Do I need to produce a packing list when exporting?

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When we export outside the EU, we currently produce a commercial invoice and delivery note along with any other requirements. Do I need to produce a packing list and is it compulsory or would it be good practice?
We do put no. of boxes, weight and dimensions on our commercial invoice.
I would be grateful for an answer to this one!
Thank you.

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a lot of people put the packing info on their invoices its nice to have a packing list separate but not usually a legal requirement.If you have any jobs coming up let me know what countries you are shipping to and i will check it out for you.We can also quote you for your shipping if required

Graham Simmonds
Sales Development Manager
Unit A, 6 Bancrofts Road
South Woodham Ferrers
Tel: +44 (0) 330 0244 844 ext 117
Fax: +44 (0) 1245 429471
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Ian James, on behalf of i2i Infinity Limited in BA4.

We've been providing export documentation systems to global exporters for 30 years and find the usage of Packing Lists mixed across our customer base.

Where packing information is available in the ERP/business system it's generally used and a Packing List is included routinely.
Where a Packing List is manually created, which for our users is drag and drop from the invoice items list into boxes/pallets/crates/containers/etc., they only produce one when requested by the importer or end customer. There are some countries which we find more commonly ask for one, for example Russia.

We also find that although there is a standard template for an export Packing List some customers can get away with re-labelling another document such as the Advice of Shipment.
As Graham mentions other documentation, such as the export invoice, will already include fields for total weights and cube plus a general description of goods which usually includes the number of packs. It won't show the breakdown of items per pack though.

If it would help you to see the template Packing List please drop me a line.

Kind regards,

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From my experience it is definitely good practice to send your customer a packing list. They can check the goods into the warehouse easier . but some customs authorities like Turkey and Lebanon require it.
Gilio Moscardini
Export Advisory Solutions Ltd

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HMRC Advisor, on behalf of HM Revenue & Customs in G67.

Information on the Customs requirements for exporting is given in HMRC Public Notice 275. All notices can be viewed on the GOV.UK website at by typing ‘Notice 275’ in the search box and selecting the following links from the search results: > Notice 275 “Customs export procedures” a guide to UK export procedures using the National Export System.

Further detailed information regarding exporting goods outside the EU can be found by using the following link

I would also suggest that you contact the Customs Authorities in the importing countries to ascertain if there are any import restrictions on such items.

HM Revenue & Customs

Customs International Trade & Excise


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