Packing list – ISBP 745 | Trade Samaritan

Packing list – ISBP 745

A packing list or shipping list is a catalog of all the articles that are included in a package that has been shipped from one place to another. Packing list is an optional document, UCPDC 600 has not provided any guiding article for presentation of a packing list.

Packing list is a document that enlists the contents of the package. It contains an itemized list of the article/s in shipping package including its weight, quantity and description. It can also quote the unit price, buyer and seller details.  It is only in ISBP 745 ‘Packing list, note or slip’ has been included with an indicative guideline with respect to its issuer, content and basic requirement. Packing list performs more of an administrative function.

Packing list


  • Packing list provides the necessary information about the article/s being shipped to the carrier, transport agency and regulatory agencies to facilitate necessary handling and transportation.
  • Export packing list is far more detailed than the domestic packing list.
  • Packing list also brings out the nature of the underlying goods such as ‘fragile’, ‘volatile’ ‘flammable’ or contains specific chemicals etc.
  • Packing list is an optional document and as such not mandated under UCP 600 or other regulation.
  • Packing list is usually called for under an export consignment of goods containing varied specification such as semi processed garments and shoes.
  • When called for under LC, the most elaborate packing is likely to information such as invoice number and date, consignee, exporter/consignor, buyer, country of origin, buyer’s order number and date, final destination,  pre-carriage, place of receipt, vessel/flight, port of loading, port of discharge, marks and number, terms of delivery, description of goods, remarks, dimension, gross weight, net weight, declaration, authorized signature and stamp.

Guiding principles (ISBP 745)

1. Packing list presented can be titled as called for in the credit or can bear a similar title, it can also be untitled as long as it performs the function of providing packaging information.

If the credit calls for a ‘Packing list’ and a document titled ‘Shipping list’ is presented – not a discrepancy

If the credit calls for ‘Packing note’ and an untitled document providing all the packaging information is presented – not a discrepancy

If the credit calls for ‘Packing slip’ and a document titled ‘Packing slip’ is presented which does not contain any packaging detail – it is a discrepancy

It is very important to remember that as per ISBP the function of the packing list is to provide any information as to the packing of goods.

2. Packing slip should be issued by the entity as called for in the credit or if the credit is silent it can be issued by any entity.

3. If the credit indicates specific packing requirement but does not call for a specific and separate document (similar to packing list) and if such a document is presented then its content must not conflict with the packing requirement stated in the credit

If the credit does not call for a packing list but calls for shipment of 1500 ‘zippers’, ‘velcro’ and ‘magnets’ each labelled and packed separately in plastic tins, and packing slip is presented which states that these 3 items have been packed together in a polythene bag. – this is a discrepancy.

Above example indicates that if packing slip is not called for but presented, the packing details on such a packing slip must not conflict with the credit.

4. If packing list is not issued by the beneficiary, it may state an invoice number, invoice date and shipment route different than the one indicated on one or more other stipulated documents.

If the seller has outsourced the packing function to vendor, there is a likelihood that the vendor issues the packing slip, in such a scenario the vendor will quote his own invoice/order number and date instead of the invoice stipulated under the credit. The vendor company will not be aware of the end transaction and the underlying invoice. This scenario also applies in agent or broker transaction where the middleman is involved in manufacturing, assembling or packing.

If credit does not stipulate beneficiary to issue to the packing slip, the one stated in above example is acceptable.

5. Banks are required to examine total values, total weights, total measurements or total packages to ensure that totals on the packing list does not conflict with the totals of credit or other stipulated documents. Banks may or may not verify the each item or sub-total appearing on the packing list.