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What are the basic documents you need for international transport?


In any commercial activity it is necessary to comply with and follow a basic regulation. In the case of the transport of goods, different aspects come into play that must be fulfilled for the commercial transaction to be carried out successfully and without any setback.

In relation to the documents required for the transfer of goods, it should be noted that, to a certain extent, will depend on the means used. In addition to this, in certain situations the type of goods being moved must also be taken into account. For example, transporting goods listed as dangerous is not the same as transporting perishable goods.

In spite of all this, it is important to point out that there are basic documents common to all means of transport of goods.

Which documents are basic?

The basic documents necessary for the transport of any type of merchandise are those in which the requirements and information demanded by the customs authorities are specified.

This is the basic documentation through which the authorities verify that they meet the minimum requirements that allow the movement of the means of transport with the load. As already mentioned, depending on the means of transport used (sea, air or land), the necessary requirements will vary. However, the fundamental and basic documentation that is common to all of them is:

  • Certificate of transport insurance. This document must indicate the total amount and the type of insurance in force contracted.
  • International Commercial Invoice. As its name suggests, it refers to an international sale. It must include all the data related to the products being moved.
  • Delivery note. Also called "delivery note", it refers to the document that verifies and credits that the load has been delivered to its addressee.

What documentation is specific to road transport?

For each means of transport used to transport the load, there is a regulation that defines the specific documentation for each of them. In the case of road transport, reference is made to the so-called Road Bill of Lading.

This Road Bill of Lading or CMR must include all information related to the obligations and responsibilities arising from the commercial transaction. In this sense, it is important to note that the obligations and responsibilities to which it refers affect all parties involved in the commercial agreement.