Purpose: The purpose of this retention policy is to establish guidelines for the retention and disposal of documents and records of USA Shipping Exports in Texas, an international freight shipping company.

Scope: This policy applies to all documents and records created, received, maintained, or stored by USA Shipping Exports in the course of its business activities, including but not limited to financial records, legal documents, contracts, invoices, bills of lading, correspondence, and other business-related documents.

Retention Period: The retention period for each category of documents and records is as follows:

  1. Financial Records: All financial records, including general ledgers, accounts payable and receivable, bank statements, tax records, and payroll records, should be retained for a minimum of seven years.
  2. Legal Documents: All legal documents, including contracts, agreements, and court documents, should be retained for a minimum of ten years after the termination of the agreement or the conclusion of the legal matter. This includes but is not limited to:
  • Contracts and agreements with customers, suppliers, and other business partners
  • Legal correspondence and filings
  • Court documents, including judgments and orders
  • Insurance policies and claims
  1. Invoices and Bills of Lading: Invoices and bills of lading should be retained for a minimum of five years after the completion of the transaction. This includes:
  • Invoices and bills of lading for all shipments, both inbound and outbound
  • Customs declarations and other trade-related documents
  1. Correspondence: All business-related correspondence, including emails and letters, should be retained for a minimum of three years. This includes:
  • Emails and letters related to sales and marketing
  • Internal and external memos and reports
  • Customer service and support communications

Disposal: Documents and records that have met their retention period and are no longer needed for business or legal purposes should be disposed of securely and confidentially. Confidential documents should be shredded or otherwise destroyed to protect sensitive information.

Exceptions: There may be exceptions to the retention periods outlined above due to legal or regulatory requirements or pending litigation. In such cases, the documents and records should be retained until the legal or regulatory requirements have been met, or the pending litigation has been resolved.

Conclusion: USA Shipping Exports recognizes the importance of retaining documents and records for business and legal purposes. This retention policy ensures that documents and records are retained for the appropriate period and disposed of securely and confidentially when no longer needed. The policy applies to all employees, contractors, and vendors who create, receive, maintain, or store documents and records on behalf of USA Shipping Exports. Any violation of this policy may result in disciplinary action, up to and including termination of employment or contract.