Certificates of Origin

WCF provides a critical advocacy and representation role at the global level, promoting the role of chambers as competent authorities in the issuance of COs and the acceptance of electronic COs.

Summary

Millions of COs are issued every year, facilitating trade around the world. Since as early as 1898, chambers of commerce have been issuing non-preferential COs and more recently, closely working with Customs authorities, issuing preferential COs.

The 1923 Geneva Convention and subsequent Kyoto Convention have seen governments formally recognize the important role chambers play in this domain, deeming them competent authorities and credible trusted third-parties in the issuance of COs.

Virtually every country in the world considers the origin of imported goods when determining the duty that will be applied to the goods or, in some cases, whether the goods may be legally imported at all.

In addition, COs may be needed to comply with letters of credit, foreign customs requirements or a buyer’s request.

The main CO is the ‘non-preferential type,’ which certifies that the country a particular product originates from does not qualify for any preferential treatment. A ‘preferential’ certificate, on the other hand, enables products to benefit from tariff reductions or exemptions when they are exported to countries that extend these privileges.

WCF’s Certificate of Origin services

WCF reinforces and enhances the unique position that chambers of commerce hold in issuing and guaranteeing certificates.

WCF's International Certificate of Origin Guidelines establishes the standard procedures for issuing and attesting COs by chambers. This set of international standard rules and procedures reinforces the trust and integrity of the chamber CO “chain”, not only for benefiting traders but also Customs administrations.

The guidelines:
• Support transparent issuance standard procedures
• Provide assurance for independent, responsible, and accountable issuance
• Give credibility to the COs issued by chambers of commerce
• Raise the level of acceptance by customs administrations and the business community

Building upon these guidelines, WCF provides a critical advocacy and representation role at the global level, promoting the role of chambers as competent authorities in the issuance of preferential COs and the acceptance of electronic COs.

WCF provides an international accreditation system for chambers, creating a vital global CO chain that reinforces their interconnections in delivering this service. Training and capacity building programmes would be available to support this work.

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