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Purchasing & Shipping

Loading a Sea Container at the Vendor

For all Vendors shipping in sea containers, The Body Shop will supply a Cahier Des Charges (CDC) specific to agreed loading requirements that must be followed.

Each CDC will contain contact details specific to the Vendor and their Service Provider. The below links provide examples of the 3 different load types:

Please read the following Cahier Des Charges on L'Oreal Prevention of Mould. As a supplier you are required to read, understand then send a signed copy to

When the container arrives at your facility please check against the Container Loading Check List.

Container Exterior

  • The container must be rejected if there is damage to corner posts, framework, walls, floor, roof or doors
  • Holes - There should not be any obvious holes, cracks or tears. These will allow water entry causing damage to the products. Holes or tears can be identified in daylight by standing inside the container and closing the doors
  • Doors operate correctly - Check for broken or distorted door hinges and locks. Door seals and gaskets should be in good condition
  • Placards, Labels and Other Markings - Any labels remaining on the outside of the container and which refer to the contents or a previous shipment's cargo must be removed
  • CSC Plate - This is the safety approval plate. If this has expired or is missing then the container must be rejected, the CSC  plate is  located on the door of every  container

 Example CSC plate date of manufacture is shown along with the next examination date. If the examination date on the CSC plate has expired then the container must be rejected.  

Container Interior

  • Cleanliness - Containers must be free of residue (liquids and solids) and any packaging. Floors must not have any protruding nails and any special fittings from a previous shipment must be removed to avoid damage
  • Please ensure that the container is completely dry.
  • Infestation - Check for any evidence of pests such as insects or rodents which could contaminate the cargo
  • Taint/Odour- For goods with a tendency to absorb odours, the container should be checked for foul odours upon opening the doors when residual odours will be at their strongest
  • Before loading please check for water tightness enter the container and pull the doors together to check for any holes in the roof or container sides. These will be readily apparent as pin pricks of light
  • Please check the air vents to ensure that they are clear and not taped. If this is not checked, this may result in condensation damage that will result in a claim for the loss and damage to the goods.


  • Cargo weight - the weight must not exceed the maximum payload of the container. The maximum gross weight (container weight and cargo weight) is marked on the CSC Safety Approval Plate
  • Blocking and bracing - Minimise cargo movement during transit with the use of additional blocks and braces (see 'Bracing the load')
  • All vendors are responsible for ensuring that containers loaded at the factory are secured so that the products do not move excessively during transit. This enables BSI to open the container doors at the final destination without risking injury to staff or damage to the products
  • BSI views any unsecured freight or collapsed loads as a breach of our Health and Safety and Safe Loading requirements
  • BSI will hold the vendor fully responsible for any personal injury and/or damage to the goods
  • If it is not a full load, ensure that the pallets are stacked in a tiered fashion without any room for movement in transit (see 'Bracing the load')
  • For overseas vendors outside of the EU, The Body Shop expect vendors to load containers safely and to fully utilize the space in the container. This has two very important benefits to us as a buisiness and to you as a supplier.
    1. Our carbon footprint is kept to a minimum
    2. Our freight costs are kept as low as possible, this in turn ensures that your products arrive at our Recieving Depots with the lowest possible landed (in country) cost.

After loading

  • The container is packed appropriately for the cargo.
  • A copy of the packing list is placed in a highly visible location in the container (Customs inspection)
  • When wooden bracing is used it will be necessary to ensure that the wood has been treated in accordance with country of destination requirements
  • Security - Once loaded, seal the container door with a security bolt seal in such a way that the doors cannot be opened without breaking the seal (seal numbers recorded on HBL's and MBL's). The seal number will be checked by the driver and must be added prior to the driver signing any documentation. Signed documentation should be held by the vendor for at least 6 months

Bracing the load

It is very important that the container load is secured in such a way that there is no movement in transit and at the point of unloading there is no danger of the loads collapsing causing injury. Most of the pictures below show how a palletised load is loaded and braced, however the same principles apply to lose loaded cartons. Other bracing options are cargo neeting and strapping.

Loose Loading Cartons in Containers

To ensure our products are protected and the goods meet L'Oreal / Body shop quality standards for onward shipping the cartons MUST be strong enough to:

  • Protect the goods
  • Enable the cartons to be stacked in the container
  • The cartons protecting the product must be able to support the tier weight of goods stacked upon them (maximum height 2.5m = 40" high cube container)
  • Managing the weights of the cartons in line with safety regulations to enable them to be lifted, moved and secured
  • The container itself is a means of transport. Shipment from your factory will be shipped in sea containers.

If cartons are stacked in several layers, the lower cartons MUST be able to withstand the weight of the cartons stacked upon them to protect the products. The requisite stack strength depends on the packaging material, the transport time and moisture conditions. Measures may need to be taken to consider the moisture whilst the goods are being shipped from the factory to their final destination.

If you have any questions or you are unclear of please contact the your TBS buying contact in advance

If any issues arise please contact the local TBS service provider.

The cartons you provide should fully utilise a pallet base profile of 1200mm (L) x 1000mm (W). The diagram below shows the back of a standard sea container with the doors open which is an example of a load we have received from one of our vendors. It has been filled with cartons measuring 400mm (L) x 300mm (W) x 300mm (H). The pallet of stock shows the stock is palletised at TBS. Each master carton must NOT exceed 15kg. This example demonstrates how the carton size enable to get the best utilisation in the container but also ensures the delivery can be unloaded without any issues and meets all of our safety and WMS (Warehouse Management System) requirements. 

If you would like TBS to assist you to create a pallet plan then please contact your TBS buyer


Container Utilisation

It is very important that we maximise all the available space in a container. The example below shows how an order of 1500 cartons (example dimensions) would be loaded in containers.

