Ten Common Export Documents That Require Legalisation

Did you know that most export documents will require legalisation before you’re legally allowed to bring your goods into another country? A number of these documents exist and there are no end to the possible variations of document that exist across the world for moving goods from one country to the other. However, we’ve compiled a list of the ten most common ones below, to give you a head start and make sure you know the ins-and-outs of export document legalisation.

Did you know that most export documents will require legalisation before you’re legally allowed to bring your goods into another country? A number of these documents exist and there are no end to the possible variations of document that exist across the world for moving goods from one country to the other. However, we’ve compiled a list of the ten most common ones below, to give you a head start and make sure you know the ins-and-outs of export document legalisation.

ATA CARNET

Also known as a” Passport for Goods”, an ATA Carnet allows the temporary importation of professional equipment used for setting up at trade fairs and exhibitions to countries who are part of the ATA Carnet system. A full list of countries that an ATA Carnet is valid in can be found here. ATA Carnets allow for the movement of all goods shown on the Carnet as many times as required over a 12 month period, at which point they have to be renewed.

ATR MOVEMENT CERTIFICATE

An ATR Movement Certificate entitles goods which are in ‘free circulation’ in the EU (the goods originate in the EU, or have been imported into the EU with all duties and taxes paid) to receive preferential import duty treatment when shipped to Turkey. This applies to all eligible goods except agricultural goods, minerals and steel, which require an EUR1 Movement Certificate.

EUR.1 MOVEMENT CERTIFICATE

An EUR1 Movement Certificate is used to support claims for preferential (usually zero) rates of duty in the country of importation.  To qualify the goods must ‘originate’ in the UK or EU and be supported by a correctly completed and endorsed EUR1.  The preference system only applies to countries where certain trade agreements exist with the EU. These countries include Egypt, Algeria, Israel, Jordan, FYR (Bosnia-Herzogovina, Serbia, Montenegro, Kosovo, Croatia, Macedonia), Lebanon, Morocco, Palestine, Syria, Tunisia, Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Switzerland, South Africa, Chile, Mexico, Albania, Andorra, the Association of Carribean States, and overseas countries and territories.

BILL OF LADING

A bill of lading, often abbreviated as B/L or BoL, is the legal document between the shipper of goods and the carrier detailing the type, quantity and destination of the goods being carried. The bill of lading also serves as a receipt of shipment when the goods are delivered at the predetermined destination. This document must accompany the shipped goods, no matter the form of transportation, and must be signed by an authorized representative from the carrier, shipper and receiver.

CERTIFICATE OF ORIGIN

A Certificate of Origin is a document proving the origin of goods and where they were manufactured. Many countries require the inclusion of a Certificate of Origin in the bundle of documents that require legalisation. Common variations include the EUR Certificate of Origin and the Arab-British Certificate of Origin.

COMMERCIAL INVOICE

A Commercial Invoice states what has been sold, to whom, and for how much. This is often required by the exporter to be able to apply for other documents, as well as for the importer to bring the goods into the country. The commercial invoice is the primary document used for importation control, valuation, and duty determination. This document identifies the products being shipped.

FREE SALE CERTIFICATE

Required for the exporting of food or drink (for humans or animals) to show that the product can be sold within the UK and therefore isn’t a risk to consumer health (humans) or free from harmful levels of radioactive material (animals). Required for Non-EU countries.

LETTER OF CREDIT

A letter of credit is a letter from a bank guaranteeing that a buyer’s payment to a seller will be received on time and for the correct amount. In the event that the buyer is unable to make payment on the purchase, the bank will be required to cover the full or remaining amount of the purchase. Due to the nature of international dealings, including factors such as distance, differing laws in each country, and difficulty in knowing each party personally, the use of letters of credit has become a very important aspect of international trade.

CONSULAR INVOICE

A document certifying a shipment of goods and shows information such as the consignor, consignee and value of the shipment. A consular invoice can be obtained through a consular representative of the country you’re shipping to. The consular invoice is required by some countries to facilitate customs and collection of taxes.

EXPORT LICENCE

An Export Licence is a document issued by a government agency to monitor the export of sensitive technologies (such as advanced computer chips) prohibited materials (drugs, genetically-modified plants), dangerous materials (explosives, radioactive substances), strategic materials (uranium, advanced alloys), or goods in short supply in the home market (foodstuffs, raw materials). An export licence may also be required for goods over 50 years old.


Now that you’ve read this through, have you identified a document that you have that might require legalisation before you’re able to export worldwide? Luckily, Vital Certificates can help. We’re experts at legalising export documents for use in other countries. Just click here and fill in the form, send us a text message via WhatsApp or use our live chat system and we’ll send you a quote specifically tailored to your needs. All in as little as an hour. We look forward to hearing from you soon.

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Ashraf Vachhiat
Ashraf is the Marketing Technologist at Vital Consular, which means he handles all the technicalities involved in bringing this blog to life! He also enjoys creating in-depth articles around current affairs which impact the travel and relocation industry. In his free time, Ashraf relishes travelling as much as possible, and is always looking for quirky spots to take some great photos.
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