Required Export Documents

Table of contents
 Commercial invoice
Packing List
Certificate of Origin
Any other documents

Export documents required

General export documents:

1. Commercial invoice

The commercial invoice is a record or evidence of the transaction between the exporter and the importer, with the terms that both parties have agreed upon in advance. Once the goods are available, the exporter issues a commercial invoice to the importer, who has to sign a copy and return it to the exporter.

No specific form is required. The commercial invoice must be submitted in the original along with at least one copy. In general, there is no need for the invoice to be signed. In practice, both the original and the copy of the commercial invoice are often signed. The commercial invoice may be prepared in any language. However, a translation into English is recommended.

This document should include as many details as possible. The minimum data generally included are the following:

  • Information on the exporter and the importer (name and address),
  • Date of issue
  • Invoice number
  • A full description of the goods (name, quality, etc.)
  • Unit of measure
  • Quantity of goods
  • Unit value
  • Total item value
  • Total invoice value and currency of the payment (the equivalent amount must be indicated in a currency freely convertible to Euro or toher legal tender in the importing Member state)
  • The terms of payment (method and date of payment, discounts, etc.)
  • The terms of delivery according to the appropriate Incoterm
  • Means of transport


2. Packing List

Prepared by the producer/exporter, the packing list provides information on the imported items and the packaging details of each shipment. It generally include:

  • Information on the exporter, the importer and the transport company
  • Date of issue
  • Number of the freight invoice
  • Type of packaging (drum, crate, carton, box, barrel, bag, etc.)
  • Number of packages
  • Content of each packages (description of the goods and number of item/package)
  • Marks and numbers
  • Net weight, gross weight and measurement of the packages

Mistakes in the packing list can cause a delay in clearance at the port of destination; customs authorities have the right to delay the clearance of the shipment until the importer makes a packing list reflecting the real content of the container. The packing list is unnecessary only when all information contained in it is clearly stated in the invoice.


3. Certificate of Origin

The certificate of origin is necessary for exporters to benefit from preferential tariff treatment. The document is available at the Customs Department of the Ministry of Finance and at the Chamber of Commerce and has to be endorsed by the Ministry of Finance. Template in Arabic:


Finance and at the Chamber of Commerce and has to be endorsed by the Ministry of Finance. Template in Arabic:


The certificate must be typed in English, include the exporters signature, stamped by the Customs Department of the Ministry of Finance and be sealed.
The EUR.1 form is also used when exporting to the EFTA countries and the same procedure applies.

  • Substitutes for EUR.1:
    • Invoice Declaration: The EU agreement states that for products whose total value does not exceed 6,000 Euro, an invoice declaration to prove the origin can substitute the EUR.1.
    • Approved Exporter: The EU agreement also states that any exporter who has frequent shipments to the EU can be granted the status of "Approved Exporter". This translates into the possibility of substituting the EUR.1 certificate with an invoice declaration.
  • Certificate of Origin for the United States: Form A
    Exporters must also provide Form CF7501 (guide on how to complete it and Form CF316. Both documents can be obtained at the forwarder or the clearing agent.
  • Certificate of Origin for Canada
    Certificate has the form of a declaration, which needs to be presented to the Canadian Customs Authorities only upon request. The exporter must fax it to the Canadian importer within the time limit stated by the Canadian Customs Authorities. The declaration that the goods originated in the WBGS is to be completed and signed by the exporter.
  • Certificate of Origin for Arab countries
    The document is available at the Chamber of Commerce. Three copies need to be completed: one for the Chamber of Commerce and two for the exporter.  
    The certificate should include the rule of origin, the name of the products, the name of the exporter/producer, the registration number of the company and the place of origin of the raw materials. It also has to be stamped by both the Chamber of Commerce and the Ministry of Economy.
    NB. The Chamber of Commerce requires the commercial invoice, the corporate registration and the Foreign Trade Dealing registration, to stamp the certificate of origin for the Arab countries.


4. Any other documents as per the consignee requirements

Shipping documents required:

  • Customs declaration and/or MAKASA clearance bill form from the Ministry of National Economy
  • CIF or FOB insurance form

An insurance certificate is required for the goods while in transit. The most common form are the "Free On Board" (FOB) and “Cost Insurance and Freight (CIF). The FOB form indicates that the importer receiving the goods must pay for insurance when goods are shipped. The CIF form indicates that the exporter has to pay for the insurance up to the port of arrival. The shipping company provides insurance for the cargo.

