Whats the paperwork required when using ocean freight?
In light of another thread, maybe its time for a definitive set of documents to be prepared. I've recently shipped a vehicle and a crate in a groupage conatiner ex UK to Aus so can put my experience up as far as that goes.
1. Delivery Notice, gives full details of the vehicle (eg; rego, VIN, colours, cubic metres, damage), owner's address and delivery/contact address in destination country (or the Custom's Agent). It MUST include the name and address of the receiving company, this MUST be signed for by the company receiving the vehicle on behalf of the ocean freight company. If you deal with a reputable company they will provide a Delivery Notice, if not you MUST prepare one in triplicate at least. The vehicle needs to have the name of the owner and the destination port put in the windscreen, for a crate you need to make sure that the destination port is marked and also the delivery address on at least two sides. For bike crates its really important to have a "this way up" sticker as well.
2. Ocean Bill of Lading, prepared by the ocean shipping company (the boat owners or charter), should have exactly the same details as the delivery notice, but with some additional information about who pays destination port charges (do a weblookup on INCOTERMS). If you have a Customs Agent in the destination country then they must be on the Ocean Bill. This will be sent by registered mail to the address that you nominate in your Delivery Notice - the Ocean Bill is your title to the goods, without it you have to go through a few hoops to prove ownership.
3. Arrival Notice, sent to you by the Ocean freight company to tell you when your goods will arrive at the destination port, it should also state what additional destination port charges you must pay to the Ocean freight company, it will also detail the address you send payment to.
Thats it, you can now deal with the Government, quarantine, customs, etc.
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