The time taken to prepare export documentation is being significantly reduced with the launch of e-Cert eXpress, a new service from the British Chambers of Commerce Network of Authorised Issuing Bodies across the UK.

From 1st November 2005, exporters who require Certificates of Origin for their goods can now apply for and receive them electronically, ready for printing at their own premises.

Until now, whilst exporters could apply online for Certificates of Origin, the documents still had to be physically stamped and therefore posted back to, couriered or collected by the exporter. With e-Cert eXpress, officially stamped Certificates of Origin are sent back to the exporter electronically, a process which can be completed in minutes and hours rather than days. Said John Dunsmure, Managing Director of the British Chambers of Commerce:-

“In 2004, £80 billion worth of business was done outside the EU and almost 500,000 EC and Arab Certificates of Origin were issued. e-Cert eXpress is the next step in our aim of making the production of export documentation a completely paperless process. Not only are there benefits to British exporters in terms of speed, simplicity and ease-of-use, there are also benefits to their customers through greater efficiency, better responsiveness and improved customer care.”

EC Certificates of Origin are required for goods being exported from the United Kingdom and are essential for exporting companies to comply with customs requirements in the importing state, as well as meeting banking and other commercial criteria.

Hannah Stansfield of Huddersfield-based Holset, international suppliers of turbos for diesel engines, said of the new service:-

“With the introduction of e-Cert eXpress, we are now able to send equipment from our depot to a customer abroad within half an hour of receiving an urgent request. That level of response and customer service wasn't previously possible.”

Companies who wish to use the e-Cert eXpress service should contact their local Chamber, which can provide further information and training.

More details on the new service can also be found at www.chamberonline.co.uk/exportzone. or contact Frances Harris or Trevor Clark on 01727 813685/6.