Export documents for coconut charcoal briquettes

Complete information on export documents for coconut charcoal briquette buyers. *update for 2021

Coconut charcoal Indonesia

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This article is updated and valid for 2020.

Buying coconut charcoal is not only buying the actual product but also arranging export & import documentation for customs and transportation. What are the most important documents you have to pay attention to:

First of all seller of charcoal have to provide you with the following documents:

  1. Certificate of Origin or COO – is an important international export document that certifies that your coconut charcoal is wholly obtained, produced, manufactured in Indonesia. Issuing COO is the General Directorate of Foreign Trade in Indonesia.

    Notice, that coconut manufacturer cannot issue this document by themselves. COO is printed on stamped paper with a registered number. This document is requested by customs in your country. There are several types of COO is used for coconut charcoal export:
  • Certificate of Origin Form A: if you are bringing coconut charcoal to Canada, Jepang, Russia, Europe, USA, Turkey. The original copy of this COO is in light green color.
  • Certificate of Origin Form D: is for ASEAN countries such as Brunei,  Malaysia, Singapore, Vietnam, Philippines, Thailand. The original copy of this COO is in red color.

COO in Indonesia is issued post-factum, ie after the ship sails from the harbor. Usually, it takes 1-2 days to issue this document. The cost of issuing is 15 USD.

coconut charcoal cube for shisha
coconut charcoal briquette in hand

2. Bill of lading or B/L –  is a document issued by a carrier to acknowledge receipt of cargo for shipment from Indonesia. Basically, it is proof that coconut charcoal was shipped. You have to show B/L to customs in your country to receive the goods. Without B/L you cannot receive charcoal in the country of arrival. 

Usually, the coconut charcoal manufacturer sends you original B/L via DHL after receiving the final payment. Another option is to perform a “Telex Release” – in this case, you just get email/electronic confirmation and no actual papers. 

B/L can be issued by the carrier (Maersk, OOCL, MSC, Evergreen or others) or it can be issued by local transportation broker. It is important for you to get B/L issued by the carrier as you can check the status of your container online on the website of the carrier.

B/L from a transportation broker is usually issued one day after the delivery container with charcoal to the port. Carrier B/L is issued one week later. This is the must document for exporting and importing coconut charcoal. 

The receiving party in B/L should be your company or your customs broker in your country. 

3. MSDS – Material Safety Data Sheet is a standard document issued by a surveyor or coconut charcoal supplier itself. It contains data on how to handle coconut charcoal cargo during transportation. This is a standard document. Example of MSDS for coconut charcoal you can find on this link

4. Invoice and Packing list – basically standard commercial invoice. The packing list is a description of goods, ie how many boxes, weights, pallets of charcoal are in a container. Those documents are important for your customs officers and the tax department in your country. The invoice & Packing list is issued by the charcoal factory.

Additional documents.

coconut charcoal cubes for shisha
coconut charcoal cubes for shisha & hookah

It is good to have an independent surveyor check the coconut charcoal. There are several international and reliable surveyors in Indonesia. To check coconut charcoal briquettes I recommend you use SGS or Intertek. Those surveyors are professional and have a good SOP on checking the quality, quantity of the coconut charcoal cargo. 

The price of the surveyor for coconut charcoal is about 400-600 USD, not including laboratory analysis. Using a professional surveyor is a good way to make your shipment of charcoal free from surprises.

Sales contract. Signing a sales contract is a good way to protect you from scams in Indonesia. Most of the coconut manufacturers are solid and trustful people, but also there are several guys who pretend to be a charcoal factory, while they are not. So, having a sales contract to buy charcoal – is a legal way to protect you.

A sample sales contract for coconut charcoal for shisha can be downloaded here.

Important update for 2020

Please pay your attention that most of coconut charcoal briquettes factories and supplier sell their products in two ways:

  1. As for actual “coconut charcoal briquettes: with HS Code: 4402.90
  2. Under the name: “coconut product” such as desiccated coconut or others

The right way to export charcoal briquettes is to use HS Code: 4402.90 and it is an actual name as “coconut charcoal briquettes”. But if you use it – you will be treated by shipping companies as “Dangerous Goods”.

Not all shipping lines accept to carry Dangerous Goods. Besides it you will be requested (or your charcoal factory) to provide additional shipping documents:

  • SHT – Self Heating Test Report. It is an additional laboratory test, made by the independent surveyor that shows your coconut charcoal is not self-flammable. The cost of SHT in Indonesia in 2020 is 185 – 230 USD. The time to get this certificate is 2-3 days. The factory has to send charcoal briquettes samples to the lab and wait for the official report.
  • ROA – Report of Analysis – similar to SHT documents, issued by the independent laboratory. Cost of the ROA is 125 – 150 USD

An example of SHT certificate can be found here.

Both of those documents are required for each shipment of Dangerous Goods such as coconut charcoal briquettes.

Most likely your coconut charcoal factory will ask you to cover those costs. Besides it, you will have “fun” to find the carrier (feeder ship) that will bring your charcoal from Surabaya or Semarang to the mother vessel. Most of the feeders are not allowed to take Dangerous Goods.

Coconut charcoal briquettes staffing at charcoal factory
Coconut charcoal briquettes staffing at charcoal factory

For example OOCL – have only one feeder per month that can carry Dangerous Goods (coconut charcoal briquettes) from the port of Surabaya

On the other hand, you can always claim your goods as a “coconut product”, not charcoal. There is a risk as you are lying to the carrier and customs. But at the same time, you do not need to declare it as Dangerous Goods and much easy to find feeder ship. As well as no charges for SHT or ROA.

2020 update for the documents for Australia market

There are several additional documents for Australian customers. Australian government requested to provide Fumigation with the level of AQIS – Australian Fumigation Accreditation Scheme.

Based on this AQIS your container has to be fumigated 1x 24 hours at the port. Please remember it when you order trucking from the charcoal factory to the departure port.

Looking for Coconut Charcoal for Shisha?
+62 853 28 7272 91