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Foreign Correspondent Corner

by Phyllis Filreis

What is Foreign Correspondent?  MMA recognizes the growing needs within our industry. As such, we are dedicating some space to international mailing and shipping as an educational feature. It may include terms, best practices, tools/forms or even answers to questions posed by our members. It is our hope that you find this information both interesting and useful as you navigate the ins and outs of doing business in other countries. Please send questions or comments to

Previously, we looked at the most common international documentation, - the Commercial or Customs Invoice.  But some shipments will require additional documents based on your commodity and the country of import.  These include:

  •         Certificate of Origin is the record of the country where the product was manufactured. Whether you need the form depends on the commodity and destination country.


  •         NAFTA Certificate of Origin is used if your commodity was manufactured in North America and will remain within one of the participating member nations of the North American Free Trade Agreement: the U.S., Mexico or Canada.

  •     Note: If the commodity requires a Certificate of Origin or a NAFTA Certificate of Origin, your local chamber of commerce must validate and notarize the completed original form.

  •        Electronic Export Information (EEI) – formerly known as Shipper’s Export Declaration (SED) is required by the destination country if your shipment is valued at $2,500 or more. Dependent upon your preferred carrier, they may provide this functionality on-line.  In June, 2008, the US Census Bureau issued the final rule mandating electronic filing of shipments through the Automated Export System (AES).  A paper document cannot be filed under any circumstances.  Exporters must self-file or authorize an agent to file them.

Previous Topics (click on the topic below to view the content)

Topic: What is a VAT?

Topic:  Commercial Invoices for international shipping


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