If you are about to start import export business, then you need to know all about the import export procedure and documentation in Pakistan. Having all the knowledge of all the import export documents is not easy. At every step of the import export business document is needed and all documents are important.
You have to gain all the knowledge of import export documents to do the business right. If you even miss a single document, you may not be able to import or export.
In this article, I will tell you all about the import export documents.
Types of Import Export Documents
There are 4 type of import export documents used in import export business.
- Commercial documents
- Government documents
- Financial documents
- Transport documents
The documents prepared by the exporter and with help of private companies are known as commercial documents.
The document in which an offer is being made by the exporter to the importer providing the details about the price, quantity, quality, payment terms, delivery terms, and trade terms of the product.
It is the agreement between the importer and exporter having all the details of the purchase order made by the importer. This contract legally binds importer and exporter to complete the purchase order accordingly.
Pro Forma Invoice
An invoice issued by the exporter informing the importer about the shipment details. The details include quantity, quality, weight, size, and same characteristic of the product. This invoice is not for the payment, but it is used by the importer to get import license or arranging funds.
Packing list (PL)
The packing list contains the details of the goods in the shipment, information on how the product s packed, how the products are numbered, weight, dimension, and the serial number of every product.
The certificate is obtained with the help of the inspection company by the exporter on the request of the buyer. It certifies that the products are of good quality and meets the characteristic mentioned in the sales contract.
Insurance certificate is obtained with help of the insurance company which certifies that the shipment has been insured under a given policy. The insurance covers the any loss or damage to the merchandise during transportation.
Health certificate is required in exporting food products to make sure that the product that is being exporter is not harmful to human consumption.
Product Testing Certificate
Product testing certificate is obtained by the accredited laboratories to verify that the product meets the national or international technical standards like quality, safety, and specification.
If you are exporting plants or planting materials, you need to provide the phytosanitary certificate. The phytosanitary certificate verifies that the plant is free from pests and diseases and meets the regulation of the importing country. In Pakistan, this certificate can be obtained from the Ministry of National food security and research.
Fumigation certificate is a pest control certificate issued by the certified fumigation service providers. This is required for those shipments in which the goods are packed in solid wood packing materials.
The ATA carnet is the international customs document that allows the duty free and tax free import export of goods for certain time period. ATA carnet is also referred to as the passport for goods.
The commercial invoice is generated by the exporter for the demand for the payment of goods according to the sales contract. It provides complete details of the goods and payment terms. It is also used for the customs clearance.
The import export documentations in which government approval is needed or obtained by the government are government documents.
National Tax Number (NTN) certificate is issued by the income tax department of the country.
Sales Tax Registration
Sales tax registration is required for import in Pakistan, it is not necessary for the exporter. You can acquire sales tax registration from the sales tax department.
Membership certificate of Chamber of Commerce and Industries is required for trade purposes or to register your company.
Import and Export License
Import and export license is not needed in Pakistan. Sales tax registration works as an import license and in Pakistan export license is not needed for export. But for certain commodities license is needed.
Import Export Declaration
It is the statement made to the director of the customs for entry or exit of the goods. In this declaration, you have to mention all about the shipment, nature of the product, quantity, destination for where the cargo is coming, etc. This data is also used in compiling trade statics.
Certificate of Origin
Certificate of origin is issued by the Chamber of Commerce and Industries or the trade development authorities in the country. This certificate indicates that the product that is being exported is manufactured or produced in that country.
The documents which are used for handling finance are known as financial documents.
A current bank account is required for both import and export documents and proceedings.
The documentary credit is created upon the request of the importer, providing the bank’s undertaking to the exporter for the payment.
Bill of Exchange
Bill of exchange is a draft or document used for the payment in the international trade business. This document states that the importer is payable the certain amount to the exporter or the person having this document. Bill of exchange is addressed to the importer to pay the amount on demand or at the fixed time.
There are three entities involved in the bill of exchange.
- The Drawer, the person to whom the payment is due. (Exporter)
- The Drawee, the person who is liable to meet the terms of the document. (Importer)
- The Payee, the party who receives the payment. (Exporter or Exporter’s Bank)
This is the financial document that is negotiable evidencing the obligations of the importer to pay to the exporter. This document is similar to the bill of exchange; the only difference is there are two parties involved in the promissory note while in the bill of exchange there are three parties.
Letter of Credit
Letter of credit is issued by the bank on the behalf of the importer to the bank of the exporter as a guarantee for the payment under specific conditions. The letter of credit provides more security than the bill of exchange to the exporter.
There are different types of letter of credit.
- Confirmed or unconfirmed
- Fixed or revolving
- Revocable or irrevocable
- Transferable or divisible
- With or without recourse
Form E stands for export form in Pakistan. This form is issued by the bank at the time of the export. All exporters are required to declare their goods on form E which is subject to Foreign Exchange Regulations.
The documents used for the transportation purposes or prepared during the transportation are known as transport documents.
Shipping order is the document which is prepared with the details of the cargo by the shipping company. This document is also used for the preparation of the other transport documents like the bill of lading (B/L), air waybill, etc.
Bill of lading (B/L)
Bill of lading (B/L) is a document used in international shipment which is issued by the shipping company. It is the contract between the exporter and the shipping company. Bill of lading confirms that the merchandise had been uploaded on the ship and is ready for the shipping.
Air Waybill (AWB)
Air waybill is just like bill of lading but it used for the transportation of goods by air.
Packing List or Packing Note
Packing list or packing note is a list providing information that is needed for the transportation purposes. The packing list contains the details of the goods, country of origin, exporter, date of departure, place of delivery, container number, the weight of the goods, and packing information.
Checklist for the Import Export documents in Pakistan
Following are the checklist for the import export documents in Pakistan.
Import Documents Checklist
Importer requires only a few documents of his own, the rest of the documents are provided by the exporter. Here are the main documents required for the import.
- NTN (National Tax Number)
- Bank Account
- Sales Tax Registration
- Chamber Certificate
Export Documents Checklist
The export license is not required in Pakistan. Here are the following documents required for the export.
- NTN (National Tax Number)
- Bank Account
- Sales Tax Registration
- Chamber Certificate
- Commercial Invoice
- Packing List
- Certificate of Origin
- Letter of Credit (L/C)
- Form E
In this article, I have put almost every document used in the import export business. I hope this article will help you understand or prepare the import export documents.