Bath company exporting washing machines to Iraq receives support from Business West

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Business West, one of the largest British Chambers of Commerce has supported a company which manufacturers hand-cranked washing machines for those living in poverty, to export to Iraq.

The Washing Machine Project was founded by former University of Bath student, Navjot Sawhney in 2018 after he volunteered in India and saw his neighbour struggling to hand wash her clothes.

Sawhney is now working with humanitarian charity Care International with the aim of delivering 7500 of his manual washing machines to communities most in need in countries including Kenya, Lebanon, and India.

Business West was approached by the company as they needed support to complete a Certificate of Origin, an important international trade document which identifies the origin of the goods you are exporting.

It is vitally important that businesses submit the correct documentation as it can be required for different reasons such as customs clearance or payment via Letter of Credit.

Sawheny said: “We were struggling with getting a Certificate of Origin to transport our washing machines for refugees and we needed this at very short notice.  We managed to turn around the documentation within a couple of days with Business West’s support. This has meant that our washing machines have been able to reach people in need quicker. This is so important because the current traditional practice for washing clothes is done by hand and this burden is disproportionally placed on women who can spend 20 hours washing clothes per week while being at risk of injury.”

Catherine Stephens, Head of International Trade Services at Business West said: “We can help innovative companies like The Washing Machine Project to grow their business overseas by providing export documentation support. With years of experience in international trade, Business West will ensure your goods will reach their destination without incurring extra costs. It is crucial that documentation is completed correctly to avoid delays, so if you need documentation support do not hesitate to get in touch with us.”

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