Types of International Trade Documents

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  • 0:04 International Trading
  • 0:39 Types of Intl. Trade Documents
  • 4:46 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Beth Hendricks

Beth holds a master's degree in integrated marketing communications, and has worked in journalism and marketing throughout her career.

Looking to import or export goods from one country to another? This lesson will explain the basic types of international trade documents and how they detail information about the shipment and the buyer/seller.

International Trading

You've finally realized a lifelong dream and opened your first store, a small emporium of cool and unique gifts you've named 'The Oddball.' In a quest to stock your shelves, you've run across a few international vendors with products you'd like to sell in your store.

Unfortunately, you don't know much about the ins and outs of international trade and need a crash course for the important documents you'll encounter when you bring your goods to market. Let's take a look at some common types of documents you might see as you get your business up and running.

Types of International Trade Documents

International trade documents serve as a system of information for importing and exporting across the borders of countries and continents. These documents, in many cases, are a requirement of the country where the buyer or seller lives. In most instances, these documents can protect both the importer and the seller in purchasing, financing, insuring, and transporting purchased goods.

For example, if you purchase a case of funky hats for 'The Oddball,' and there's no documentation to back up that purchase, you may find a shipment that's been lost or payment required for more pieces than you actually ordered. Shipping documents, payment documents, and receipts make up the majority of key documents you might encounter in your international trade transactions. Shipping documents include:

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