The port of Rongqi is located in Dalian, Shunde in Foshan, Guangdong province, and deals exclusively with cargo. If your supplier’s factory is in Shunde, there is a chance that your goods will be delivered to Rongqi port. If this is your first time importing from China, you will encounter several foreign documents used exclusively for Chinese exports, like the letter of credit and shipper’s letter of instruction. Since these documents are not among the major ones like the invoice and the BOL, you probably won’t find plenty of information on them online. Therefore we have created this guide to give you hard-to-find information on:

  • Five documents you will encounter when importing from Rongqi to the UK and
  • the process involved in choosing a freight forwarder

Telex BOL/Original BOL

The Bill of Lading is a legal contract relevant throughout the shipping process, from port delivery to export clearance to getting cargo insurance. The BOL is drafted by your freight forwarder and handed over to the seller during pickup or delivery. When your goods arrive in the UK, the customs office will request the BOL to clear your goods. Therefore, your seller will need to send it to you either electronically or via post. Sending documents via post carries the inherent risk of losing them, so a telex BOL is the safer option. However, if you pay your seller via a “Letter of Credit,” the seller will send you the original document.

Letter of Credit

There is usually a substantial delay between the agreement and payments in international trade deals. Buyers often use a Letter of Credit to show good intention to the seller as they wait to receive the goods. In a Letter of Credit, your bank guarantees payment to the seller’s bank once certain delivery conditions have been met.

Certificate of Origin

A Certificate of Origin (CoO) document proves that an import/export was processed, manufactured, or produced in a particular country. If you import many products from Rongqi to the UK, you will need a CoO for each product.

Most countries need a CoO for customs clearance, to determine what duties may be relevant. A CoO includes standard information, like:

  • the exporter’s details,
  • The buyer’s details,
  • shipment routing, and
  • A description of the goods.

It also includes two additional sections:

  • Exporter Declaration – The exporter’s letter to the inspector vouching for product details and the country of manufacture.
  • Inspection Certificate – completed by a state employee or an outsourced agency proving that the goods were inspected.

Your freight forwarder will most likely request that the CoO be accompanied by the Shipper’s Letter of Instruction, just in case the items are banned from import or additional documentation is required.

Shipper’s Letter of Instruction

A Shipper’s Letter of Instruction (exchanged by the seller and freight forwarder at pickup/delivery) contains information on your shipment’s destination and the means of transport. The Shipper’s Letter of Instruction serves as an order form and proof that you are purchasing from the forwarder.

Packing List

The packing list (attached to your goods in a pouch) shows how the supplier or freight forwarder packed your goods for inspection and shipping purposes. Typically, completing the packing list is the exporter’s duty. However, if your freight forwarder repacks your items at their warehouse, for example, in LCL shipments, the forwarder has to complete the form. You will have to sign the document when you receive your goods. A packing list includes the following details:

  • Shipper/Consignee
  • Packing details
  • Description of the goods
  • Hazardous information

Choosing a Freight Forwarder

The best way to find a good shipping company is to request quotes from different freight forwarders and compare them. The freight quote will give you an estimate on how each company will charge you based on the type, weight and dimension of your imports. Once you find a competitive quote, the next step is to make a booking and receive confirmation. A Booking Confirmation includes a booking number for tracking, the size and numbers of pallets and the origin, destination and load itinerary.

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Here at Barrington, we pride ourselves in being a partner you can trust. When importing from Rongqi to the UK, you will encounter many complexities, and our job is to make things easy for you. We have a team of experts ready to help you negotiate with your supplier and advise you on key aspects of the process. Contact us for a quote!

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