Export Related Documents: Authentication and Legalization

Authentication and Legalization in Exports and Imports

The business of trading goods or exports and imports is a promising form of commerce that requires authentication and legalization. Both parties require a certain level of trust when starting such a business. They may not have previous experience in exchanging goods with one another, after all. Checks and balances allow you to make an informed decision and choice in partners to commit the trade with. However, a certain level of risk related to the quality of the product you receive will remain.

When you engage in trading goods made in Canada, authentication and legalization of documents can help the importing country minimize risks related to the quality of the product. It will also provide financial reliability, as well as allow importing countries to assess authenticity of the product. They may request the Commercial Invoice and Certificate of Origin.

What is a Commercial Invoice?

A Commercial Invoice is a legal document that is included when goods are shipped to another country. The purpose of all invoices is to provide a record of the transaction. The importing country uses a commercial invoice to allow products in. This includes the billed amount and payment options for the buyer. In addition, it includes information about both the buyer, seller. and sold goods. Due to the risks of damage related to the order and  exporter accountability for the goods, this invoice can allow funds to remain in escrow accounts.

What is a Certificate of Origin?

A Certificate of Origin is another document that can provide assurance of quality and verification of details regarding the product. It contains details about the exporter and importer, along with information regarding the producer. It also contains the tariff classification number, weight of products, and most importantly, a statement certifying that the information on the certificate is true and accurate. A detailed description of the information contained within the Certificate of Origin can be found on the Canadian government website here.

The Authentication Process

In addition to providing these documents, some countries require that they undergo the process of authentication and legalization. In order to authenticate the documents, they must first meet the requirements of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce. Once met, they will affix a stamp to signify this. Moving forward, Global Affairs Canada (GAC) will screen the document for authenticity and following a satisfactory review, your document will be stamped. The final step of legalization takes place at the embassy of your importing country, who will validate your document.

While this process may sound simple, it can take approximately two months to complete, with a minimum period of twenty days at GAC for authentication. Errors and omissions along the way can extend this time by another three months. However, Legalization Service Centre can complete the same process in a much shorter amount of time, knowing the process and having a strong network within GAC and embassies in Ottawa. With our office situated in Ottawa, we can fast-track authentication to provide next day service! We will also make sure that your documents stay at the relevant embassy for days or weeks instead of months.

Our experience and stellar customer service has earned us an A+ status with the Better Business Bureau (BBB). We understand that your business requires you to act quickly and that simplicity in conducting your due diligence can translate to your success. For these reasons, we are readily available to answer any questions you may have and can have your documents authenticated and legalized quickly, efficiently, and accurately. Give us a call at 1-800-857-1215 or send us a message on WhatsApp: +1-613-501-0555.

 

Image credit: Herzing College