What is a Certificate of Origin?

A specific form (printed document) identifying goods in which the authority or issuer certifies expressly that the goods to which the certificate relates originate in a specific country.

Documentary evidence of origin – a Certificate of Origin is a certified declaration of origin or a declaration of origin

Why you need a Certificate of Origin?

  • Financial requirements – may be requested by issuing bank in terms of a documentary L/C (letter of credit)
  • EU funded overseas projects– sponsored projects may stipulate that goods must be bought from EU member state.
  • Buyer Preference– The buyer may have a preference as to where goods are bought. This will normally be stipulated in contract.
  • Import Control– Importing country may have specific regulations (health, public order, quota) for certain goods, also duties, anti dumping etc.
  • Customs Requirement– Customs may require evidence of origin prior to clearing goods –sanctions. Also for evidence on preferential duty rates- Agreements & cases of suspected fraud.

Certificates of Origin process checklist

  • The letter of Authority /Formal Undertaking is submitted
  • Documents submitted for certification have been signed by authorised signatory
  • Correctness in terms of required content has been ensured
  • Consistency of information in the supporting documents has been confirmed, and it corresponds to the original in every respect
  • The signature is an original and that signatory is authorised on behalf of exporter
  • The documents have been signed in black ink
  • The name and address of the export is correctly given
  • The shipping marks are indicated
  • The description and other details tally with those on the invoice
  • The invoice price tallies with the certificate
  • On strength of signed affidavit, certify document