Shipment Records & Document Retention

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It is the responsibility of the companies (importers/exporters) to have a document control process with regards to shipment movement. 

DHL Express will only provide the copy of the Invoice, Waybill and other supporting documents (if applicable such as declaration form or custom of receipt) to the companies during shipment delivery.

The Customs Guidance and Customs has the authority to seek for more documents. The documents required to be retained are as follows:

  • Air Waybill
  • Invoice
  • Customs Official Receipt (where applicable)
  • Customs Declaration Form
  • Permits and Licenses (where applicable)
  • Proof of Payment

The document is required to be kept for 7 years.

Electronic copies are acceptable, however, during Customs audit, if there is any suspicion or potential fraud, a company must be able to retrieve original form of the documents. All data and document retention must be located in Malaysia and special approval from RMCD is needed for it to be kept overseas.

In Malaysia, they basically represent the same document and the terms are used interchangeably within different courier companies.

A waybill, commonly known as an Air Waybill if it’s used in Air freight, is an official piece of document that a seller issues to show the detail of the goods that are being shipped to the receiver.

A waybill number is a string of numbers that can be found in a waybill. A waybill number is used for both the courier company and the receiver to track the whereabouts or progress of the delivery or parcel.

It’s a document that is always attached to a parcel. The rule of thumb is that any parcel that is intended to be sent out must have a shipping label before the courier company is able to proceed with shipping.

A shipping label should have basic information such as the receiver’s name, address and phone number with the tracking number and bar code for a courier company’s internal use.

Normally, you will just need to fill in the information in a link that a courier has sent and you will be prompted to generate and print a shipping label.

You can choose to print out the shipping label with any printer and paper of your choice, as long as the information shown is clear and concise. If you want to avoid any problems with a shipping label, it is recommended that you print it at the courier company of your choice.

A prepaid shipping label is used when a customer plans to return to product.  It is known as the prepaid shipping label as the shipping has already been paid for by the seller.

If you’re a seller, you will need to purchase it online from the courier company’s website and fill out the required information.

On the other hand, if you’re a buyer, you might receive prepaid shipping labels if a seller has already included them in the parcel before sending it out.

Similar to a shipping label and a waybill, a consignment note is issued by the courier company that you plan to ship with.

As a general rule of thumb, you will need to fill in these informations in an Air Waybill:

  1. Sender’s details
  2. Recipient details
  3. Goods description
  4. Weight of the parcel
  5. Additional services and charges
  6. Insurance
  7. Payment
  8. Destination Area Code
  9. Sender’s signature
  10. Remarks

However, do know that the information required might vary based on different courier companies. 

Printing a consignment note is similar to printing Air Waybill or shipping label. You can choose to print it out in the comfort of your own house and printer or at the courier office or at once you’ve filled in all the information required.

A consignment note is an official document that can prove that a parcel has been handed over to the courier. It helps courier companies keep track of the delivery process of the parcel.

This document is also what the receiver will sign on as proof they receive the parcel.

A consignment note is also known as an airway bill or a shipping label here in Malaysia. They are basically the same document and can be used interchangeably based on different courier companies.

A consignment note number is a string of numbers displayed on a consignment note that enables the receiver and the courier company to track the whereabouts and progress of the parcel.

A consignment note is merely a document that is used by the shipper and the courier company.

On the other hand, a delivery note is a document between the shipper and the receiver. It is a document that can act as a checklist and the details of the goods ordered by the receiver.

A delivery note is also often referred to as a commercial invoice or sales invoice by the majority of people.

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