This document establishes a standardized workflow for the management of shipments on behalf of Netflix and its affiliated entities. The primary goal is to ensure consistent handling practices that minimize damage, loss, and delays while enhancing the overall experience of our talent and stakeholders. It also provides explicit guidance for navigating diverse scenarios, including regulatory compliance requirements, to mitigate potential risks and liabilities.
This SOP will be updated as the business evolves and operational requirements develop.
This SOP outlines the responsibilities and activities of vendors providing shipping services (import shipments, export shipments, ATA Carnets, and domestic deliveries), from receiving requests to delivering goods, including customs clearance, and documentation handling. Additionally, it addresses communication expectations and issue resolution during the shipping process.
Key Guidelines for Service Requests:
- All service requests from production offices must be submitted via email directly to the vendor. The Studio Logistics team should be copied on these emails throughout the shipment's lifecycle, including pre-alerts.
- Internal Reference Number: Studio Logistics will assign an internal reference number to the shipment, this number should be used as a central reference point.
- Delivery Date: The production or Netflix team should specify a requested delivery date.
- Special Handling: While production aims to identify cargo requiring special handling during the initial request, vendors are also expected to review and identify any overlooked special considerations, such as dangerous goods, perishable items, oversized shipments, those involving items subject to stringent customs regulations, etc
- Shipping documentation: Vendors should ensure the accuracy of all shipping documents for each shipment. A Commercial Invoice (Studio Logistics template preferred) or an ATA Carnet should be used for all international shipments. Always include supplementary shipping documents such as a packing list, customs declaration, and any other necessary paperwork according to the destination country’s regulations. The vendors should flag additional requirements as necessary.
- Hand-Carried Shipments: When a production wishes to move goods internationally by hand via crew members or other parties, it is essential to bring this to the attention of the Studio Logistics team. Customs clearance for these shipments should be conducted using either an ATA Carnet or a Commercial Invoice.
- Studio Logistics or the production will provide the broker’s information (if a third party/external customs broker is required) and/or all necessary customs information globally.
- Collections must be pre-arranged with the pick-up location before the driver arrives.
- The driver physically picking up the shipment must be able to identify the material, shipper, and Studio Logistics reference number, and have knowledge of any special instructions for pick up and delivery.
- Pre-alert with full document copies should be sent for all shipments (Studio Logistics team and email@example.com in copy for vis).
- Documents should be retained by the vendor as per applicable legal regulations, in addition to being uploaded to the Netflix document retention portal.
- Claims/Damages: Refer to the vendor’s terms and conditions.
- The Studio Logistics team is your point of escalation, please contact our team for support when needed.
When operational guidance is needed, please start a separate email thread with Studio Logistics to minimize extraneous email traffic to the production.
The email thread with the Studio Logistics (when needed):
- This email should specify in the subject heading line: “Netflix Internal”
- IOR/EOR instructions
- Any other compliance and/or logistics-specific questions that production may not be able to answer.
The standard email thread with production (cc Studio Logistics team for vis) should include:
- Standard milestone updates
- Any questions regarding the contents of what is being shipped
- Any questions regarding the job requirements including production needs, schedules, and expectations
- Shipping documentation guidance
- The email thread with the Studio Logistics (when needed):
Procedure for Transport Service
For each new request, productions or the Studio Logistics team will provide vendors with:
- Commodity, weight, dimensions, pickup location and date, delivery address, contact information (telephone and email) for both pickup and delivery and target delivery date
- A full commercial invoice containing the description, customs value, country of manufacture, shipper, and consignee information.
- Requested service type: air, ocean, road, and/or inter-modal
Once the vendor has reviewed the submitted request, they (the vendor) will provide the following:
- The vendor will communicate any need for additional information or clarification before proceeding with the shipment request.
- The vendor will highlight any items contained within the proposed shipment where more information is needed, such as dangerous goods, items that require a license or other permit, or anything else that could prevent the unhindered movement of the shipment
- Provide a quotation for the specific job. Any additional or exceptional costs incurred during the job will be addressed as they arise.
- These are the baseline milestone updates requested by Studio Logistics. Please note that Production may request additional updates.
