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For many companies, shipping across the border is viewed as a big headache. The thought of filling out the proper paperwork in detail can give one a headache.

Companies who hire freight brokers to take care of the headache for them may feel like they are dodging a bullet. But it is in a company’s best interest to have a brief understanding of what paperwork is needed and why.

If your freight broker needs to ask you questions regarding your shipment, always answer truthfully and be aware that they are asking you in order to fill out the paperwork properly so you do not end up with an even bigger headache with your freight stuck at the border.

Some things you should know about the paperwork are the Bill of Lading, the Commercial Invoice, and the Certificate of Origin. You do not have to be fluent in terminology, but the basic gist of these things will make communicating with your freight broker go more smoothly.

The Bill of Lading is very important. All the information on it must be consistent with all the information on the Commercial Invoice. It must include an accurate and complete description of the goods being shipped, clearly and concisely, as well as indicating the type of clearance preferred by the consignee, and the name of the Customs Broker or Agents at the frontier port or inland sufferance warehouse.

The Commercial Invoice consists of two copies, one must accompany the freight from the point of pickup to the point of customs clearance, the other is attached to the Bill of Lading. This document gives a complete description of the goods being shipped, the proper valuations of the goods and currency information.

And lastly the Certificate of Origin, a document that can cause a lot of headaches if not filled out correctly or is missing. It is used by the broker to determine the correct rate of duty under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). If this document is missing, the highest rates may be applied to each consignment. The U.S. Customs may also not allow the goods into the country.

When shipping goods from the US into Canada a Canada Customs Invoice must also accompany all the paperwork. Much like the Commercial Invoice, there must be two copies, accompanying the shipment.

Road King Freight Logistics can make it feel painless to ship your goods across the border to all US destinations. Save yourself from the headache and call Road King Freight Logistics today.

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