Required Trade Documents


All Shipments

Commercial Invoice
The number of copies that should be submitted is determined by the needs of the importer .The commercial invoice must be prepared on the letterhead of the actual seller and must give an accurate and specific description of the goods, itemizing all expenses. All invoices must be signed and must show the name of the steamer and its date of sailing.

The invoice should bear a statement that the products being shipped are of the origin country and that they have been manufactured in the origin country. If the products contain any foreign components, the country of origin and the percentage of the foreign components must be indicated. The full name and address of the manufacturer also must be included.

Before the invoice is presented to the consulate of Bahrain in for legalization, it must be certified as to current export market prices and country of origin by the appropriate chamber of commerce.

If the buyer insures the shipment, the shipper must state on the commercial invoice that insurance is covered in Bahrain.

Certificate of Origin
The general form sold by commercial printers is required .The number copies that should be submitted is determined by the needs of the importer .The certificate of origin must be certified by the appropriate chamber of commerce, and each copy must attached to a commercial invoice.

Each certificate must show the name of the vessel. The certificate must state that the products being shipped are of origin country and that they have been manufactured in the origin country. A similar statements is required for goods originating other countries .If the goods as described in the certificate of origin are not exclusively products of their country of origin, a declaration must be appended to the certification: ’The undersigned,---------------------------, does hereby declare on behalf of the above-named supplier/manufacturer that certain parts of components of the goods described in the attached certificate of origin are the products of such country or countries, other than the country named therein as specifically indicated herein ,’ This statement should be followed by a listing of each country of origin and the percentage of the foreign component.

The full name and address of the manufacturer also must included, as well as a notarized statement by the shipper certifying that the certificate is true and correct.

Bill of Lading
There are no regulation specifying the form or number of bills of lading required for any particular shipment. A bill of lading customarily shows the name of the shipper, the name and address of the consignee, port of destination, port of discharge, description of goods, listing of the freight and other charges, the number of bills of lading in the full set, and the date and the signature of the carrier’s official acknowledging receipt on board of the goods for shipment .The information should correspond exactly with that shown on the invoices and the packages.

Generally, freight charges must be prepaid, particularly for C.I.F. shipments.

The air waybill replaces the bill of lading on air cargo shipments.

Packing List
A packing list is not required, but its use facilitates customs clearance when used, it should describe the contents of each case or container accurately and in detail giving the net and gross weights and the C.I.F. value.

Special Documents

Insurance Certificate
The insurance certificate (issued by the insurance company when the exporter insures the shipment) must state that the company is not included on the blacklist established by the Arab league Boycott Office. Chamber of commerce certification is not required .The certificate may be presented to the consulate for legalization, if requested .The legalization copy is returned to the shipper.

When the buyer insures the shipment, the shipper must state on the commercial invoice that the insurance is covered in Bahrain.

Steamship Certificate
The steamship certificate, issued by the steamship company must state that the ship is not Israeli vessel and that it is not scheduled to call at any Israeli Port during the voyage. Chamber of commerce certification is not required. The certificate must be presented to the consulate for legalization.

Food Products
Shipments of meat, fish, and chicken (fresh, frozen, or chilled) are required by the Public Health Department to be covered by a certificate from the country of origin certifying that the commodities are fit for human consumption. (Reportedly, some officials in Bahrain are requiring this certificate for additional products; exporters should consult with their Bahraini customers for information on this requirement.)

Sanitary Certificate
One copy of a certificate issued by the appropriate government department is required on all imports of livestock, pets, and plants and plant material proving that they are free from pests and other agriculture diseases

The certificate will be returned to the shipper after legalization by the consulate. Chamber of commerce certification is not required.

Cyclamate Certificate
A certificate issued on the manufacturer’s or exporter’s own authority and certifying that shipments of food and drink do not contain cyclamates must accompany al such shipments

Free Sale Certificate
Exports of pharmaceuticals requires a free sale certificate stating that the commodities in question are in free circulation in the country of export.

For imports, Bahraini Customs requires the following documents:

  • A Delivery Order issued by the Shipper or the Liner‘s Agent;

  • A Supplier‘s commercial invoice in duplicate (in Arabic or English);

  • A Packing List in duplicate;

  • A Certificate of Origin in Arabic or English (produced by a Chamber of Commerce and endorsed by an Arab Embassy);

  • A copy of the Insurance Certificate, if applicable;

  • A Bill of Lading (four copies), including gross weight and dimensions;

  • A bank payment voucher or bank receipt;

  • A statistical declaration if the final destination for the goods is in one of the GCC states.

For food items, the Bahraini Customs Directorate Handbook requires importers to present a manufacturer‘s certificate stating that goods do not contain cyclamates.

Imported and exported goods are classified according to the Standard International Trade Classification (SITC), Revision 3.