- The vendor should advise Studio Logistics immediately of any customs clearance delays or concerns.
- The vendor should contact the consignee to schedule delivery. POD must be sent to the production office/requestor for delivery confirmation. Please keep the Studio Logistics group in copy.
CARGO PACKING REQUIREMENTS
- The vendor should check that packaging is appropriate, flag any concerns to production and/or the Studio Logistics team, and if necessary ask for authorization to re-pack prior to the shipment taking place.
- The vendor must ask production for authorization to arrange any additional handling/packing where dangerous goods or fragile items are presented for shipment. Any change to the original quotation and costs must be approved in advance by production.
- The vendor should flag to the production and/or Studio Logistics team if a package is not correctly labeled. All freight must be clearly labeled with the final city and country of destination, as well as a designated Point of Contact (POC).
Any type of wooden package, not previously treated (including pallets), must be fumigated at the origin and stamped according to the ISPM 15 regulations. If this is not possible, repackaging costs should be quoted and agreed upon by the billpayer prior to commencing.
DANGEROUS GOODS (DG)
Netflix production crew are not logistics professionals and may not always correctly identify DG in their shipments. We expect our vendors to review all shipping lists in case DG has been overlooked.
It is imperative that any dangerous goods being shipped are properly identified. This ensures compliance with regulatory packaging and paperwork requirements, reducing risks and enhancing safety.
Production and Studio Logistics must be notified of any dangerous goods so shipments can be moved according to IATA/ADR international regulations. Netflix may also, on a case-by-case basis, engage 3rd party inspectors to review shipments that we believe require additional attention.
Proper classification, packaging, labeling, and documentation are to be arranged by the vendor in accordance with International Dangerous Goods regulations. Basic requirements for the safe handling and transportation of hazardous materials:
- Proper classification is essential. This involves having a copy of the Safety Data Sheet (formerly known as the Material Safety Data Sheet or MSDS) when required.
- Packaging: Use adequate packaging to prevent leaks, spills, or contamination during transport.
- Proper labeling to ensure that all parties involved can quickly and accurately identify the nature of the materials being transported.
- Declaration: Dangerous Goods must be properly declared to the carrier of choice for proper handling and transportation compliance.
- Documentation: Prepare required shipping documents in compliance with regulations.
Any initiatives or events demanding extra attention will be evaluated on an individual basis. Close collaboration and planning between production, vendors, and Studio Logistics is crucial for the success of these special projects.
PERSONAL EFFECTS SHIPMENTS
The Studio Logistics team does not support personal effects shipments. Please note: This does not apply to an individual’s professional work kit.
For any personal effects shipments:
- They must be packed and shipped separately to anything moving for production. We recommend having the personal effects removed from the main production shipment, shipped separately and cleared as a personal effects shipment.
- Neither Netflix nor the affiliated production company name should be used for any customs, import/export, or other government agency declarations or documentation.
- The vendor should handle the shipment directly with production and the individual involved. If there are any additional questions or concerns, please reach out to Studio Logistics.
NETFLIX PRODUCTION BILLING
All billing instructions are provided by the Production Office, which will approve costs and raise POs. Please ensure the invoice is billed to the correct entity that is specified by the production. Invoices showing the relevant PO number are to be sent to the Production accountant(s) via email.
When the account for the production is opened, this information will be provided to the Vendor. If you are unsure how to bill any particular shipment please check with production directly.
NETFLIX INTERNAL BILLING
All billing instructions will be provided by the Netflix Studio Logistics team.
Invoicing Requirements (for internal Netflix billing):
- Add requestor in the "Attention" line
- Ensure that the invoice is directed to the correct Netflix Entity
- Invoices should mention our Studio Logistics reference number, PO ( if applicable), and the Show/Project Title (if available) and separate all services, fees, duties, and taxes (as applicable) into their own line items
- All details are to be added directly at the bottom of the invoice so that Accounts Payable has visibility
Requirements to follow when importing or exporting goods under a Netflix-owned entity/tax ID number:
RESTRICTED COMMODITIES, ENTITIES & DESTINATIONS
Vendors (freight forwarders and customs brokers) who clear shipments through customs must be aware of government-restricted commodities, entities, and destinations. Vendors must contact the Netflix Studio Logistics Team if they receive a request for shipping activity of such commodities, entities and destinations.
