When do I need to legalize my shipping documents?

Legalization of your Certificate of Origin, and other paperwork, may be required when sending to some countries such as Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Oman, Israel, the United Kingdom and Singapore, or when your consignee requests it.

Legalization is the process of having documents reviewed by the destination country’s consulate. You may also hear the process referred to as consularization. Consularization and legalization are the same thing. This process is used by the destination country’s customs officials to verify the value, quality and nature of the shipment before it leaves the exporting country. There is normally a cost involved, payable to the consulate or processing service. The legalization process may also used to obtain special treatment, refunds or elimination of duty & tax when the shipment is imported.

Typically a commercial invoice or consular invoice and certificate of origin are the documents required when presenting to a country’s consulate for legalization. A lead time needed before export can be up to a weeks time.

If you need legalized paperwork, please contact our International Help Desk or your local shipping expert immediately to begin the process, as there is a lead time of up to a week, depending on the country. Other countries require legalized paperwork in some cases. Please contact our International Help Desk or your local shipping expert to discuss the exact requirements and lead time, or determine if your shipment’s destination requires legalized paperwork.

Have more shipping questions?

dual preferred ship logo


We have more than 25 years of experience supporting small and medium businesses with their shipping needs. As the oldest authorized reseller of DHL Express, we are international shipping experts. In addition to our international import and export services, we offer heavy air freight, domestic USPS services, and domestic trucking services.