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Forms & Documents

We have compiled descriptions of the most commonly used forms and documentation for international shipping in one convenient location.

If you can’t find the information you need, contact us and we will be glad to assist you.

Air Waybill (a.k.a. Consignment Note or HAWB)

Commercial Invoice (for non-document shipment)

Proforma Invoice

Certificate of Origin

NAFTA Certificate of Origin

Dangerous Goods Declaration


Airway Bill (a.k.a. Consignment Note or HAWB)
Air Waybill (AWB) or air consignment note refers to a receipt issued by an international courier company for goods and an evidence of the contract of carriage, but it is not a document of title to the goods. Hence, the AWB is non-negotiable.


Commercial Invoice (for non-document shipment)
A commercial invoice is used as a customs declaration provided by the person or corporation that is exporting an item across international borders. Although there is no standard format, the document must include a few specific pieces of information such as the parties involved in the shipping transaction, the goods being transported, the country of manufacture, and the Harmonized System codes for those goods. A commercial invoice must also include a statement certifying that the invoice is true, and a signature.


Proforma Invoice
A pro forma invoice is much the same as a commercial invoice which, when used in international trade, represents the details of an international sale to customs authorities. A proforma invoice is presented in the place of a commercial invoice when there is no sale between the sender and the importer, or if the terms of the sale between the seller and the buyer are such that a commercial invoice is not yet available at the time of the international shipment. A proforma invoice is required to state the same facts that the commercial invoice would and the content is prescribed by the governments who are a party to the transaction.


Certificate of Origin
Traditionally states from what country the shipped goods originate, but “originate” in a CO does not mean the country the goods are shipped from, but the country where the goods are actually made. The CO is primarily important for classifying the goods in the customs regulations of the importing country, thus defining how much duty shall be paid. It may also be important for import quota purposes and for statistical purposes, and especially for food shipments, and health regulations.


NAFTA Certificate of Origin
This is a preferential certificate of origin attesting that goods in a particular shipment originate and delivery between Canada, US and Mexico. This certificate is required by the local customs authority in deciding whether the imports should benefit from preferential treatment in accordance with North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).


Dangerous Goods Declaration
Dangerous goods shipments also require a special declaration form prepared by the shipper. Among the information that is generally required includes the shipper’s name and address; the consignee’s name and address; descriptions of each of the dangerous goods, along with their quantity, classification, and packaging; and emergency contact information. Common formats include the one issued by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) for air shipments and the form by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) for sea cargo. Only certified individuals may create a DG declaration.

Please Note: National and international laws require all persons performing dangerous goods functions to be properly trained and certified. The instructions provided on this web site are not intended to take the place of this training and certification. Rather, they are designed as a guide to assist when preparing hazardous materials for transport. They represent a textual and pictorial example of compliance with current regulatory requirements. Since international, state and carrier requirements are subject to change, always check the current regulations for compliance prior to shipping.

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