Certificate of Origin (CO) — When Can You Use It

Commonly used worldwide for facilitating trade and global commerce, millions of COs are being issued every single year around the globe, thus, becoming a document of great significance in international trade.

The Certificate of Origin (CO) is an important document in global trade. It is usually issued by the exporter and has the purpose of certifying that goods in a particular export shipment are utterly obtained, produced, manufactured or processed in a particular country. It confirms the genuine origin of the product and also serves as a declaration by the exporter to satisfy customs or trade requirements.       

The certificate of origin can be requested by customs, banks, or even stakeholders and importers. In most countries it is required for customs clearance procedures so that they can establish the duty that will be assessed on the goods, also, whether the goods may be legally imported at all.

CO for LC

The CO may be requested by the buyer in the documentary requirements stated within a letter of credit (LC). The LC may determine additional certifications or language within that must be noted in order for the certificate of origin to comply with the stated requirements.

Two Different Types of COs

Essentially, there exist just two types that can be issued by chambers:

1. Non-Preferential

Attests that the product is subject to no preferential treatment. This is the main type of CO that chambers can issue and are also known as “Normal CO”.

2. Preferential

Attests that the product is subject to reduced tariffs or exemptions when they are exported to countries extending these privileges. This CO is closely associated with Regional Trade Agreements.

Information for Issuing Your Certificate of Origin

In international trade there is no standardized certificate of origin (CO) form. As mentioned, it is normally issued by the exporter of goods. Generally speaking, it must contain at least the basic details about the shipped product, a tariff code (HS code), the exporter and importer’s data, and the country of origin.
Once the seller receives the information about the border control at the importing country (normally informed by the buyer’s customs broker), the seller will record these details, get the CO notarized by a chamber of commerce, and submit the form with the shipment. Detail requirements depend on the type of goods being exported and where they are going.

Eletronic Certificate of Origin

It is also possible to submit the required documentation online (with an eCO) and get an electronic certificate stamped by a chamber of commerce in less than a day or get an expedited paper certificate overnight. With an electronic certificate of origin.

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