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1. Which documents are required for exports, what are the elements of a standard export process?

International trade documents are generally divided into:

  • Official documents
  • Commercial documents
  • Transport documents
  •  Insurance documents

Official Documents

Official documents are documents required for the purpose of official (regulatory) authorization to export. Official documents are either submitted to the appropriate authority for legalization or are issued by an appropriate authority. Without local authorization (from competent Jordanian authorities), you will not be permitted to ship your goods out the country.

  • Customs or Export Declaration
  • An export License or Authorization
  •  A wharfage order (for seafreight)
  •  A pre-shipment inspection certificate
  •  A certificate of origin
  •  A health certificate

Commercial Documents

These are documents, which support the sales contract between the exporter and importer. They are issued by the exporter confirming that he/she has met all the terms and conditions of the sales contract. Examples of commercial documents are:

  • Commercial invoice
  • Packing list
  • Beneficiary certificate
  • Verification documents

Transport Documents

Transport documents are distinguished from the commercial documents in that they represent a contract of carriage with a third party. Transport documents are fundamental to the payment and delivery process in an import transaction.

There are three main types of transport documents that can be used in international transport. They are:

  • Bill of lading
  •  Waybill
  •  Consignment note

The purpose of all transport documents is to:

  •  Provide proof that the carrier has received the goods,
  • Show evidence of a contract of carriage, and
  •  Produce a freight bill (information on transport details and costs)

Insurance Documents

Insurance documents also constitute evidence of a contract with a third party, namely the insurance company and therefore must be distinguished from the commercial documents.

The two main insurance documents are:

  • Insurance certificate
  •  Insurance policy


2. What is the certificate of origin? Where do I obtain a certificate of origin?

A certificate of origin is a formal / official statement issued by either a chamber of commerce or industry in Jordan indicating where the goods were manufactured. The Ministry of Industry and Trade must certify the certificate of origin before an exporter attaches the certificate to the export declaration upon submitting the latter to the Customs.

A certificate of origin is an export document that is necessary to obtain from the Jordanian chamber of commerce or industry to confirm the origin of the products.

3. What is a commercial invoice? What is a typical format of a commercial invoice? What are the typical problems faced with a commercial invoice? What are the local requirements of a commercial invoice?

A commercial invoice is a statement by the seller on the details of the products to be sold. In general, a commercial invoice must contain the eller's name, method of payment and transport, invoice number, date, unit price, total price, and total weight of the goods. In the case of Jordan, the Ministry of Industry and Trade should certify a commercial invoice on exports and the chamber of commerce or industry should certify a commercial invoice on re-exports. In either case the chamber of commerce or industry will not issue a certificate of origin unless the exporter submits a commercial invoice to be also certified and stamped by the chamber. As mentioned ANNEX B, the commercial invoice must be attested by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Jordan and the relevant embassy of the importing country.

4. What is a bill of lading? What documentation is needed for it?

The bill of lading (B/L) is the traditional transport document for shipping goods by ocean transport. It serves as a contract between the exporter and the shipping line and covers the carriage of goods from the port of loading to the port of discharge. It also serves as a receipt for the goods and confers title to the goods to its holder. Also called a negotiable bill of lading, it is sent to the importer to enable him / her to claim the goods to which it refers.

Other documents are usually attached to the carrier's copy of the bill of lading, some of these documents are:

  • Copy of the commercial Invoice
  • Copy of the certificate of origin
  •  Packing list
  •  Weight list
  •  Certifications from the exporting country if any
    - Prior entry authorizations in the importing country if any.