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Mandatory Documents Required in 2023

Exporting goods can be a complex process, involving numerous documents and regulatory requirements. It is important for exporters to understand and properly prepare these documents to ensure a smooth and successful export experience. This blog provides a comprehensive list of the most common documents required for exports in the year 2023, along with detailed explanations of each one.

Table of Contents:

  1. Why are Export Documents important?
  2. List of Export Documents
  • Commercial Invoice
  • Bill of Lading
  • Certificate of Origin
  • Export Licence
  • GATT Declaration Form
  • Packing List
  • Insurance Certificate
  • Letter of Credit
  • Export Declaration
  • Export Inspection Certificate
  • Pre-shipment Inspection Certificate
  • Health Certificate
  • Sanitary/Phytosanitary Certificate
  • Technical Standards Certificate
  • Marine Insurance Certificate
  • Patent/Trademark License
  • Anti-Dumping Certificate
  • Certification of Free Sale
  • Weight and Quality Certificate
  1. List of mandatory export documents in India

1. Why are export documents important?

Exporting products to other countries is an exciting endeavour for manufacturers, but it’s not always as simple as just shipping the goods. Before any shipment can take place, there are a number of export documents that must be completed and submitted in order to ensure compliance with international trade regulations. These documents provide proof of origin, product descriptions and pricing information, among other things. In this article we will discuss the different types of documentation required when exporting products and explain how they help protect both buyers and sellers. We will also provide examples of industry-standard documents used in international trade so that you can better understand what needs to be done before your goods can leave your country’s borders.

When manufacturers export goods, there is a specific process that must be followed in order to ensure that the goods are properly documented and shipped according to the international trade regulations. This process typically involves several different types of documentation, each of which serves a specific purpose.

2. List of Export Documents

The following list provides all the export documents that are valid for exports for the year 2023:

  • Commercial Invoice: This document is a bill for the goods being exported and serves as proof of sale. It should include the seller's and buyer's information, a detailed description of the goods, the quantity and value of the goods, and any applicable taxes or duties.
  • Bill of Lading: This document is a contract between the exporter and the carrier for the transportation of the goods. It outlines the terms and conditions of the shipment, including the destination, the mode of transportation, and the responsibilities of the parties involved.
  • Certificate of Origin: This document certifies the country of origin of the goods being exported. It is often required by customs authorities to determine the applicable tariffs and trade agreements.
  • Export Licence: Depending on the type of goods being exported and the destination, an export licence may be required. This document grants permission to export specific goods and is issued by the relevant government agency.
  • GATT Declaration Form: This form must be completed for all shipments where applicable duties are being paid under a preferential tariff agreement such as those negotiated by ASEAN countries or GATT (General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade).
  • Packing List: This document provides a detailed list of the items being shipped, including the quantity, weight, and dimensions of each item. It also includes the type of packaging used and any special handling instructions.
  • Insurance Certificate: This document provides proof that the goods being exported are insured against loss or damage during transit. It includes the value of the insurance coverage and the terms and conditions of the policy.
  • Letter of Credit: This document is a promise by a bank to pay the exporter for the goods being shipped once certain conditions are met. It is often used to reduce the risk of non-payment for the exporter and is typically required by the buyer.
  • Export Declaration: This document is required by some countries for statistical and regulatory purposes. It includes information about the goods being exported, including their value, classification, and destination.
  • Export Inspection Certificate: This document is required for certain types of goods that are subject to export inspection, such as food items and pharmaceuticals. The certificate confirms that the quality, quantity and other specifications of the exported goods meet the standards set by India's Ministry of Commerce.
  • Pre-shipment Inspection Certificate: In some cases, a pre-shipment inspection may be required to verify the quality and quantity of the goods being exported. This certificate is issued by an independent third party and serves as proof of the inspection.
  • Health Certificate: Depending on the destination and type of goods being exported, a health certificate may be required to certify that the goods meet the health and safety standards of the importing country.
  • Sanitary/Phytosanitary Certificate: Similar to a health certificate, this document is required for agricultural goods and certifies that they meet the importing country's plant and animal health standards.
  • Technical Standards Certificate: Some countries require that exported goods meet certain technical standards, such as electrical safety standards or environmental standards. This certificate verifies that the goods meet these standards.
  • Marine Insurance Certificate: This document provides evidence that a marine insurance policy has been taken out to cover any losses or damage to the exported goods during transit.
  • Patent/Trademark Licence: The licence grants the licensee permission to use the patented product or service in some manner. This type of licence is typically used when one party wants to commercialise an invention and needs access to protected intellectual property in order to do so.
  • Anti-Dumping Certificate: The purpose of this type of certificate is to ensure that foreign manufacturers are not engaging in unfair trade practices by selling their products for less than what it costs them to produce them. An anti-dumping certificate may be required when importing certain types of products, such as steel and other metals, into some countries.
  • Certification of Free Sale: It is usually required for exporting certain types of products, such as food and health-related items. The certification helps ensure that the product meets all applicable laws and regulations, including safety standards, labelling requirements, and other quality control measures. This document may be required by foreign countries before they will allow imported goods into their market.
  • Weight and Quality Certificate: The certificate may be issued by an independent third party such as a laboratory or government agency. It is used to prove that the product meets certain standards and requirements. A Weight and Quality Certificate can provide assurance to buyers that they are purchasing a quality product with guaranteed specifications.


3.   List of mandatory export documents in India
       The mandatory export documents required in India in the year 2023 are:

  • Commercial Invoice: This is the primary document for all exports which states the details of goods, prices and terms of sale. 
  • Shipping Bill/Bill of Lading: It acts as proof that the cargo has been loaded onto a vessel and allows tracking throughout its journey to its destination port or warehouse facility abroad. 
  • Bill of Entry: A bill of entry is a document that is used to declare the details of goods being imported into a country. It is typically used for customs purposes and is required by the customs authorities in order to determine the applicable duties and taxes that need to be paid on the imported goods. It typically includes information about the importer, the exporter, the nature of the goods being imported, their value, and the intended use of the goods. It may also include other details such as the origin of the goods and the mode of transport used to bring the goods into the country.

4. Conclusion

Export documents are an important part of international trade, as they provide a record of the transaction and help ensure that goods move smoothly from one country to another. The list of export documents includes commercial invoices, packing lists, certificates of origin, bills of lading, licences and permits, insurance policies and transport documents. It is essential for exporters to understand the requirements surrounding these forms in order to successfully ship their products overseas.

Exports have increased over the past five years. This indicates a positive trend in international trade and suggests that businesses are becoming more competitive and successful in their efforts to expand into global markets. Furthermore, it also implies that countries are working together to facilitate cross-border exchanges of goods and services, which can benefit both domestic and foreign economies.