Documents to export (number)

Definition: All documents required per shipment to export goods are recorded. It is assumed that the contract has already been agreed upon and signed by both parties. Documents required for clearance by government ministries, customs authorities, port and container terminal authorities, health and technical control agencies and banks are taken into account. Since payment is by letter of credit, all documents required by banks for the issuance or securing of a letter of credit are also taken into account. Documents that are renewed annually and that do not require renewal per shipment (for example, an annual tax clearance certificate) are not included.

Description: The map below shows how Documents to export (number) varies by country. The shade of the country corresponds to the magnitude of the indicator. The darker the shade, the higher the value. The country with the highest value in the world is Mongolia, with a value of 11.00. The country with the lowest value in the world is Ireland, with a value of 2.00.

Source: World Bank, Doing Business project (http://www.doingbusiness.org/).

See also: Country ranking, Time series comparison

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Development Relevance: The Doing Business report was first published in 2003 with five indicator sets measuring business regulation in 133 economies. The report has grown into an annual publication covering 11 indicator sets and 189 economies. In these 10 years Doing Business has recorded nearly 2,000 business regulation reforms in the areas covered by the indicators and researchers have produced well over 1,000 articles in peer-reviewed journals using the data published by Doing Business - work that helps explore many of the key development questions of our time. The Doing Business indicators points to important trends in regulatory reform and identifies the regions and economies making the biggest improvements for local entrepreneurs. It highlights both the areas of business regulation that have received the most attention and those where more progress remains to be made. The report also reviews research on which regulatory reforms have worked and how. Among the highlights are smarter business regulation supports economic growth, simpler business registration promotes greater entrepreneurship and firm productivity, while lower-cost registration improves formal employment opportunities, an effective regulatory environment boosts trade performance, and sound financial market infrastructure - courts, creditor and insolvency laws, and credit and collateral registries - improves access to credit.

Limitations and Exceptions: Data on the number of documents needed to export or import are from the World Bank's Doing Business surveys, which compile procedural requirements for exporting and importing a standardized cargo of goods by ocean transport from local freight forwarders, shipping lines, customs brokers, port officials, and banks. The procedural requirements for exporting and importing goods involved filling out several required documents. These documents are associated with every official procedure - from the contractual agreement between the 2 parties to the delivery of goods, and needs to be filled and submitted in a timely manner. Several assumptions about the business and traded goods are used. For the business, it is assumed that it has at least 60 employees, located in the economy's largest business city, is a private limited-liability company, is 100% domestically owned, and exports more than 10% of its sales. For the traded goods, it is assumed that the product travels in a dry-cargo, 20-foot, full container load, weighs 10 tons, and valued at $20,000. The assumptions about the product being traded are that it is not hazardous or include any military items, does not require refrigeration or any other special environment, requires only the internationally accepted safety standards, and is one of the economy's leading export or import products. Trade facilitation encompasses customs efficiency and other physical and regulatory environments where trade takes place, harmonization of standards and conformance to international regulations, and the logistics of moving goods and associated documentation through countries and ports. Though collection of trade facilitation data has improved over the last decade, data that allow meaningful evaluation, especially for developing economies, are lacking.

Statistical Concept and Methodology: The World Bank's Doing Business measures the time and cost (excluding tariffs) associated with exporting and importing a standardized cargo of goods by sea transport. The time and cost necessary to complete every official procedure for exporting and importing the goods are recorded; however, the time and cost for sea transport are not included. All documents needed by the trader to export or import the goods across the border are also recorded. For exporting goods, procedures range from packing the goods into the container at the warehouse to their departure from the port of exit. For importing goods, procedures range from the vessel's arrival at the port of entry to the cargo's delivery at the warehouse. For landlocked economies, these include procedures at the inland border post, since the port is located in the transit economy. Payment is made by letter of credit, and the time, cost and documents required for the issuance or advising of a letter of credit are taken into account. The ranking on the ease of trading across borders is the simple average of the percentile rankings on its component indicators. Local freight forwarders, shipping lines, customs brokers, port officials and banks provide information on required documents and cost as well as the time to complete each procedure. To make the data comparable across economies, several assumptions about the business and the traded goods are used. All documents required per shipment to export and import the goods are recorded. It is assumed that a new contract is drafted per shipment and that the contract has already been agreed upon and executed by both parties. Documents required for clearance by relevant agencies - including government ministries, customs, port authorities and other control agencies - are taken into account. Since payment is by letter of credit, all documents required by banks for the issuance or securing of a letter of credit are also taken into account. Documents that are requested at the time of clearance but that are valid for a year or longer and do not require renewal per shipment (for example, an annual tax clearance certificate) are not included. Documents to export include bank documents, customs clearance documents, port and terminal handling documents, and transport documents.

Aggregation method: Unweighted average

Periodicity: Annual