Required import documents

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Important documents for importing shipments

To import dutiable shipments into the U.S., typically a waybill and commercial invoice is required.

DHL Express Waybill – required for all shipments

A waybill accompanies every shipment and includes all the information DHL needs to know to keep your package moving. The waybill contains all the information DHL needs to know to keep your shipment moving. DHL Import Express Online makes it easy to prepare your international shipment. By creating your waybill online you will have be able to see missing or incomplete information, as well as be advised of applicable DHL services.

To create a waybill you’ll need the following information

  1. Receiver’s information
  2. Shipper’s information
  3. Full description of shipment:
    • Goods
    • Quantities of each
  4. Shipment details:
    • Total number of packages in the shipment
    • Total (sum) weight of the shipment
    • Shipment dimensions
  5. Services:
    • Transit service
    • Optional services
    • Shipment Value Protection
  6. Payment information:
    • DHL services
    • Destination duties/taxes
  7. Non-document (dutiable) shipment information:
    • Value of items shipped in U.S. dollars (Must match the value indicated on the Commercial Invoice)
    • Schedule B Number/HTS Code (This is a predetermined unique number for export)
  8. When required:
    • Export License No./Symbol
    • Receiver’s VAT/GST or shipper’s Employer Identification Number (EIN) Individual shippers may use a Social Security Number
    • Electronic Export Information (EEI)

Commercial Invoice – for dutiable shipments

A commercial invoice is obtained by the seller and shows the value and description of the merchandise. These are required for most imports into the United States.

A commercial invoice requires the following information:

  1. Your official company letterhead
  2. Sender’s full name and address, including postal code
  3. Sender’s telephone, fax or mobile number and VAT number
  4. Receiver’s complete address details for the recipient of the shipment, including telephone, fax or mobile numbers
  5. Invoice date
  6. Waybill number
  7. DHL as the carrier
  8. Shipper’s invoice number
  9. Sender’s reference
  10. Recipient’s reference
  11. Total quantity for each item
  12. Country of origin for each item
  13. Full description of the goods
  14. Customs commodity code for each item
  15. Unit weight
  16. Unit value of each item
  17. Subtotal of each item
  18. Net weight for this shipment
  19. Shipment gross weight
  20. Total number of shipment pieces
  21. Total value and currency of the shipment
  22. Freight and insurance charges
  23. Other charges
  24. Currency code
  25. Total invoice amount
  26. Type of export (permanent, temporary, repair)
  27. Terms of sale / terms of trade (Incoterms® 2010 Rules)
  28. Reason for export
  29. Additional notes
  30. Complete declaration with your name, company title
  31. Signature
  32. Company stamp (if required)

All DHL online shipping solutions make it easy to prepare a commercial invoice, along with the waybill. Or you can complete a commercial invoice online.

Packing Lists

Documents listing all of the items being transported, including their value are packing lists.

For more information about importing, access the DHL U.S. Import Industry Guide.