Legalising Documents for the Exportation of Goods

Trading internationally will increase the sales potential of any company and, with this in mind, it is easy to see why many companies will aim to sell their goods globally. The document requirements and regulations for the exportation of goods vary widely from country to country. It is essential to check what paperwork will satisfy the requirements of the local authorities in the country any goods are to be exported to.

What Documents Are Required?

There are several documentation requirements to take into consideration when exporting goods internationally. This is dependent on the type of goods and any controls in place in relation to these goods. The Department for International Trade in the UK offer guidance on what documents are needed in each case. Some of the most commonly used documents are outlined below.

Commercial Invoice

An invoice will usually be prepared by the exporter outlining the goods being shipped overseas. This will often be used by customers to determine the value of the goods and any tariffs due. This document will need to be solicitor certified and issued with the apostille in order to be recognised overseas.

Certificate of Origin

Certificates of Origin are required for the exportation of many goods. The document is prepared by the shipper or by the Chamber of Commerce to define the origin of the goods being shipped. If there is a trade agreement in place between the two countries the document can be used to benefit from reduced tariffs.

Certificates of Free Sale and Health Certificates

Exporting food, agricultural, animal, medicinal or biological products will often require a Certificate of Free Sale and possibly a Health Certificate. Restrictions or specific export conditions for such products should be clarified with the authorities in the country the goods are being exported to.

In the UK this is typically used to substantiate that the goods are:

  • Produced in accordance with EU hygiene rules
  • Fit for human consumption
  • Freely available for sale within the EU

In addition to obtaining the requisite paperwork, companies should also be aware of any legalisation requirements. It is imperative that the correct paperwork is legalised to prevent any delays in getting paid & exporting the goods, even more so if the goods are perishable which would mean delays could significantly affect revenue.

We are proud to assist many companies with the legalisation of their important export documentation each week. The legalisation of documents for exporting to countries that are party to the Hague Apostille Convention is typically completed in just 1-2 working days. We also provide embassy attestation where needed in many cases.

For more information please get in touch today.

About the Author

The Apostille Service are pleased to provide advice on a wide range of document legalisation matters. Our team of advisors contribute to the blog.