What is a Standard Shipping Note?

A Standard Shipping Note (SSN) is a shipping document used during international trade activities, and describes:

– The content of the goods being shipped
– Who you are, as the sender (exporter)
– Who your buyer/receiver is (importer)
– The logistics/carrier firms involved in the transaction

When is the SSN document used?

It SHOULD be created whenever you send goods overseas (e.g. from the UK to USA). Customs Authorities (i.e. HMRC) and the logistics providers use the SSN to identify the goods and participants involved in the international trade or shipment.

IMPORTANT: Only use an SSN if the goods you are sending are NOT dangerous or hazardous. If your goods have a hazardous goods classification (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dangerous_goods) then instead of an SSN you should complete a Dangerous Goods Note (DGN).

Why do I need a Standard Shipping Note?

It is a document that provides important information to the various locations where the goods may be handled before they leave the country of dispatch. The document will identify any essential information that could influence the nature of the handling.

Where can I get an SSN template?

You can get a template from:

– Your logistics firm or freight forwarder, just make sure it’s the UN aligned format

– HMRC (UK Government site)

– You can get a free SSN template from here –  SSN template

Additionally, you can use an online solution such as www.edgectp.com to help you generate paper and electronic versions, just remember to use the free 30 day trial to see how you get on first.