I have been trying to arrange the collection of a shipment of spares from Saudi Arabia which we have been holding in store in case of need. We have decided, as they will not be needed anymore, to return them to our supplier in the UK. Initially we had wanted to send these by air, but on learning the sizes we decided this would not be cost efficient at all. Only now, when we are expecting the goods to be collected by our forwarder from our Saudi customer, has the forwarder come back urgently requesting us to provide a copy of the Certificate of Origin issued when the goods were first shipped to Saudi from the UK. We cannot find this paperwork as the goods were shipped four or five years ago. We have asked the Saudi forwarder why this question is only now being asked and they advised that: “the re-export documentation structure for seafreight and airfreight are different as (we) had option of sending airfreight with a copy of the invoice through Bahrain.” At no point was the booking made by air, it was only suggested this might be the way to proceed. Apparently, they need the old Certificate of Origin to be able to issue the export documents to allow the cargo to leave Saudi. I wonder if there is a way around this.

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