Paperwork, Processes, and Pitfalls: How Logistics Documentation in Latin America Can Land Shippers in Hot Water

In a recent post, we looked at some of the biggest invoicing challenges facing shippers breaking into Latin America (LATAM). While LATAM is undoubtedly a world leader in electronic invoicing, the overwhelming variation in e-invoicing requirements across the region leaves many shippers lost and floundering. From formatting to mandatory file testing, stipulations can be strict, and every country has its own way of doing things.

Adding to that complexity are the unique documentation requirements from country to country. Many LATAM markets now require PDF documents to accompany all shipments, among other rules. And when shippers don’t know what paperwork they need to complete and include—or that a procedure even exists—they can quickly find themselves facing problems and delays.

Here are just a few of the procedures and paperwork requirements that shippers should be aware of before trying to enter this market.

Argentina’s Remito and Chile’s Guia de Despacho

Argentina has different requirements for domestic shipments than it does for exports, so shippers need to understand what’s being asked of them.

For exports, a PDF including appropriate approval codes and signatures must accompany each shipment. But for every province that a load travels through, a Remito must be provided to the local, provincial government. This document, which is similar to a bill of lading, must be signed in real-time and accompany the goods on the truck.

In Chile, meanwhile, shippers must attach a Guia de Despacho in place of an invoice in certain situations, such as when an invoice is postponed. Like the Remito, the Guia de Despacho is like a real-time electronic bill of lading.

Brazil’s Manifestacao do Destinatario

The Manifestacao do Destinatario is a mandated process that the majority of companies have to go through in Brazil. Essentially an online receiver response statement, the process is aimed at ensuring that any goods sent and received match the purchase order (PO)—and are taxed accordingly.

The Manifestacao do Destinatario will result in one of three outcomes: a confirmation of the transaction and the receipt of goods; a denial if the receiver doesn’t recognize a transaction (such as in the event of fraud); or a termination if the operation wasn’t completed (such as in the event of a cancellation or return). If the recipient doesn’t have the information they need to close a transaction, they may also send a temporary acknowledgment until they can send one of the other responses.

Knowledge born from experience

Knowing what paperwork to include with each shipment and what procedures must be followed is essential when shipping in Latin America. This knowledge only comes from experience, creating significant barriers for shippers trying to break into the region.

CTSI-Global can help. With a wealth of hands-on experience to draw on and staff fluent in Spanish and Portuguese, we’re in a prime position to help shippers navigate this market successfully. We’re also the only global provider that processes invoices based on domestic requirements, ensuring compliance so our clients can avoid problems and delays.

Don’t fall into the paperwork pitfall. Contact us today.

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