Export documents for international business

If you export goods to countries outside the EU, you regularly need export documents. You can request export documents at the Netherlands Chamber of Commerce KVK.

What are export documents for?

Examples of export documents are a Certificate of Origin, EUR.1, EUR-MED or invoice statement, legalisation of a signature, or ATA carnet. They each have a different purpose. You use them for commercial policy purposes, for reduction or exemption of import duties, to provide legal certainty, or for temporary import.

By using an export document with your shipment, your customer often pays less import duties. Your product can be imported into another country and you offer your foreign customer legal certainty. In this article you can read which KVK export documents you need in which situation, and the advantage this offers you or your customer. There is also an explanation about the application process.

4 types of export documents

The export documents issued by KVK can be divided into the following 4 types:

1. Certificate of Origin (CVO)

A Certificate of Origin (CVO) is a document for commercial policy purposes.

Document for trade policy purposes

Some countries do not want to allow products from certain countries for political, economic or health reasons. If you deliver an order to such a country, the local government wants to know in which country the goods from your order are made. This way, they can rule out that products come from a country that is subject to a trade policy measure.

Certificate of Origin (CVO)

For trade policy import restrictions due to political, economic or health reasons, a tariff quota or for the prevention of an anti-dumping duty, your customer can ask you for a Certificate of Origin (CVO). With a CVO you show from which country your products originate. Origin is where the product was made, harvested, mined or born. When a CVO is mandatory in the destination country and you do not send one, a shipment can remain with customs in that country and will not reach your customer.

A Dutch customer can also ask you for a CVO because they want confirmation of the origin of the product delivered by you. Often such a customer delivers part or all of the order to a country outside the EU. Your customer will then request a new CVO and uses your CVO as the underlying evidence.

2. EUR.1 and EUR-MED certificates, invoice statement

A EUR.1 and EUR-MED certificate and an invoice statement are documents for reduction or exemption from import duties.

Documents for reduction or exemption from import duties

The EU has trade agreements with several countries outside the EU. One of the subjects in these treaties is reduction or exemption of import duties on each other's products: in other words, giving preference. The term preferential origin is derived from this. Whether a product qualifies for a reduced import duty is stated in the trade agreement itself. With the Access2Markets ROSA tool, you can check whether your product complies with the rules to obtain preferential origin. For more information, contact the KVK Export documents department via the chat function on this page or call 088 585 1 585, menu option 4.

EUR.1, EUR-MED and invoice statement

Documents proving the preferential origin of a product are a EUR.1 certificate, a EUR-MED certificate and an invoice statement.

  • EUR.1 certificate. With this document you demonstrate the preferential origin of a product. KVK certifies this document. For export, Dutch Customs validates the EUR.1.
  • EUR-MED certificate. This is a variant of the EUR.1 certificate. You use an EUR-MED when you trade with countries of the Pan-Euro-Mediterranean Agreement (PEM convention). A EUR-MED certificate states from which countries from the PEM convention the raw materials and products come, and what the preferential origin of the end product is. When these are multiple countries from the PEM convention, you call this diagonal cumulation.
    KVK certifies this document. When exporting, Dutch Customs validates the EUR-MED.
  • Invoice statement. This is a prescribed text on your sales invoice. If the value of the goods of preferential origin is less than €6,000, this statement replaces an EUR.1 or EUR-MED. You can also use an invoice declaration when you have an Approved Exporter (toegelaten exporteur, TE, in Dutch) or a Registered Exporter (REX, in Dutch) permit. Whether you use REX or TE depends on the destination country. You enter your permit number or registration number on the invoice statement. You prepare an invoice statement yourself, you do not apply for it to KVK.

3. Legalisation signature

A legalisation is a document for legal certainty. Your customer or government organisations in your customer's country sometimes want confirmation of who signed an invoice or contract. With a legalisation, KVK declares that the person signing is authorised to do so.

4. ATA carnet

An ATA carnet is a document for the temporary export and import of goods. With this goods passport you get exemption from import duties and VAT if you temporarily transport goods to a country outside the EU that has signed the ATA convention (in Dutch). You use an ATA carnet, for example, for professional materials, trade samples and exhibition goods.

Which export document do you need?

There is no standard answer to the question which document you need for a product in a particular country. In the EU tool Access2Markets you can find out which documents you need per country and product. For this you need the HS-code (also called a product or commodity code) of the goods that you want to deliver to your foreign customer. The HS-code is a code that customs worldwide use to classify products. Each product group has its own HS-code.

Video: Want to know the rules when exporting? Use Access2Markets

In Access2Markets you enter the commodity code of your product. Then you select the country of origin and the destination country.

  • As a result, you can see at 'Tariffs' what percentage of import duty applies to your product.
  • In addition 'Procedures and formalities' are mentioned, listing which documents the destination country requires.
    • At 'Overview' you will find general information about the destination country.
    • At 'General' you can see which documents are generally required.
    • At 'Specific' you can see which documents are extra required for your specific product.

Read which other documents you sometimes need besides the KVK export documents.

Request export documents

After research, you know which export document you need for the product that you want to export to a specific country. Now you can digitally request a CVO, EUR.1, EUR-MED, legalisation, or ATA carnet at KVK. You have 2 options for your digital application. You arrange this online through an intermediary or you engage a logistics service provider for this. You or your logistics service provider can request the necessary export documents digitally.

Request export documents online through an intermediary

By using software from various suppliers or an intermediary, you can establish a connection with the KVK application Digitale Afgifte Exportdocumenten (DAE). Which services an intermediary offers differs per company. Be well informed about this, because you have several options:

  • You purchase the software yourself or work with a web application.
  • You provide your documents with a digital signature or you work with a mandate.
  • You print your documents yourself or have this done and then receive them by post.

KVK sends you a monthly invoice for the issue costs, the so-called fees.


KVK has an online portal for requesting export documents: Digitale Afgifte Exportdocumenten (DAE). The companies below provide the necessary software to establish a connection with DAE and support you in the application process (in Dutch).


The CVO, EUR.1, and EUR-MED are digitally certified and then printed on original pre-printed forms. If you print your export documents yourself, order blank forms from Beurtvaartadres (in Dutch) or Logistiekconcurrent (in Dutch).

You can apply for an ATA carnet online via e-ata.nl (in Dutch). First create an account (in Dutch) for this. You will receive the complete ATA carnet after your application from KVK. Before departure abroad, have the ATA carnet validated by Dutch Customs.

Requests via logistics service provider

You can also leave the entire application process to a logistics service provider, such as a freight forwarder. The service can differ per freight forwarder and depends on your wishes. Do you want a forwarder to only complete the export documents for you and request them digitally, or do you also want advice on the complete delivery process?

Together with your forwarder you determine what needs to be done and you agree on how and when you will receive your export documents printed and signed. You will receive the bill, including the KVK handling charges, from your forwarder. 

Have you not yet engaged a logistics service provider? You will find a list of names on Fenex (in Dutch).

Are you unable to find a forwarder near you via Fenex? The aforementioned intermediaries Stratech, ExportData, Exportdocumenten.com, Oorsprongsdocumenten.nl, Beurtvaartadres, Essdocs, Streamsoftware and Descartes have a link with the KVK DAE application. They can refer you to a forwarder who can arrange the issue of export documents for you.

Export within the EU

There is free movement of goods within the EU. This means there are no customs formalities and you do not need export documents for export within the EU. Documents such as an invoice, packing list and a transport document are usually enough. Additional rules apply to some goods.

Do you have a question about the KVK export documents? Contact the Export documents department on 088 585 15 85, option 4 in the menu.