  • Bill of Lading/Air WayBill

The Bill of lading is a document issued by the shipping company to the operating shipper, which acknowledges that the goods have been received on board. The Bill of Lading serves as proof of receipt of the goods by the carrier obliging him to deliver the goods to the consignee. It contains the details of the goods, the vessel and the port of destination.

A number of different types of bills of lading can be used. "Clean Bills of Lading" state that the goods have been received in an apparent good order and condition. "Unclean or Dirty Bills of Lading" indicate that the goods are damaged or in bad order, in this case, the financing bank may refuse to accept the consignor's documents.

The AirWay Bill is a document, which serves as a proof of the transport contract between the consignor and the carrier's company.

A single air waybill may be used for multiple shipments of goods; it contains three originals and several extra copies. One original is kept by each of the parties involved in the transport (the consignor, the consignee and the carrier). The copies may be required at the airport of departure/destination, for the delivery and in some cases, for further freight carriers. The air waybill is a freight bill, which evidences a contract of carriage and proves receipt of goods.

NB. The IATA Standard Air Waybill is a specific type of Air Waybill used by all carriers belonging to the International Air Transport Association (IATA).


Both the Bill of Lading and the Airway Bill contain the following information:


  • Name of the ship/carrier
  • Name of the beneficial L/C bank
  • Description of the goods (General description)
  • Indication of Full Container Load (FCL) or Less Container Load (LCL) clauses
  • Pre-paid freight or freight collect clauses
  • Product labels and trademark stamps


Shipping marks are important to the safe and speedy transfer of the products. Marks, complying with legal requirements, assist carriers and Custom Authorities to identify the goods.

Common shipping marks are the identification of the importer, the number of the packing case, the port of destination, gross and net weight, outside measurements of the case, the country of origin and cautionary marks if careful handling is needed. However, rules applying to shipping marks can vary according to the country of destination.

Labeling requirements vary according to the country of destination. Normally, detailed rules are applied to foodstuff, pharmaceuticals and cosmetics, textile and garments. The importer provides details on labels according to the requirements in the country of destination.


Additional documents required for specific products and specific countries:


Agricultural Products

  • Certificate of origin, issued by the Ministry of Agriculture
  • Export License, issued by the Ministry of Agriculture
  • Phytosanitary certificate, issued by the Ministry of Agriculture


Pharmaceutical Products

  • Five years registration certificate issued by the Ministry of Health
  • Sales certificate issued by the Ministry of Health
  • Medical products certificate issued by the Ministry of Health


Animal Products

  • Certificate of origin, issued by the Ministry of Agriculture
  • Export license, issued by the Ministry of Agriculture
  • Veterinary certificate, by the Ministry of Agriculture

Processed Food Products

  • Export License, issued by the Ministry of Health
  • Health certificate, issued by the Ministry of Health

Chemicals Products

  • Export License, issued by the Ministry of Health


Other general Palestinian and International certifications needed for basic export standards


To export goods to the U.S.: All companies have to register their facility on the Food and Drug Administration (FDA)’s website:

On the page, click on the first box entitled “FURLS Food Facility Registration Module”.  

Here is a guide on how to register:


You will need to provide the following information:

  • Facility name, address, phone number, and emergency contact phone number
  • Parent company name, address, and phone number (if applicable)
  • Name, address and phone number of the owner, operator, or agent in charge
  • Email address for the contact person of the facility or, in case of a foreign facility, the U.S. Agent for the facility
  • All trade names the facility uses
  • Applicable food product categories, as listed on the registration form
  • Name, address, and phone number of a foreign facility’s U.S. agent, and phone number of the facility’s emergency contact if it is someone other than the U.S. agent
  • Assurance that FDA will be permitted to inspect the facility at the times and in the manner permitted by the FD&C Act
  • Certification that the information submitted is true and accurate and that the person submitting it is authorized to do so


Common Veterinary Entry Document (CVED) – especially for locally animal processed food for EU market and in particular UK:


Permit from Veterinary Institute (especially for animal produced food) – a prerequisite for import and obtained from Israeli Department of Feeds and Quality


Product Analysis Certificate (especially medicine products)


Palestinian Quality certificate for countries that have signed an agreement with Palestinian Standard Institute (PSI). PSI Contact information:


International quality Certificate such as ISO 22000, HACCP, GMP, Globalgap etc., depending on the imported countries regulations