Company Documents and Export Procedures
In this section we are going to describe what are the most common company documents and export procedures used by exporting companies while servicing orders. The steps described are steps that usually european companies follow as some of them are related with laws that are valid in EU. But these steps are not be so different for the principles of international trade in general.

The procedure of receiving, preparing and dispatching an export order is shown in the table below and it is described also with bulleting points.


Table: Procedures and Documents by Transaction Party
Customer / Buyer Supplier / Seller Third parties (custom agent,  product certification bodies etc.)
Procedure Procedure Procedure
The Customer sends the purchase order and confirms the order confirmation The Supplier receives the purchase order, prepares the order confirmation and or Proforma Invoice and when the order is confirmed prepares and the truck or container arrives prepares the rest of the docs If the company is authorizing a customs agent to make custom clearance on its behalf, the agent receives the set of documents prepared by the supplier in order to make the custom clearance.Sometimes, when additional certificates are necessary like ISO documents, CE documents, Official pricelists other official bodies may need to prepare documents either only once or in every shipment
Documents Documents Documents
Purchase order Picking ListOrder confirmation,Proforma Invoice,

Delivery Note,

Commercial Invoice,


Packing List


Shipping Documents


Sales Contract


Custom Clearance Documents (i.e. EUR1, Export Declaration, Certificate of Origin etc.)Other thirds parties documents (ISO, CE etc.)
  • The customer/buyer sends an order to the supplier/seller with a purchase form.
  • The supplier receives the order and sends back to the customer an order confirmation. Sometimes the customer might ask also for a Proforma Invoice in order to use it as a proof against his bank and make a payment in advance.
  • After the customer confirms the Order Confirmation or Proforma and the quantity is available in the warehouse a Picking List document is prepared. This is the document that is given to the warehouse to prepare the pick up for the order.
  • When the warehouse prepares the order and the truck/container arrives for the pick up a dispatch note and Invoice document is prepared.
  • Additional to the Invoice and Dispatch note sometimes it is necessary to prepare a Packing List document, or a Dimension List document.
  • In order to finish the export procedure it is also necessary for a Shipping Document to be prepared.

Additional to the documents mentioned above, sometimes it is necessary to prepare additional product certificates and contracts for the transaction but this is something that will be covered in another section of the website.

Lastly, when the products have to pass through custom clearance procedures additional custom clearance documents are necessary which are described in the section Custom Clearance documents.

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