found in their submitted papers.

Hence providing correct information with flawless paperwork helps establish credibility between lenders and borrowers which leads to a faster turnaround time on loans requested by businesses looking for preshipment finance options.

Smooth transactions are like a well-oiled machine, and accurate and complete documents are the lubricant that keeps it running.

Ensuring smooth transactions

To ensure successful trade finances, accurate and complete documentation is of utmost importance. The process demands meticulous attention and a professional approach. Smooth transactions are essential for the success of preshipment finance.

  • Proper understanding of the requirement documents
  • Prompt completion and submission of required documents
  • Accuracy in information shared through the documentation
  • Thorough research on the eligibility criteria for preshipment finance
  • Meeting compliance standards for obtaining financing
  • Maintaining transparency in communication with financers.

It’s vital to note that incomplete or wrongly filled forms can lead to rejection or delay in application processing. It can also lead to an increase in costs involved, reducing profitability, ultimately resulting in business loss.

Keeping up with the exact timelines set by financial institutions is critical during preshipment finance applications. Not adhering to the given timeline will result in delays along with additional costs.

One such instance is when a client misled their financier by indicating that he had already purchased raw materials. After submission of this document, it discovered that they had only made advance payments for material purchases, which rejected their application. This eventually led them to sourcing funds from other parties at greater costs, resulting in lower profits.

Building trust with financial institutions is like building a Jenga tower – one wrong move and it all comes tumbling down.

Building trust with financial institutions

In today’s financial landscape, establishing credibility with financial institutions through accurate documentation is crucial. Providing accurate and complete documents for pre-shipment finance helps build trust with banks and other lenders. By ensuring that all information is correct and up-to-date, it shows a willingness to operate transparently, further enhancing the relationship between borrower and lender.

This level of accuracy allows financial institutions to determine risk more effectively, which can lead to better rates and terms for borrowers. Moreover, having complete documentation reduces the likelihood of causing delays or disruptions in the loan process due to missing or incomplete information – benefiting both parties involved.

In addition, timely submission of documents is crucial too. Financial institutions rely on punctual delivery of documents before processing loans as a delay could directly impact business operations. Incomplete or inaccurate documentation may also result in rejected applications which could incur extra costs for clients.

Therefore, borrowers should prioritize submitting accurate documents in a timely fashion to avoid unnecessary roadblocks. Failure to do so may result in missed opportunities for growth and unfavorable lending terms – highlighting the importance of building trust and credibility from the outset with financial institutions.

Just remember, without accurate and complete documents, you might as well be sailing into the unknown with a blindfold on.

Conclusion: The significance of proper documentation for preshipment finance.

The accuracy of preshipment documentation is integral in securing finance. The correct presentation of documents, including commercial invoices, packing lists, bills of lading and inspection certificates, are fundamental to the issuance of a Letter of Credit and reducing risk for both the exporter and importer.

Preshipment financing banks rely heavily on accurate documentation to verify that the exports delivered are as per the agreed specifications and free from defects caused during transit. Incomplete or inaccurate documentation can lead to delays in receiving payment or even result in non-payment altogether due to rejection by the importing country’s customs office. Therefore, it is essential to maintain proper documentation throughout the preshipment period.

Moreover, banks prefer documents such as Purchase Orders/Contracts with an independent third party inspection certificate indicating that goods conform with contractual specifications and meet relevant legal standards. As errors cannot be easily paid for in international trade, correct paperwork ensures a smoother process from preshipment financing to clearance and distribution upon goods arrival.

In history, an Indian firm faced considerable setbacks due to inefficiencies in their assessment of export documents resulting in multiple Letters of Credit discrepancies costing them $65,000. This case highlighted how crucial document accuracy is for trade financing clarity, emphasising the importance for exporting firms to have strict controls on their preshipment documentation processes.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is pre-shipment finance?

Pre-shipment finance is a credit facility provided by a financial institution to the exporter to finance the manufacturing or production of goods that are intended for export.

2. What documents are required for pre-shipment finance?

The documents required for pre-shipment finance vary depending on the financial institution, but typically include a purchase order or sales agreement, invoice, packing list, and shipping documents such as a bill of lading.

3. How long does it take to obtain pre-shipment finance?

The timeline for obtaining pre-shipment finance depends on the financial institution and the complexity of the transaction. Generally, it can take a few days to a few weeks to complete the process.

4. What are the benefits of pre-shipment finance?

Pre-shipment finance allows the exporter to finance the production or manufacturing of goods without depleting their cash reserves. It also provides an opportunity to negotiate better terms with suppliers and customers, and can ultimately increase the exporter’s competitiveness in the global market.

5. Can a small business obtain pre-shipment finance?

Yes, many financial institutions offer pre-shipment finance to small businesses. However, the exporter may need to demonstrate a good credit history and provide security or collateral to obtain the financing.

