Evidently, the shipping process is supported by a number of documents right from the dispatch of good until its arrival at the intended destination. Regardless of the carrier, type of goods, mode of shipment, these formalities with respect to the shipping documents have to be met duly, as and when required, for the smooth flow of transportation without delay. Any discrepancy or non-compliance attracts several other complexities which can further pose as a threat to timely delivery. If you are a shipper from Romania, you might have during the course of transporting goods, many times you have been asked to produce some indispensable documents by logistics service providers in Romania as freight forwarding cannot be initiated without having these documents in place. The Shipper’s Letter of Instruction (SLI) is one such crucial document to carry out international shipment with absolute peace of mind. We shall deep dive into the details of Shipper’s Letter of Instruction and the reasons why shippers should prepare this document, shall we?
The SLI is a document that is prepared by the shipper with the details of requirements for a particular shipment right from the beginning of the transit until its arrival at the recipient’s location. It is essential to have this document ready before sending shipments. All reputed transportation logistics companies in Romania insists to have SLI while getting the goods prepared for export overseas. Some carrier companies have two types of SLI separately for sea freight and air freight.
What constitutes Shipper’s Letter of Instruction?
As mentioned above, the document prepared by the exporter to the shipping service providers should contain the terms of shipping that lets the shipping company in issuing air waybill (AWB)or Bill of Lading (BoL). It also provides directions for the transport company regarding packaging details, mode of shipment, export restrictions, handling, storage, loading and unloading of goods without causing any damage or loss. In addition to this, the SLI serves to report information and allows shipping service providers to file Electronic Export Information (EEI) for sending it to the Automated Export System (AES).
The SLI is essentially required for international trade. The shipper should fill it out in full prior to the dispatch of goods, because it instructs the handling procedure for the goods being exported. Furthermore, it also directs the freight forwarder to act on behalf of the exporter as the authorised forwarding agent for customs related formalities. Even though SLI is not considered as a legal document, its significance varies between different countries based on the country specific regulations relating to international trade.
Why Shipper’s Letter of Instruction?
The SLI has many purposes and offer many advantages to shippers. We have already mentioned that it helps in conveying information to the shipping service provider about the details of handing the package. This could further assist in avoiding any misunderstanding that may result in loss of time or money, for shippers in particular. However, make sure that all the details entered into the SLI is free from errors and all information is filled out completely. Also, it helps the shipper/exporter to have a written record of the instructions for the freight forwarder.
The document is the written record of the receipt of shipping documents, details of the person to be contacted, in case of queries or for accessing proof of export and so forth. Let’s take a closer look on the information furnished in the LSI.
Details of Shipper and Receiver
The shipper’s letter of instruction should contain shipper’s information along with the details of the recipient overseas. It should contain the name and complete address along with the telephone and email id of the both the parties concerned.
In case the recipient associates with a freight forwarder in the country of destination, the shipper should include its information in ‘Notify Party’ section. If not, it will get automatically passed to agent of the shipper’s company in the country of destination.
Port of Departure and Destination
Include the port of departure and destination on the Shipper’s Letter of Instruction. Shippers can also include the ports which they would like to get the goods transported.
Shipment of Dangerous Cargo
Hazardous or dangerous cargo shipment is subjected to rules and regulations and is challenging as well. You can check the tick mark and if the goods come under this category it requires material safety data sheet from the manufacturer, importer and supplier for the smooth flow of such goods.
Description of Shipping Contents and Their Commercial Value
Always provide product descriptions, weight and dimensions on the SLI. If the measurements are not accurate or different from what is given in the SLI, additional charges may be levied. Also, provide the commercial value of the shipment and not the selling price.
In case the shipper requires to fulfill any formalities, other than those mentioned in the shipping contract, it is provided in the ‘destination requirements’ section.
Signature with Date
Finally, it should be duly signed with the date. No document is valid unless it is signed and same is the case with Shipper’s Letter of Instruction too. It declares that the shipper has given the confirmation to transport the goods towards the county of destination.
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