• GMCCTradeteam

Top Tips for the Legalisation of Export Documentation

Updated: Nov 15


We all know that dealing with export documentation can be a bit of a mine field. Exporters must deal with the preparation of the documentation needed to ship their goods and, depending on which country they are being shipped to, these requirements may vary from one to the other. Here’s a little guide to help you navigate through this process.


Here at Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce we offer a range of services which include the certification and validation of UK COO’s, EUR1 and any other documentation such as invoice, packing list, declarations of origin. These are quite simple and straight forward as these are dealt with in house by our team and the turnaround time for this ranges from our priority service of same day service to 24–48-hour standard services.


We can, however, offer the service of having your export documentation certified by an EU Chamber of Commerce or a Consulate/Embassy. This requirement is called legalisation. We work closely with both the Egyptian and Arab British Chamber who we deal with for the purpose of legalising both Arab and Egyptian docs. We also offer other services where we can get documents apostilled for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.


As requirements from country to country can differ, we would also advise any exporter to ensure they have written confirmation from their buyer about what is required for customs clearance and what documentation is needed. In this case you will have it if any issues arises once the goods have been shipped, such as if your customer didn’t request the correct document for clearance once the goods arrived in the country of import and has issues with importing it into the country.


A problem which can happen when getting documentation legalised is the time it takes. We normally say around two working weeks for them to be processed and returned to us. Although at certain times of the year this can change. For example, around the time of Ramadan the Arab and Egyptian Chambers and embassies are closed for part of the holiday and then may have reduced opening when they reopen. So, we would always remind customers of this and the possible delays that may arise.


Another problem that can arise with legalisation of documentation is the cost. The cost for legalisation is set by the individual chambers and embassies. Some embassies charge depending on the value of the invoices and other have a set fee. Unfortunately, we have no control over this, and the fees can change without much notice of the increase.


Here are some tips:


  • Check first with your customers if legalisation is absolutely required for your exports and to enable goods clearance at their end. If not, this will save you time and money.

  • If legalisation is required, then allow yourself enough time as mentioned above but also allow for some any additional delays such as postal strikes or other events, which are outside of your or the Chamber’s control.

  • If you require documents urgently make sure you ask our team to post using special delivery services.

  • It is important you are aware which countries do not need consular legalisation. Did you know that those who have signed to the Hague Convention do not require consular legalisation? Abolishing the requirements of legalisation of foreign public documents.

  • ·As from the 4th of June Indonesia is the latest country that has signed up to the agreement, this means after certification or notarisation and apostille no further legalisation should be necessary.

  • Also, the Convention of 5 October 1961 Abolishing the requirements of legalisation of foreign public documents. Also, the Convention of 5 October 1961 Abolishing the requirements of legalisation of foreign public documents. (HCCH 1961 Apostille Convention) facilitates the use of public documents abroad. The Convention has over 120 contracting parties and has become one of the most widely applied multilateral treaties in the area of legal cooperation, with several million Apostilles issued each year. (HCCH 1961 Apostille Convention) facilitates the use of public documents abroad. The Convention has over 120 contracting parties and has become one of the most widely applied multilateral treaties in the area of legal cooperation, with several million Apostilles issued each year.Also, the Convention of 5 October 1961 Abolishing the requirements of legalisation of foreign public documents. .(HCCH 1961 Apostille Convention) facilitates the use of public documents abroad. The Convention has over 120 contracting parties and has become one of the most widely applied multilateral treaties in the area of legal cooperation, with several million Apostilles issued each year.


Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce can certify your documents and arrange for the FCDO apostilles legalisation. Further information can be found on our website.


For more information on our legalisation services and costs please contact us on 0161 393 4314 or email us on exportdocs@gmchamber.co.uk.


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