If you've ever imported something from abroad, you're familiar with the many regulations and requirements that govern the global movement of goods. One of these requirements is an Importer Security Filing, or ISF.
When it comes to shipping goods internationally, there’s a lot that can go wrong. And as waves of disruption continue to crash down on global supply chains, one of the most important things to consider is whether you need ocean cargo insurance coverage.
Lots of paperwork is required to send an international shipment. But one form that's not required may be the most important.
The export cargo shipping instructions form is exactly as the name implies. It's an exporter’s instructions to its freight forwarder on what is being shipped and how they want it shipped. You might also hear this document referred to as a shipper's letter of instruction or bill of lading instructions.
The phrase can conjure images of skull & crossbones stickers on steel drums with contents that can melt through just about anything. But when it comes to shipping, even some common items in your house are considered hazmat – like paint, perfume, deodorant, glue, and glass cleaners.
To a novice, the Harmonized Tariff Schedule – the document that’s the key to import duties and fees – might look impenetrable. But if you bring cargo into the US, it’s crucial to get a handle on this complex list of product descriptions, each with its own 10-digit code. The HS code for international shipping assigned to a product determines how much it will cost you to clear customs and meet other requirements.
International shipping is a complex industry with a language all its own. The more shipping terms you understand, the better-equipped you’ll be to move your freight efficiently and economically. To get you up to speed on some key terms, here’s a quick international shipping glossary,
Are you moving overseas, or planning an extended visit? Would you like to bring your car? Shipping a car (or pickup truck, motorcycle, powerboat or any other motorized vehicle) isn’t complicated, and it doesn’t have to be expensive, as long as you know what you’re doing.
Here are some important things to keep in mind about international car shipping.
There is a very costly misconception regarding ocean shipping that may lead global shippers of heavy freight to pay far more than needed. Specifically, steamship lines promote the idea that container weights must be limited to 44,000 pounds or less to stay within “legal” limits. Knowing the actual truck weight limits by state (see the chart further on in this article) can easily lead to six-figure savings for large-volume shippers of heavy freight.
In 2016, in order to improve safety in the supply chain, the International Maritime Organization (IMO) made amendments to the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) convention mandating all shippers to verify the gross mass of a packed export container prior to vessel loading.
Ocean shippers must provide this information in order to stay in compliance with VGM Regulations. Here’s a quick review of shipper responsibilities.