8 steps for exporting goods by sea

In order to work in the import/export industry, you must have an extensive knowledge of how the processes work. Exporting goods by sea involves many steps and can be a daunting process if you don’t know where to start.

sea exports

Step 1

Negotiate a contract. This step is arguably the most important stage of exporting goods by sea. This stage can determine your company profits and can also set the legal boundaries for the agreement. The contract will also lay out the ground rules. It will also determine who pays for what, as every stage has a cost associated and different people pay for different things. Negotiating a contract can also help to prevent delays in your shipment.

Step 2

You will need to check if you require an export license if your goods fall into the relevant category. It’s vital that you are aware of what your responsibilities are and it’s also vital that you understand who the relevant authorities are that will be involved in the exporting process. Some of the categories of goods that may require you to seek an export license include military items, dual-use items, associated technology and software, radioactive sources. Goods that may need an export license also include goods that are designed for civilian use, but can be used by the military, such as computers. You should always double check if you need an export license if you’re unsure if you need an export license.

Step 3

Book the freight. Once the required documentation is in order, the export shipment must be booked by the supplier. It is crucial that this shipment be booked in due time, in order to avoid disappointment. This is especially important in the current climate as there are delays in the freight industry all over the globe. Wait times are currently around 2 weeks, and all shipments should be booked bearing this in mind.

Step 4

Prepare the goods for export. It is essential that the goods are prepared properly and are properly declared. This is an incredibly important step in exporting goods, especially if any goods are considered dangerous. This can be any goods that are considered to be harmful to wildlife or human life. You will also need to make sure that the goods you are exporting matches the quantity promised and that all promises are going to be fulfilled. You can pack goods at the warehouse or at the port. There are different levels of paperwork needed for packing processes, so you will need to check which paperwork you will need.

Step 5

Buy shipment insurance. You will need to contact the insurance company in order to purchase insurance for your shipment. The insurance that you purchase will depend entirely on what the contents of your goods is and what the value is. For ordinary goods, the insurance purchase price will be 2% of the total value of the goods. However, no insurance is required when the shipment is exported under FOB or CNF conditions.

Step 6

Follow customs procedures. Following customs procedures is a very important part of the exports process. Customs are a legal and very necessary step to ensure that all documentation is checked by government agencies. Typically, the supplier will be asked to complete an Export Declaration. If the export is then cleared, the goods will be placed in international transit. This is where a bill of lading may be issued.

Step 7

After all clearance for the shipment is complete, bill details must be provided for shipping lines for the bill of lading. This step must be actioned before the actual export. Delivery to the ship will be ended when the bill of lading has been received, whether that’s the original bill or surrendered bill.

Step 8

This is the step where payment for the goods will be issued. The import/export procedures must complete the set of payment documents. This will include the commercial invoice, packing list, sea waybill, certificate of origin, and certificate of fumigation.

If you have any questions on the exporting goods by sea, please do not hesitate to get in touch.