Export documents for coconut charcoal

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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 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. Cost of issuing is 5 USD.

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, coconut charcoal manufacturer sends you original B/L via DHL after receiving 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 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 via 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 surveyor or coconut charcoal supplier itself. 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 is in a container. Those documents are important for your customs officers and tax department in your country. Invoice & Packing list is issued by the charcoal factory.

Additional documents.

It is good to have an independent surveyor check the coconut charcoal. There are several international and reliable surveyor in Indonesia. To check coconut charcoal briquettes I recommend you to use SGS or Intertek. Those surveyors are professional and have a good SOP on checking the quality, quantity of the coconut charcoal cargo. 
Price of surveyor for coconut charcoal is about 400-600 USD, not including laboratory analysis. Using 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.

Sample sales contract for coconut charcoal for shisha can be downloaded here.

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