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Other documents that may help when exporting

Export and other certificates including certificates of preferential origin, certificates of free sale, catch certificates, statements and official seals.

Read about these other documents and certificates which could help with your exports.

Certificate of Preferential Origin

To claim reduced import fees or meet other import requirements you may be asked for a Certificate of Preferential Origin.  This certificate merely states where the product originates from.  


These certificates are issued by the relevant Chamber of Commerce and a fee is chargeable.  A reduced fee may be available to members of the Chamber of Commerce but you do not have to be a member to apply for one.  

Find further information from the Sussex Chamber of Commerce. You can also find details on making applications for these certificates electronically on the eCERT website.

Other documents may be requested by your import agent or export agent.  Sussex Chamber of Commerce have many of these available and you should see their website above for further information.

Certificate of Free Sale

 A certificate of free sale merely states that the product certified is available for free sale in the United Kingdom. These are issued by the Rural Payments Agency at DEFRA.  


There are currently no fees for these certificates. They are not widely accepted, and you must check whether they will allow the importation of your product into the destination country.

Catch Certificates, Processing Statements and Storage Statements

To deter and combat Illegal unreported and unregulated fishing, the United Kingdom operates a system of verification of most fishery products. 

The scheme is operated by the Marine Management Organisation. This is an executive agency of DEFRA which provides:

  • information and guidance
  • application tools for creating catch certificates, processing statements and storage statements.  

Find the Marine Fisheries guidance and tools on

Catch certificate charges

Charges now apply for Newhaven port health to issue catch certificates. You can find the fees and read compliance and requirements guidance for importers of fish and fishery products.

Official Seals

An official seal can be affixed to a consignment to secure it from interference.

Eastbourne and Lewes Council can apply an official seal to your consignment where we have issued a  or you have an APHA Export Certificate.  

There is usually no legal requirement to have an official seal, but some ports and routes require it.  This is because an official seal may mean that your consignment is offered reduced checks at the EU port of arrival or other destination.

Note: as Premises Endorsement for Exports do not detail the consignment and are not usually inspected, an official seal cannot be applied to such consignments.

Advantages of an official seal

An official seal may mean that your consignment, if selected for an identity check at the EU port of arrival, can be subjected to a less invasive and quicker documentary check.  This would usually mean the consignment would not be actually moved to the Border Control Post but could remain in the port. The port is then where your consignment would be subjected to customs control, until the documentary checks are completed.  

An official seal could save considerable time, especially at the outset of the new trading relationship. It could also reduce costs such as BCP handling fees, demurrage fees and transport fees.

Speak to your import agent in the country of destination or your export agent here in the United Kingdom to help you decide whether to have an official seal applied to your consignment.