Goods specific requirements

When exporting goods out of, and importing into, a country, a number of crossborder regulatory requirements apply, depending on the kind of goods. These regulatory requirements define:

  • the category of goods being traded,
  • what international and national legislation applies,
  • what conditions have to be complied with for the goods to enter or leave the country,
  • which regulatory procedures need to be followed in advance, during and after the export or import,
  • what documents need to be available during transport, and
  • to which authorities documentation needs to be filed; and which release procedures apply.

Customs regulations apply to all goods entering or leaving a country, or being in transit. Regulations from other authorities are often also (initially) handled by Customs. Permits and certificates may be required and have to be obtained in advance of the transport. These documents may need to accompany the goods. Countries also increasingly request that goods be declared in advance and approved by the authority in the country of destination.

Goods specific requirements in place

Product-related requirements exist for areas such as:

  • agriculture, with restrictions on the kind of produce, the amounts allowed, regulations on the quality and certification of the produce (bilaterally approved phytosanitary certificates),
  • animals, with restrictions on the kind of animals transported, the quantities allowed, regulations for the health of the animals, conditions for their transport, and veterinary certificates,
  • human health products, with restrictions on the pharmaceuticals allowed into the country, and procedures for the detection of illegal drugs,
  • chemicals, with restrictions on the kind and amounts of chemicals allowed, the conditions and documentation during transport and storage, and permitted routes and transport modes,
  • waste (Basel convention), with restrictions on the kind and amounts of waste, permits to transport the waste to specific facilities and locations, routes and transport modes allowed,
  • nuclear products, with restrictions on the kind of materials, limitations on exporting to certain countries, conditions during transport and storage, prescribed routes and transport modes,
  • military products, with restrictions on the kind of material, limitations on exporting to certain countries, conditions during transport and storage, prescribed routes and transport modes,
  • endangered species (the CITES Convention), with restrictions on the type of species, their origin, conditions during transport, facilities needed, and permits and certificates required.

Trade facilitation concerns

The main trade facilitation issues are as follows: knowledge of and compliance with international and national legislation; timely acquisition of permits and certificates in relation to conditions during transport and storage; efficient validation and acceptance of permits and certificates in the country of destination; efficient border crossings; timely release of the goods; effective monitoring of goods during transport and storage; and monitoring transport security. For example for perishable food, it may be essential that advance information is given to authorities and release of the food at arrival is achieved. Delays in this process may lead to the food starting to rot, leading to financial losses.

Trade facilitation can be fostered by ensuring that: expertise about product-related crossborder requirements is available; there is efficient and effective handling of requests for permits and certificates; there are international or bilateral agreements on the validation of permits and certificates; recommendations from International Conventions are implemented; crossborder procedures are efficiently organized; harmonized and standardized documentary requirements exist; and that modern information exchange is used to monitor the crossborder documentary requirements (for example, the development of electronic permits and certificates of the CITES Convention).