Countries Requiring The Least Paperwork To Export Goods

Irish businesses, such as this dairy product salesperson working in China, benefit from their country's relaxed export filing.

When exporting commodities into their international markets, exporters are always conscious of labeling, packaging, insurance, and documentation requirements in order to ensure safety and the timely delivery of their goods. Packaging is necessary to protect the goods being transported, insurance protects against loss and delay, labeling ensures that the goods are handled correctly while documentation or paperwork ensures that government requirement and proper collection of taxes is met. Some of the paperwork involved in clearing goods for export includes a bill of landing between the owner of the goods and the carrier, commercial invoice from buyer to seller, inspection certification, export license and warehouse receipt for the storage of goods. Some of the countries have simplified their export paperwork to a maximum of three papers. Some of these countries are briefly looked at below.


Centralized customs clearance in France has been largely consolidated, including the handling of reporting formalities all in one office while the flow of export goods are routed to different locations, especially border points. France is moving towards digitizing both its import and export documentation procedures. So far, the country has achieved 86% of a comprehensive approach to export operations by offering a single portal for all export procedure requests. To achieve the 100% paperless index the country is currently implementing the National Single Window and DELTA-X measure. Now, only two documents are required to export goods from France these documents include Clearance certificate and a commercial invoice.


Ireland is one of the most tech-savvy countries in the world. The information, communication, and technology sector have influenced all other areas of the economy. Information and computer technology (ICT) has changed the way business is run in Ireland with most of the documentation and paperwork done online. The ports and freight stations have been modernized and procedures simplified for ease of both export and import. Most of the export paperwork has been consolidated to only two documents, inspection certificate for clearance of the export goods and commercial invoicing. The little paperwork has contributed significantly to reducing the time it takes to export goods out of Ireland. Besides, other landlocked countries around Ireland prefer to export their products through the country because of the short time it takes to file export documents.


Japan’s economic prominence, especially in the high tech sector and automobile industry, has led to increased demands for its products worldwide. Currently, Japan is one of the leading motor vehicle exporters in the world. Apart from motor vehicle Japan also exports other electronics and computer components. The massive export from Japan requires efficiency at the port and timely delivery to the international market. The government of Japan has not only made export easier by eliminating trade barriers and restrictions but has also simplified the process of export documentation. Once a buyer has signed an agreement with the seller and the goods are inspected by the customs authority, it takes very few hours to load the cargo for export. Documentation involves the filing of only three documents, namely a clearance certificate, an insurance certificate, and an inspection certificate.

Role of Technological Advancement in Modern Export Procedures

With the increasing uptake and utilization of ever more advanced technologies, many countries are abandoning paperwork for digital filings to meet their export requirements. The advantage with digital filing is that one does not need to keep filing whenever they are exporting goods because personal information is captured once. The only items that may change are the export specification and the details of the recipient.

Countries Requiring The Least Paperwork To Export Goods

Rank Country Documents Required To Export Goods
1 France 2
2 Ireland 2
3 Japan 3
4 Hong Kong 3
5 Panama 3
6 Estonia 3
7 Italy 3
8 Switzerland 3
9 Canada 3
10 South Korea 3
11 Singapore 3
12 United States 3
13 United Arab Emirates 3
14 Austria 3
15 Sweden 3

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