What is a Certificate of Origin?

As defined by the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) a Certificate of Origin (CO) is “an important international trade document that certifies that goods in a particular export shipment are wholly obtained, produced, manufactured or processed in a particular country. They declare the ‘nationality’ of the product and serve as a declaration by the exporter to satisfy customs or trade requirements”.

When are Certificates of Origin Required?

A certificate of origin (CO) is often required by customs authorities as part of the import clearance process, especially when importers are claiming preferential treatment under a trade agreement. For example, a wearing apparel importer in the US that is claiming preferential treatment under CAFTA-DR (Dominican Republic-Central America Free Trade Agreement) on any particular shipment will be required to have in his possession a CO that indicates that the product being imported is eligible for preferential treatment under the mentioned trade agreement.
A Certificate of Origin may be used for one or multiple shipments of the same product. This is called a ‘Blanket certificate’ and is valid for a 12-month period and dates must be clearly specified on the document.

What are the Different Types?

As defined by ICC there are two types of COs:

  • Non-Preferential COs certify that the goods are subject to no preferential treatment. These are the main type of COs that chambers can issue and are also known as “Normal COs”.
  • Preferential COs, certify that goods are subject to reduced tariffs or exemptions when they are exported to countries extending these privileges. These COs tend to be closely associated with Regional Trade Agreements.

Where to get a Certificate of Origin?

For US imports requiring a CO the US (CBP) provides specific templates for the trade community to use. Follow the link below for templates: https://www.cbp.gov/document/guidance/certification-origin-template

In most cases, the certificate of origin can be filled out by the shipper or manufacturer of the products, by an accredited Chamber of Commerce, and in some cases by the importer.

If you need to complete a Certificate of Origin and have questions about the process, Promptus is here to help. At Promptus, our knowledgeable logistics team will make sure that your shipment is properly documented for smooth shipping. Contact us today at 1-877-776-6799.