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While the information contained within the packing list and commercial invoice may appear to be the same, the two documents serve very different purposes. The packing list provides the exporter, the international freight forwarder, and the ultimate consignee with information about the shipment. This list also includes details about how the shipment is packed and the marks and numbers that are noted on the outside of the boxes. This document serves a more logistical purpose, and is required in the event of any disputes or claims that may arise with the shipping line, customs, or between the buyer and seller for goods. It’s also used to verify that all merchandise shipped by the exporter is received in good order and condition, as well as for stock-keeping and inventory purposes.

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