An exporting company wants its products to arrive at its customer’s door on time, in one piece and free of legal tangles, the Exporter needs to take special care in Product packing, marking and labeling the goods.
Products shipped for export require substantially greater handling than domestic shipments. The Exporter must pack the goods to ensure the weight and measurements are kept to a minimum, breakage is avoided, the container is theft proof and that the goods do not suffer from the stresses of ocean shipment, such as excess moisture.
Assume that the exported goods will have a bumpy ride. Particularly, if they are being shipped overseas with repeated loading and unloading. The goods should be packed to survive rough-and-ready cargo handlers and poor roads. During transit, handling and storage, the goods may have to endure bad weather and extreme temperatures. If they need special temperature controls or other protective measures, it is necessary to ensure that they are suitably protected.
The type of shipping may determine the kind of packing that a company should use e.g. if the goods are carried by ship, the Exporter needs to know whether they will be placed above or below deck. Also, Proper packing can reduce the risk of theft during shipment for exports.
In addition to proper product packing, the Exporter should be aware that certain markings are necessary on goods transported internationally. Some countries require that the country of origin be marked on the outside of the container and even have regulations as to how the mark of origin should appear. Marking distinguishes the company’s exported goods from those of other shippers.
Marks shown on the shipping container must agree with those on the Commercial Invoice or Bill of Lading, and may include some or all of the following,
- The buyers name or some other form of agreed identification
- The point/port of entry into the importing country
- The gross and net weight of the product in kilograms and/or pounds
- Identification of the country of origin
- The number of packages
- Appropriate warning or cautionary markings
- A Packing List, plus one additional copy in each container, itemizing the contents.
As stated above, markings on containers must identify the buyer, the port of entry, gross and net weights, the country of origin, and any cautions. The Exporter must also include a Packing List identifying the contents of each container, and all markings must agree with those on the Bill of Lading or other shipping documents.
The second type of marking the Exporter should be familiar with, is product labeling. It is essential to ensure that the exported goods are properly labelled. Food and drugs must often carry special labeling as determined by the laws of the country of destination. Certain shipping marks must appear on the outside of the package. The weight and dimensions should be visible and any special instructions should be shown. The exporting company may want to repeat these instructions in the language of the importers country.
If the Exporters business is not equipped to package its products for export, there are export packaging companies which can perform this service. For more information, the Exporter can ask the company’s international freight forwarder for a list of export packaging companies. If labeling, packaging or advertising restrictions apply to the exported goods, then they must be taken seriously. The Exporters products may not clear Customs if labels don’t conform to local requirements for things like product weight or electrical standards. It should be noted that the European Union and China have adopted legislation that requires labeling for many products sold there.
Once everything has been arranged, steps need be taken to ensure that the goods are packed, documented and shipped properly. When transporting goods internationally, proper documentation and correct packaging are critical to the export process.
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