CUSTOMS DESCRIPTIONS, CODES, ORIGIN, AND VALUATION
Vendors (freight forwarders and customs brokers) must take notice of all shipper instructions and details provided by the requestor on commercial invoices. Vendors must ensure consistent and correct descriptions and data are reflected on shipping paperwork (e.g. customs entries and H/AWBs). Examples of descriptions and data include shipper reference numbers, item quantities, values, customs codes and descriptions, exporter and importer information, countries of origin, and valid Harmonized Tariff System (HTS) Classifications and Export Control Numbers (ECCN/ECN) Classifications for all goods and categories of goods in accordance with WCO, WTO, and/or global export control regulations and best practices. Vendors must declare the values of goods on customs entry forms exactly as they are shown on commercial invoices provided by the requestor. Please contact the Netflix Studio Logistics team with any questions or concerns.
TEMPORARY IMPORTATIONS, AND CARNETS
Vendors must comply with all applicable rules and regulations when responsible for moving goods under a temporary import bond, duty savings program, or Carnet.
Netflix Studio Logistics prefers vendors to use Carnets over temporary importation under bond or duty savings schemes wherever possible. When using Carnets, vendors must raise the Carnet. Vendors must notify the shipment requestor when goods are required to return to the origin country within 30 days of the re-entry requirement or the Carnet expiration date. As stated in the Document Retention requirements below, vendors must retain and include copies of all original export paperwork (e.g. Carnet cover page and counterfoil, commercial invoice, and/or temporary entry form as applicable) along with all re-entry paperwork.
Within 7 business days of final mile delivery, vendors must give the Netflix Studio Logistics team access to the below shipping documents via Airtable and the vendor’s shipping management/track and trace software portal as submitted to customs:
- Commercial invoice
- Packing list (if applicable)
- Entry form/s
- Clearance instructions requests
For closed/completed Carnets and temporary imports, copies of the:
- Original export Carnet cover and counterfoil or temporary export form/s
- Original export commercial invoice
- Original export HAWB
- Re-entry Carnet counterfoil or temporary re-import form/s
- Re-entry commercial invoice
- Re-entry HAWB
- If applicable, any import licenses and permits or safety certificates as outlined below under the “Certificates, Permits, and Filings” sub-section
The vendor must retain all the above documents in accordance with local regulations or for five (5) years, whichever is longer.
Netflix is dedicated to ensuring that all of our international shipments meet applicable global regulatory requirements. When the entry is filed, the Trade Compliance team will select a subset of shipments to review and discuss with the vendors periodically.
CERTIFICATIONS, PERMITS, AND FILINGS
Vendors must notify the Netflix Studio Logistics team of any necessary import or export permits, safety certifications, and other government agency requirements on shipment requests they receive. Examples include, but are not limited to:
- US FDA codes for food product imports
- US DOT registration for vehicle imports
- US AES filing for US exports when applicable
- Mexico NOM for electronics imports
- South Korea KFDA for cosmetics imports
- ISF filings for ocean transportation (Global)
When assistance is needed, please escalate to the Netflix Studio Logistics team for review and further escalation internally as required.
SENSITIVE ITEMS REQUIRING SPECIAL HANDLING
If a vendor is asked to ship any of the below items, the vendor must contact the Netflix Studio Logistics team before shipping as these items may require special handling, licenses, and instruction.
- Vehicles of any kind
- Dual-use goods
- Replica or real military/defense items (e.g. hand grenades, guns, explosives, etc)
- Tobacco products
- Food and Alcohol
- Taxidermy, international laws governing trade of wild animals and plants, animal products (e.g. CITES)
COMMUNICATION WITH GOVERNMENT AGENCIES
Vendors must immediately contact the Netflix Studio Logistics team if they receive or need to initiate any communication (e.g. letters, emails, phone calls) to or from a government official (e.g. trade or customs official) regarding Netflix. Vendors must receive permission from Netflix Studio Logistics before responding to or initiating any communication with government agencies regarding Netflix, or any of its entities.