Export Document Legalization

 In Industry Insider, Trans-Border Global Freight Systems, Inc.

What does legalization of export documents mean?
Legalization is the process of authenticating a document so that a foreign country’s legal system will recognize it as valid and with full legal effect.  Many countries require legalization of your export documents before your cargo can be shipped.  While it is more common to have your documents done at origin, destination legalization is also an option, however we always recommend confirming this process with your consignee prior to the shipment departing.


What countries require this to be done?
Not all countries require legalization and there are particular regulations in particular countries for particular commodities. It is best to have an open dialogue with your consignee as to what their requirements for importing the goods are. As a guideline, the following countries may require legalization:

  • Argentina
  • Bahrain
  • Dominican Republic
  • Egypt
  • Guatemala
  • Jordan
  • Kuwait
  • Lebanon
  • Nicaragua
  • U.A.E.
  • Yemen

What happens if my documents are not legalized?
If your documents are not legalized per that countries requirement, the shipment will be held by Customs until legalized documents are produced.  Typically penalties will occur, however Customs fines vary between countries.  In addition, there are other possible unwanted costs that can occur, such as demurrage, storage, etc. not to mention delaying the delivery of your cargo.

How much does it cost and how long does it take to process?
Costs vary depending on destination, value of the merchandise and the number of documents requiring legalization.  Process time may also vary, however we aim to process legalized documents in 4-6 business days.

What else should I know about legalization?
Legalization is very a simple and straight forward process and the key to ensuring the success of this is to keep open lines of communication with the buyer and make sure both parties understand the necessary requirements as well as the allocation of costs.

Here at Trans-Border, we are always happy to assist with any questions you may have. Please contact our office at 800.493.9444 or email the Managers listed below:

Yateen Patel, Export Compliance Manager, ypatel@tbgfs.com
Dan Hollenbeck, Export Pricing & Routing Manager, dhollenbeck@tbgfs.com