Certificate of Origin
A certificate of origin is an official document used in international trade. Common abbreviations for a certificate of origin are CO, C/O and CoO, and the form is sometimes referred to as simply “Form A.”
The purpose of a CO is to affirm that goods being prepared for export have been manufactured, produced, or processed in the named country of origin. A CO is prepared by the exporter and, to be considered valid, must include a tax identification number, be signed by the original exporter, and countersigned by a representative from the chamber of commerce at the site of export. Some destinations also require a countersignature by a consulate. The International Chamber of Commerce World Chambers Federation is the organization tasked with establishing international C/O guidelines and standardizing international trade certification procedures across the globe.
When Should a Certificate of Origin be Used?
Whether or not you need a certificate of origin form depends on what commodity you’re shipping, how much of it is being shipped, where it’s being shipped to, and your tariff classification. For example, some nations restrict goods originating from the U.S., while others give preference to U.S. goods. To further confuse matters, the rules for using a CO frequently change.
According to the United Parcel Service, you will most likely need a CO if the US is the country of origin of your goods and the destination is any of the following countries:
- Canary Islands
- United Kingdom
Even these countries offer exceptions and value limits. It’s best to verify the criteria for your shipment and all necessary commercial invoices before sending. Speak with the Chamber of Commerce and the shipping company for up-to-date information.
Types of Certificates
There are several types of certificates of origin and each has a specific use.
- For goods that are verifiably of North American Origin and are being shipped between Canada, Mexico and the U.S., use the North American Free Trade Agreement certificate of origin.
- A preferential CO allows your buyer to pay low (or no) customs duty when goods are exported between countries with a Free Trade Agreement. This certificate provides the option for preferential tariff treatment.
- Non-preferential certificates of origin are the most common type. They affirm that goods do not originate from specific bilateral or multilateral free trade agreements. Remember, the country where the manufacturer is located is considered the origin of the goods—not the country from which they are being shipped. Chambers authorized to issue certificates of origin are usually authorized to issue non-preferential COs.
Free Certificate of Origin Templates
The world of international shipping can be intimidating. Rules and regulations change and depend on the policies of importing countries. To keep up with the changes, electronic COs have become available on a limited basis, but security concerns make electronic options unusable for many exporters who do not want to share sensitive information on websites that may be unsecured or share user information. Below you will find a variety of free certificate of origin templates. Printing and using templates allows you to keep personal information private and obtain the correct CO for your needs at no cost.
Certificate of Origin Sample
Certificate of Origin Template for Merchandise
Certificate of Origin Template