A packing list is the only way in which a consignment can be cleared for entry into a new market and most importantly the only way in which the border crossing or customs officer can tell what is supposed to be in each carton being delivered overseas.
There are many reasons why this is important.
- Security – if people were allowed to simply send whatever they wanted wherever they liked, without any checks on what was being sent, there would plenty of scope for dangerous objects to be transported via the vessels of trade. Things like packing lists and border controls are vital to preserving national security in all nations. They are also important for keeping on top of dual use objects – objects which could have both military and commercial purposes.
- Without checks to ensure the accountability of traders, fraud would be rife across the world. Without things like packing lists, there would be no one regulating the movement of goods.
- Collecting taxes and import duties would be very difficult which would lead to failing economies and disaster for all countries, rich and poor – trade makes the world go around!
- Packing lists allows the international community to stay on top of environmental issues including endangered species or potential biohazards.
- Also keeping track of the weights and measurements of packages being carried allow for lorries, ships or aircraft to not become overloaded. If it wasn’t for packing lists, shipping could be very dangerous for everyone involved in delivery.