In this day and age, when so many businesses function on a global basis, it’s easy to see why high quality translation services are in such high demand. But perhaps no industry relies more heavily on professional translators than the import/export business. The reason for this is obvious. After all, the very nature of the industry involves dealing with business people from other parts of the globe on a daily basis. Add to that the high volume of paperwork involved in international trade, and you can easily understand why professionals in this field rely so much on high quality translation services. What follows are several examples of import/export documents, many of which must be translated on a routine basis.

Commercial Documents

This category includes paperwork related to selling of goods. Documentation such as price quotes, sales contracts, invoices, inspection certificates, product testing and/or health certificates (when appropriate), and insurance paperwork that covers the goods being shipped all fall under this category.

Transport Documents

Paperwork connected with the transporting of goods includes shipping orders, dock receipts, bills of lading, waybills, shipping guarantees and packing lists, to name a few.

Financial Documents

This category can vary greatly depending on from whom the goods are being shipped, who the goods are being shipped to, where they’re coming from, and their final destinations. Financial documents involved in the import/export business include documentary credit forms, standby credit, collection instructions, bills of exchange, trust receipts and promissory notes.

Government Documents

The import/export business is highly regulated, which means that there is typically a myriad of official documentation involved in shipping goods out of one country and into another. Examples include certificates of origin, import/export declarations, import/export licenses, international import certificates, delivery verification certificates, landing certificates, and customs invoices.

Marketing Collateral

It’s an unfortunate but all-too-common mistake made by even the largest corporations – using a slogan, logo, product packaging, brochure or advertisement that translates poorly in the target marketplace. That’s why it’s so important to have all marketing collateral reviewed by a professional translator who understands the culture of potential customers.

The import/export business is, without a doubt, one of the most complex of all industries, which makes finding high quality translation services that much more important. Professionals in international trade have enough to think about without having to worry about document translation. If you are working in this industry and in need of a professional translator, the best place to start is to contact a reputable translation company, preferably one that is ISO certified. They can match your needs with the skills of a trained linguist – one who is experienced in the import/export business and fluent in the target language.

If you are a translator interested in pursuing a career involved in working for import/export companies, you should be prepared to learn as much as possible about this business before you begin. In addition to being fluent in two or more languages, you should be prepared to work fast, since meeting tight deadlines plays a crucial role in the success of your clients. Accuracy is particularly important. It’s vital that your translation is precise and correct each and every time – to provide anything less could have devastating results for your client’s business. You’ll also need to understand the culture of the country your client is selling and/or shipping product to – make sure, for example, that your client’s company brand, logo, and slogan are not offensive to the cultural sensitivities of people in the receiving country.

The import/export business is a complex, multi-layered industry. In addition to buyers and sellers, another integral part of any successful international trade business are the professional linguists who work hand-in-hand with importers and exporters at every step along the way.