What is the most important thing to consider when looking to export?

Research why your product or service may be unique or desirable in a foreign market, is the country easy to trade with, is the currency stable, how will you get your product or service to the country, how does exporting fit into your overall business plan. There is a lot to consider when thinking about exporting and you will need to be thorough when you undertake your research. Also, talk to other businesses who export and, ideally, who export to the same country or region as the one you are considering – they will be able to provide a warts and all view about the country.

I am having problems selling my product/service in another EU country? Where should I go for help?

If you think another EU member state is not applying or respecting EU rules and this is blocking your access to the market, your local SOLVIT branch can take up your case free of charge. SOLVIT can also help with VAT reimbursement. Visit their website for more information.

Can a Certificate of Origin be completed online?

Yes Arab-British Certificates of Origin which are to be certified only can be applied for online as well as all EC Certificates of Origin by visiting www.e-zcert.com.

Who can help me with information on import and export duties?

The Customs helpline should be able to help you. Call them on 0845 010 9000. More general information on Customs can be found on the HRMC website.

Is there someone who can help me get paid?

In international trade, problems involving bad debts are more easily avoided than rectified after they occur. Credit checks and services such as the international company profile can also limit the risks.

When payment problems occur, answer the following questions before seeking outside help or filing an insurance claim:

What services do freight forwarders provide, and how can I find one?

An international freight forwarder is an agent for the exporter and can move cargo from “dock-to-door,” providing several significant services

What is the difference between Arab and EC Certificates of Origin?

Arab Certificates of Origin cover the Arab League States (see minimum requirements sheet) whilst EC Certificates of Origin are used for all the other parts of the world.

What are the time scales involved?

EC Certificates can be issued straight away if required. Arab Documentation will take 72 hours for certification only and a further 4 to 5 days for documents that require legalisation at the relevant Embassy.

What are the costs involved?

You can download the Liverpool & Sefton Chambers of Commerce Arab Documentation minimum requirements price list from their website, along with the prices for EC documentation. However, for any other legalisation prices please call the Liverpool & Sefton Chambers of Commerce office on 0151 227 1234.

Do the Certificates of Origin have to be signed by the company?

Yes they most certainly do. The Arab Certificate must have the green control and blue application copies signed. On the EC Certificate only the pink application copy needs to be signed.

Do I have to show the manufacturers name/s and address/es on the front of the Arab Certificate of Origin?

Yes this information must be shown to meet the requirements of the Arab Embassies.

Do I have to complete the back of the EC pink application?

Yes and be aware that you can only tick the top box if the goods are natural products e.g. minerals, vegetables, animal or fishery products.

Do I have to include weights on my Certificates of Origin?

Yes, it can be the gross or net or preferably both.

Can I get extra copies of the Certificates certified and/or legalised?

Yes, but there are additional charges involved both for the blank forms and the processing procedures. Please contact the Liverpool & Sefton Chambers of Commerce Export Documentation department for further details.

Do all embassies have different fees for legalisation of documents?

Yes and different rules as well. If you need more information please contact Liverpool & Sefton Chambers of Commerce.