What Export Documentation Do You Need


This is a great question and actually not an easy one to answer because it does depend form one market to another. However, what I would say is, the key ones, the key export documents that are usually required are:

A commercial invoice, which details the sale of the goods, and also the packing list, which will show exactly what is in the consignment you are sending, the quantities, the product itself, the commodity codes, the duties and customs, etc. Aside from that, when it comes to food and drink products, you will generally also need an export health certificate which is issued by the local council normally within the UK. It is a chargeable document, and it’s something that needs to accompany the goods again with the shipment.

If your product is organic certified, then usually the organic certificate is required to be shown. If your product contains meat and it’s going to regions where there is halal certification required, then again a valid halal certificate will be required also.

For the supplement side of things, then sometimes and often even as part of the registration or with the actual shipment, the certificate of free sale, which is issued by the rural payments agency here in the UK, is also required. That is a free document that you can request from them directly.

Another one to consider will be potentially a certificate of origin, which basically shows the origin of the products and where they have been processed and manufactured. There’s generally the EU one which is valid still at the moment, and also the arab one for parts of the middle east.

These are again issued by the Chamber of Commerce and they are a chargeable document and it’s something that you should be aware of and check if it is required for the other market.

So they would be, I say, the key ones to consider within the food, drink & supplement industry but again every market is different and has particular requirements and also depending on the exact product that you are looking to export. So always take advice from either the chambers of commerce, organisations such as ourselves at Bolst Global, and also your customary market as well who can often give some guidance as to what is required.

I hope that helps.

Victoria Boldison

Victoria Boldison

CEO & Founder

Victoria is a multi-award winning Chartered Marketer and has worked internationally for all of her career within start up, SME and large corporation environments marketing and selling food, drinks, supplements and medical devices around the world.

Multilingual with an MA Hons from the University of Oxford (French, Spanish and Portuguese) and an executive MBA from Leeds Business School, Victoria now runs Bolst Global, an international business consultancy and export solutions provider, supporting those businesses operating in global food, drink and supplement sectors.

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