What Documents Are Required for Manifest Filing in Logistics?

What Documents Are Required for Manifest Filing in Logistics


There is always the need for proper documentation in the world of logistics and supply chains to support the operations and the legal framework. Among the most important parts of this documentation process is manifest filing. It is a process of compiling and providing to the authorities a detailed list of goods being shipped in enhancing the tracking of shipments and clearance through customs.

The Importance of Manifest Filing

Manifest filing plays an important role in logistics since it helps organizations meet legal requirements, facilitate clearance of goods through customs, improve tracking and monitoring of shipments, as well as assist in stock management. It assists in avoiding disputes by offering specific details on goods being shipped, decreases delays, and lowers the chances of making mistakes so as to sustain efficient and effective logistics flow.

The proper manifest filing also enhances cooperation between all the parties including shippers, carriers, and the customs. It facilitates documentation practices, cuts down on paperwork, and makes for increased accountability. This ultimately results in increased customer satisfaction through timely and easily predictable delivery.

Documents Necessary for Manifest Filing in Logistics

Commercial Invoice

A commercial invoice is also one of the records of an international transaction, which reflects the relations between the seller and the buyer. It contains information about the shipped goods, their value, and the price at which they are being sold. It is also essential when undertaking customs clearance since it provides information on the duties and taxes to be paid. Moreover, the commercial invoice helps to complete the financial operation between the exporter and the importer. 

Key Features to Include 

  • Description of Goods: An accurate description of the goods that are being shipped. This should involve details like the type of equipment, the model, and if possible the serial numbers.
  • Quantity and Unit Price: The quantity being shipped and the price per unit of that quantity. It aids in determining the total value of the shipment.
  • Total Value of the Shipment: This is the total of the values of all the items grouped in the shipment. This is important in determining customs valuation and taxes.
  • Terms of Sale (Incoterms): Incoterms are used to distinguish the obligations of the buyer and vendor in referencing shipment, insurance, and tariffs. Some of the examples include FOB (Free on Board) and CIF (Cost, Insurance, and Freight).
  • Seller and Buyer Information: Full company information of both the exporter and importer, including their official names, addresses, and contact information.

Bill of Lading (B/L)

The Bill of Lading is an official shipping document that usually takes the form of a legal document prepared by the carrier for the shipper. It serves multiple purposes: it serves as a receipt for the goods shipped, substantiates a contract of carriage, and also as a document of title. This means that through the Bill of Lading, the ownership of the goods can be passed from the seller to the buyer.

Key Features to Include

  • Description of the Goods: Particulars of goods, nature and description, quantity, and any special requirements in handling the items to be transported.
  • Quantity and Weight: The total number and weight of the shipment, which aids in determining the cost of transportation and checking whether it fits the carrier’s capacity.
  • Shipper and Consignee Details: The full name, shipping and billing addresses and other contact information of the parties involved, particularly the shipper/exporter and consignee/importer.
  • Port of Loading and Destination: For planning and organizing transportation as well as for customs purposes the particular ports where the cargoes will be loaded and discharged are essential.
  • Terms of Carriage: Exclusion clauses, negligence clauses, and other clauses that define the rights and obligations of the shipper and the carrier during the transportation of the goods.

Packing List

A packing list contains specific details about the contents of the packages in the shipment. They incorporate descriptions, quantities, and weights of the items to assist in cases of stock control and customs clearance. This document helps all the concerned persons to have information about what is being shipped.

Key Features to Include

  • Detailed Item Descriptions: Particular data concerning every item shipped such as length, width, thickness, weight, and material type.
  • Quantity of Each Item: The quantity of each category of the items that were shipped.
  • Weight and Dimensions of Packages: The total weight and size of each package that may define its functionality and possibilities of handling and transportation.
  • Marks and Numbers for Identification: Any other markings on the packs that will facilitate identification and confirmation of the shipment.
  • Shipper and Consignee Information: Both the sender and the receiver contact as a way of enhancing communication and delivery of information.

Certificate of Origin

The Certificate of Origin affirms the country of origin of the goods or the country in which they were produced. Customs governments need this document to assess duties, preferences, and quotas for imported products. It confirms that the products are permitted to any trade advantages or treatment that could apply to Commodities originating from specific countries.

Key Features to Include

  • Exporter’s Details: Any details regarding the manufacturer or supplier of the goods, including their name, address, phone number, or other means of communication.
  • Description of Goods: Containing as much information as the commercial invoice to maintain consistency.
  • Country of Origin: The country that has produced or manufactured the goods for sale. It is important for establishing appropriate obligations and adherence to trade treaties.
  • Certifying Body’s Seal and Signature: An official seal and an official signature of some chamber of commerce to certify the document as original.
  • Date of Issue: The date of issuance of the certificate so as to be able to determine the authenticity of the document that is being presented.


Proper documentation is required for effective manifest filing in logistics. Ensuring that all essential documents are correct and complete simplifies customs clearance, reduces the risk of delays, and improves overall supply chain efficiency. Understanding the purpose and major features of each document, such as the commercial invoice, bill of lading, packing list, and certificate of origin, is essential for anybody working in international trade and logistics.

Are you seeking efficient manifest filing for streamlined cargo handling? Contact the FOS Desk today to enable us to manage these processes effectively.