6. Is pre-shipment finance available for all types of goods?

Most financial institutions offer pre-shipment finance for a wide range of goods, including raw materials, semifinished products, and finished goods. However, some institutions may have restrictions on certain types of goods, such as perishable or hazardous items.

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Why use preshipment finance?

Introduction to Preshipment Finance Preshipment finance is a type of trade finance used by exporters and importers to facilitate the purchase or production of goods. This form of finance enables suppliers to obtain payments in advance, covering the costs associated with producing the goods.

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Why Use Postshipment Finance Over Traditional Loans?

Introduction to Postshipment Finance vs Traditional Loans In today’s financing world, ‘Postshipment Finance vs Traditional Loans’ is a common comparison among businesses. This scheme involves financing goods after shipment and delivery to buyers. Unlike traditional loans, post-shipment finance usually comes with more flexibility and

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How to Prepare Export Documents

Understanding Export Documents Export Document Essentials Export documents are crucial for businesses to expand their operations into foreign markets. These documents ensure regulatory compliance and streamline international transactions. Read moreWhat Documents Are Required for International Shipping?Below is a table outlining the essential export documents

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Where to Find Import and Export Templates

Introduction To understand where to find import and export templates, start with an introduction that explains the concept briefly. This section will give you an idea of what import and export templates are and how they can be useful. In this article, we will

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Differences Between A Promissory Note And A Loan Agreement

Basics of Promissory Notes and Loan Agreements In essence, a Comparison between Promissory Notes and Loan Agreements. Loans and promissory notes are forms of financing, and both involve borrowing money from one party to another. Differences exist, however. The following table summarises those distinctions:

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Who Provides Postshipment Finance Loans

Banks as Postshipment Finance Providers Financial institutions offer postshipment finance loans as a tool to assist export operations. Such services have the remit of bolstering the cash flow cycles of exporter clients during shipment delays between delivery and payment release. Typically, banks act as

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Why You Need a Documentary Letter of Credit

Importance of Documentary Letter of Credit To better understand the importance of documentary letter of credit, it’s important to know its basic definition, functionality, and benefits. That’s why in order to deal with the uncertainties and risks of international trade, you will have to

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Pros and Cons of a Documentary Collection

Introduction to Documentary Collection When it comes to international trade, many exporters and importers go for financial instruments that offer a low-risk option. One such tool is the process of Documentary Collection, in which parties agree to transfer title documents of goods and payment

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How to apply for preshipment finance

Understanding Preshipment Finance Preshipment finance refers to the credit offered to a seller before shipping goods to a buyer who has placed an order. This credit is used for covering expenses such as labor, raw material, and packaging that are incurred while preparing goods

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Where to Get Postshipment Finance Funding

Understanding Postshipment Finance Funding Post-shipment finance funding involves providing financial assistance to businesses after the shipment of goods. To make things clear, we will refer to this type of funding as ‘Financing After Shipment.’ Financing After Shipment can be acquired from different sources, such

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What are the Advantages of Postshipment Finance?

Understanding Postshipment Finance Postshipment finance refers to financial services that assist exporters in managing their cash flow after shipment. With the help of this finance, exporters can receive payment for their goods soon after they are shipped, which reduces their risk of non-payment or

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Who Needs A Promissory Note And Why?

Who is required to use a promissory note When it comes to borrowing money, it is essential to understand the importance of a promissory note and who should use it. A promissory note is a legally binding document that states the borrower’s promise to

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Who provides preshipment finance?

Banks as Providers of Preshipment Finance Paragraph 1 – Banks play a crucial role in providing preshipment finance to exporters. This finance is given before the shipment of goods to enable exporters to purchase raw materials and meet other production expenses. Paragraph 2 –

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The benefits of preshipment finance

Introduction to Preshipment Finance Preshipment finance, also known as pre-export finance, is a credit facility provided to exporters before shipment of goods. This type of financing helps exporters to cover various costs associated with production and export, including labor, shipping, and raw materials. Preshipment

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How to Draft a Bill of Lading

Understanding the Bill of Lading To understand the bill of lading, a crucial shipping industry document, with its definition, and explanation, and importance, you will find this section helpful. The sub-sections covered under this category will give you an introduction to what this document

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What Documents Are Required for International Shipping?

Introduction to international shipping documents International Shipping Documentation: What You Need to Know When shipping internationally, specific documents are required to ensure a smooth and safe delivery. These documents include the Commercial Invoice, Bill of Lading, Packing List, Insurance Certificate, Export License, and Customs

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How To Apply For A Lodgement Letter Of Credit?

Understanding Lodgement Letter of Credit Lodgement Letter of Credit – A Guide to Application To apply for a Lodgement Letter of Credit, one must follow a specific set of guidelines. This is essentially a type of letter of credit where the confirming bank guarantees

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