Frequently Asked Questions

Exporting Basics: Documentation

What is a proper commodity description?

To avoid delays, provide a detailed description of your commodity on your shipment documentation. This description must be consistent across all documents. List each commodity individually, with a separate description. Include in your description:

What the commodity is

What the commodity is made of

What the commodity will be used for

Whether the commodity is new or used

Whether or not the shipment is for resale

The HS number

Be precise! For example, when shipping parts for drilling machinery, instead of "parts," specifically describe the components: "drill bits, 1/4 forged steel." Avoid vague words or references such as Personal items, Promotional materials, Samples, Documents. Gifts, "See Commercial Invoice."

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