Common export documents and their purpose

Here's a quick cheat sheet of the most common export documents that may be required for your shipment.  

Commercial Invoice: A commercial invoice is a document required for non-document shipments leaving the country.  It is used by customs to determine if the item(s) you are importing are allowed, restricted, or prohibited.  It is also used by customs officials to determine how much duty to assess on your shipment (if applicable).

B13a: An export document required for goods that are valued at $2000 CAD or more, leaving Canada and destined to any country other than the US, Puerto Rico, or the US Virgin Islands.  It's also required for controlled goods.

FCC: An export document that must be provided for each radio frequency device, regardless of value that is destined for the US.  If it is destined for any country other than the US, this form is not required. This form is typically required for IT equipment like computers, monitors, television receivers, cables system devices, low-power transmitters, unlicensed personal communication devices, etc.)

FDA: An export document that must be provide before food, drugs, or radiation equipment may enter the US.  If it is destined for any country other than the US, this form is not required. This is a tricky one as DVDs require an FDA form as well as an FCC form.

Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA):An export document that is required for most chemical goods, water samples, and products that fall under the jurisdiction of the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) and are being imported into the US. If it is destined for any country other than the US, this form is not required. Surprisingly, pens and markers going to the US (for tradeshows) often get held until this form is provided



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