What is a Certificate of Origin (CO)?
A certificate of origin or CO is a document issued by an exporter and used in international trade transactions to authenticate that the product sold or shipped was manufactured in a particular country.
This document ultimately contains information regarding the product, its destination, and the country of export. A CO is required by many treaty agreements for cross-border trade, as it helps determine whether certain goods are eligible for import, or whether they are subject to duties.
Can I send a Commercial Invoice or Packing List instead of a CO?
No. Customs officials expect the Certificate of Origin to be its own document, separate from the Commercial Invoice and the Packing List. They also expect a CO to be signed by the exporter, which must be notarized. Additionally, the document must be signed by the acting chamber of commerce in that country. Sometimes, the destination Customs officials may request additional proof of review from a specific chamber of commerce.
Are there any specific requirements for a Certificate of Origin?
While many countries do not have specific requirements for a Certificate of Origin, others demand strict format and content, third-party certifications, and more. These forms are submitted to Customs at the destination as proof of Country of Origin. This often results in preferential treatment if the two countries hold a Free Trade Agreement (FTA). In this case, import taxes and duties will be lowered.
What is a Country of Origin?
A Country of Origin (CoO) is the country of manufacture, production, and growth where an article or product comes from. There are different rules of origin under various national and international laws, treaties and FTAs.
How do Free Trade Agreements (FTA) affect the need for a Certificate of Origin?
Free Trade Agreements between the United States and other countries oftentimes require an additional proof of origin from the exporter. This is specifically done so that the Customs authority can indicate the qualification of goods for 'preferential' duty rates under any Free Trade Agreement, like the USMCA.
How can I get a Certificate of Origin?
- Fill out and notarize the appropriate affidavit;
- Provide a Manufacture Invoice or Commercial Invoice that show where the goods have been manufactured;
- Fill out a Certificate of Origin form;
- Submit the notarized Affidavit and Certificate of Origin, and other invoices to your local chamber of commerce (make sure to indicate which documents you need to get stamped).