In the last session of ITPD yesterday at I.T.S Mohan Nagar Campus, we discussed the importance and features of Aligned Documents System for export documentation. ADS is an international initiative to standardize the size and information of international trade documentation. Once ratified by majority of the countries the whole trade documentation world wide can be made electronic significantly improving the process of documents and reducing time for documentary formalities while ensuring compliance. Most importantly such EDI if introduced worldwide can significantly improve the monitoring of the international trade transaction reducing scope of frauds and misappropriation by unscrupulous traders.
The documentation was also discussed and important documents both commercial and regulatory were discussed. Important documents which were discussed in the class are – Invoice, Packing List, Transport Documents, Mate’s receipt, Inspection certificate, and Country of Origin certificate. It was argued that most of the information provided in the invoice is essential for the smooth flow of goods through shipping and regulatory channels. The invoice acts as the bill for the seller and identifies the description of the goods and rationale for the cost of the goods. On the other hand packing list identifies the goods in details with respect to nature of packing, size and weight of different packing units etc.
Transport documents acts as the document of title and can be negotiable instrument depending upon the type of the document. In most cases Ocean Bill of Lading is a negotiable document which can be sold to the bank for consideration. On the other hand Air way bill can not be made negotiable since by the time this document reaches the buyer through different banking channels the air shipment is already there on the destination port and may attract heavy demurrage charges for want of such transport document if it is necessary to have it in original. Therefore Air Way Bill is consignee named and a non negotiable copy can be used to claim the goods by the named consignee at the port of call.
While the country of origin of the goods is mentioned in the invoice it is important to have the certificate of origin among the major set of commercial documents, since such document is important of the customs at the port of call to levy right quantum of duties on the goods received in the host country before these are claimed by the buyer.