Exporting: Sample Shipper's Letter of Instruction

Figure 6 - Sample Shipper's Letter of Instruction

The Shipper's Letter of Instruction is just that - a "letter" from the Shipper instructing the Freight Forwarder how and where to send the export shipment. In preparing this form, the Shipper also fills in most of the information required on the Shipper's Export Declaration, form 7525V (the Freight Forwarder will complete the rest). After the Shipper completes the form, he or she retains the blue shipper's ply and forwards the rest of the form with the shipment to the Freight Forwarder.

Shipper's Letter of Instruction

1. Exporter: the name and address of the principal party responsible for effecting export from the United States. The exporter as named on the validated export license. Report only the first five digits of the zip code.

2. Exporter EIN Number: the exporter's Internal Revenue Service Employer Identification Number (EIN) or Social Security Number (SSN) if no EIN has been assigned.

3. Parties to Transaction: When either the U.S. exporter or the foreign consignee owns (directly or indirectly), at any time during the fiscal year, 10 percent or more of the voting securities of the incorporated business, or an equivalent interest if an unincorporated business enterprise, including a branch, the transaction is between "Related" parties. Otherwise the transaction is between "Unrelated" parties.

4. Ultimate Consignee: the name and address of the person/company to whom the goods are shipped for the designated end use, or the party so designated on the Export License.

5. Intermediate Consignee: the name and address of the party who effects delivery of the merchandise to the ultimate consignee, or the party so named on the export license.

6. Forwarding Agent: The name and address of the duly authorized forwarder acting as agent for the exporter.

7. Inland Carrier: see note 2 on form.

8. Point (State) of Origin or FTZ No.: (a) the 2-digit U.S. Postal Service abbreviation of the state in which the merchandise actually starts its journey to the port of export, or (b) the state of origin of the commodity of greatest value, or (c) the state of consolidation, or (d) the Foreign Trade Zone Number for exports leaving an FTZ.

9. Country of Ultimate Destination: the country in which the merchandise is to be consumed, further processed, or manufactured the final country of destination, as known to the exporter at the time of shipment; or country of ultimate destination, as shown on the validated export license.

10. Shipper's Reference Number: Shipper's reference with freight forwarder.

11. Date: date shipment sent to forwarder.

12. Ship Via:method of shipment required.

13. Consolidate Direct:determines how forwarder is to instruct Carrier to ship goods. Generally, a choice between speed and economy of shipment.

14. D/F:

  • D (domestic exports) - merchandise grown, produced or manufactured (including imported merchandise which has been enhanced in value) in the United States.
  • F (foreign exports) - merchandise that has entered the United States and is being reexported in the same condition as when it entered.

15. Marks, Nos., & Kinds of Packages: indicate the numbers and kinds of packages (boxes, barrels, cases) and any descriptive marks, numbers, or other identification shown on the packages. Such marks and numbers are required to be placed on the outside of all packaged goods whenever feasible.

Schedule B Number: the 11 digit commodity number as provided in the Harmonized Schedule B - Statistical Classification of Domestic and Foreign Commodities Exported from the United States. The eleventh digit should be typed in the Check Digit column.

16. Quantity - Schedule B Unit(s): the unit(s) specified in the Harmonized Schedule B with the unit indicated, or the unit as specified on the validated export license.

17. Shipping Weight: (for vessel and air shipments) the gross shipping weight in kilos, including the weight of containers but excluding carrier equipment.

18. Shipping Weight (pounds): the gross shipping weight in pounds of the commodities being shipped, not including weight of shipping container.

19. Cubic Meters: length X width X height in meters, not required, but helpful.

20. Value (U.S. Dollars, Omit Cents): the selling price, or cost if not sold, for the number of items recorded in the quantity field when they were sold by the vendor to the purchaser.

21. Harmonized Schedule B Description: a proper identifying description of the commodity as known in the country of production or exportation. This should be sufficient to permit verification of the Harmonized Schedule B Commodity Number, or the description shown on the export license.

22. Validated License No./Genereal License Symbol: Export License number and expiration date or general license symbol.

23. Duly Authorized Officer: Signature of exporter authorizing the named agent to effect the export when such agent does not have the formal power of attorney.

24. ECCN: (when required) Export Control Commodity Number - the ECCN number of commodities listed on the Commodity Control List (commodities subject to U.S. Department of Commerce export controls) in the Export Administration Regulations.

25. Shipper Must Check: specifies whether shipper (prepaid) or consignee (collect) will pay freight charges. If shipment is to be paid for C.O.D. by consignee, specify amount in C.O.D. Amount field.

26. Special Instructions: used to inform forwarder of any special instructions, such as a specific carrier to be used, special telex notification, required certifications, etc.

27.Signatures: lift up the top piles of the form and sign the first Export declaration. This certifies to the U.S. government that all information on the form is true and correct.

28. Shipper's Instructions: instructs the forwarder how to dispose of the shipment in the event it proves to be undeliverable abroad.

29. Insurance: used when insurance is required, and the shipper wishes to use an insurer chosen by the Forwarder. The amount is usually 110% of the shipment value.

Back to Shipping

More about Exporting:
Developing an Export Plan
Developing a Market Plan
Export Advice
Making Contacts
Technology Licensing /Joint Ventures
Preparing Your Product for Export
Service Exports
International Legal Considerations
Shipping Your Product
Pricing, Quotations, and Terms
Methods of Payment
Financing Export Transactions
Selling Overseas
After-sales Service