As you can see, the 40' container is fully utilised, however the balance of the load in the 20' container would mean that space would be wasted and as a result freight costs would increase. This ultimately affects the landed cost of goods and pricing competitiveness.

If you would like further information on load planning and maximising container space then please contact

There will of course be instances where this is not possible as a result of our order requirements, however for larger orders we believe that there are opportunities to make better use of the space available to us.

ContainersCargo packing

All containers:

40' hq: 1 units

20' dv: 1 units

Total: 1500 packages.

Packed: 1500 packages. (100%)

Container №1 (40' hq 1 units)

Packed: 1240 packages: (82%).


  • Cargo1 - 1240 packages (82%).
  • Cargo volume: 72.96 m3
  • (96% of volume)
  • Cargo weight: 4960 kg.
  • (19% of max payload)

Cargo quantity is limited by volume

Click for more detail on container packing in particular section 6.

Container №2 (20' dv 1 units)

Packed: 260 packages: (17%).


  • Cargo1 - 260 packages (17%).
  • Cargo volume: 15.3 m3
  • (46% of volume)
  • Cargo weight: 1040 kg.
  • (4% of max payload)

Click for more detail on container packing in particular section 6.



 The following documents are required

Commercial Invoice

  • Name and address of shipper (seller) including a contact person and telephone number
  • Name and address of consignee (ship to), including destination country and postal code
  • Invoice date
  • Purchase order or invoice number, if applicable
  • Name and address of purchaser (importer) if different from the consignee, including a contact name and telephone number
  • Complete description of each item being shipped. What is the item?
  • What is the item (Include Customs Harmonized Codes, if known)
  • Country of origin. Where was the item manufactured?
  • Number of units, unit value, and total value of each item. For samples or articles with no commercial value, a nominal or fair-market value must be stated for customs purposes
  • Transportation and Declared Value or insurance charges
  • Total value of the shipment, including currency of settlement
  • Reason for export. For example: sale, repair, inter-company
  • Terms of Sale (Incoterm) that defines the charges included in the total value on the invoice. For example: CIF is Cost, Insurance, and Freight
  • Number of packages and total weight of packages
  • Reference to the IDN
  • Shipper's signature and date

Packing List

When you prepare your goods for shipment you will be required to prepare a detailed export packing list. This is a formal document that itemises a number of details about the cargo such as:

  • The name of the exporter (referred to as the shipper) and their contact details (tel, fax, cell, e-mail), including physical (not postal) address
  • The name of the importer (referred to as the consignee, meaning the person or firm to whom the goods are to be sent) and their contact details (tel, fax, cell, e-mail), including physical (not postal) address
  • The gross (i.e. the weight of the product and packaging - that is, the total weight), tare (i.e. the weight of the packaging without any contents) and net (i.e. the weight of the product only) weights of the cargo
  • The nature, quality and specifications of the product being shipped
  • The type of package (such as pallet, box, crate, drum, carton, etc.)
  • The measurements/dimensions of each package
  • The number of pallets/boxes/crates/drums, etc.
  • The contents of each pallet or box (or other container)
  • The package markings, if any, as well as shipper's and buyer's reference numbers
  • Reference to the associated commercial invoice such as the invoice number and date
  • A purchase order number or similar reference to correspondence between the supplier and importer
  • An indication of who the carrier is (airline, shipping line or road hauler)
  • Reference to the IDN

Hazardous shipments

  • If hazardous shipments are arranged it is mandatory that our Service Provider is advised and the ASN highlights the hazard. There are very strict regulation for the carriage of hazardous goods by Road Sea and Air
  • You will be responsible for all  local and International regulations relating to the packing ,labeling and declaration of the goods
  • If there any questions relating to the movement of hazardous goods from your factories please contact The Body Shop Transport Team immediately


  • As pallets and container bracing will be heat treated fumigation will not be necessary

Moisture protection

  • For shipments loaded directly into containers at site the vendor will have responsibility for ensuring that the goods are protected during the movement from factory to TBS location
  • Absorbatic poles or Dri-Bags should be used if there are any doubts concerning moisture and cargo sweating
  • Our Service Provider will offer advice as required

Certificate of Origin

 It is very important that the correct country of origin is applied to the goods supplied to TBS. If a Long Term Declaration has been sent to the The Body Shop concerning the goods supplied then there is no need to supply this certificate

GSP Certificate

Under the GSP (Generalised System of Preferences) program or the preferential tariff treatment, a free or reduced duty is granted by developed countries to certain manufactured goods from the least developed countries, in order to bolster their exports and economic growth.

Most imports eligible under the GSP program are free of duty. There are over 20 industrialized countries - donor countries (country of destination) - which maintain GSP programs and over 100 least developed countries - beneficiary countries (country of origin) - which are eligible under the GSP program.

If you believe that GSP applies to exports from your factories please contact your authorities for further information or contact

EUR1 Form

EUR.1 is the name for a form, which is used in international commodity traffic. The application of this form is based on application of various bi and multilateral  agreements within the Pan-European preference agreements

In these free trade agreements goods are defined, which apply to cheaper rates of duty or to be completely duty-free introduced, on the condition that they were completely manufactured in a member country or in such were so far worked on that they become on an equal footing in accordance with the agreements of the origin of the products.

If you believe that EUR1 applies to exports from your factories please contact your authorities for further information or contact
In order for the importer to profit from the preferential rate during a customs clearance a EUR.1 movement certificate, in short EUR.1, must be handed over to the competent authority (usually a customs administration), in which the manufacturer certifies the origin of the goods

Forwarders Receipt

 Please ensure that you obtain a forwarders signed receipt for the goods and please ensure you keep a copy in the event of any dispute