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Shipper’s Letter of Instruction (SLI)

A Shipper’s Letter of Instruction (SLI) is an essential document issued by an exporter, guiding a freight forwarder or carrier on the management and transportation of a shipment. In the context of U.S., the SLI is mandatory for all export shipments from the U.S. and must be completed before the collection of the goods, it also serves as an authorization document for the freight forwarder to act as the shipper’s representative for export control and customs purposes, including utilizing electronic methods such as Automated Export System (AES) to transmit Electronic Export Information (EEI).

The SLI is crucial for compliance with regulations and typically includes details such as the consignor and consignee contact information, shipment routing, Incoterms, dimensions and weight of the shipment, a description of the goods, and relevant codes such as the HS and UN numbers, where applicable.

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