In the active and complex world of international trade, the Certificate of Origin emerges as a key document, being a fundamental pillar in logistics operations. This article delves into their nature, variations, purposes and procurement procedures, illuminating their irreplaceable role in the global supply chain.

Through this exploration, we will reveal how the Certificate of Origin not only facilitates the efficient flow of goods across borders, but also complies with trade and tax regulations, ensuring that businesses and consumers benefit from the most favorable conditions in international trade.


What is the Certificate of Origin?

The Certificate of Origin is an essential document in international trade, which certifies the country of origin of a good. This document is vital to determine whether products are eligible for preferential tariffs under trade agreements or to comply with the import regulations of certain countries.

Issued by an authorized entity, the Certificate of Origin provides transparent and reliable proof of where a good was produced or manufactured, allowing companies and customs authorities to verify the authenticity and origin of products.

Its importance lies in its ability to influence applicable customs duties, thus facilitating fair and regulated trade between countries.


Types of Certificates of Origin:

The world of international trade recognizes several types of Certificates of Origin, each adapted to different needs and trade agreements. The most common include:

General Certificate of Origin: Used for regular commercial transactions without preferential agreements. This certificate verifies the country of origin of the merchandise without being associated with tariff benefits.

Preferential Certificate of Origin: This type is linked to free trade agreements or treaties between countries. Allows products to benefit from reduced tariffs or tariff exemptions under specific conditions.

Form A – GSP Certificate of Origin: The Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) helps developing countries. This certificate allows products from these countries to access developed markets at preferential rates.

EUR1: Specifically for trade between the European Union and certain associated countries, facilitating trade at preferential rates.

Electronic Certificate of Origin (e-CO): A digital version of traditional certificates, increasing efficiency and reducing the possibility of errors and fraud.


What is the Certificate of Origin for?

The Certificate of Origin plays several crucial roles in international trade, beyond simply being a proof of a product’s country of origin.

Some of its main functions include:

Facilitating International Trade: By specifying the origin of products, the certificate helps exporters to access foreign markets under preferential terms established in trade agreements.

Customs Tariff Determination: Certificates of Origin are used by Customs to calculate applicable duties and taxes based on trade agreements between countries.

Regulatory Compliance: Ensures that products comply with the import and export regulations of the countries involved, which is essential to avoid penalties or delays at customs.

Transparency and Trust: Provides consumers and authorities with clear assurance of product authenticity and quality, fostering greater confidence in global supply chains.

Protection against Dumping and Subsidies: Helps prevent unfair trade practices, such as dumping or unequal competition due to government subsidies.


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Entities that issue the Certificate of Origin:

The issuance of Certificates of Origin is a responsibility delegated to specific, accredited and internationally recognized entities. These include:

Chambers of Commerce: The most common in many countries, chambers of commerce provide general and preferential Certificates of Origin. Its role is fundamental to guarantee the veracity of the information provided by exporters.

Government Agencies: In some cases, national ministries of trade or customs are responsible for issuing these documents, especially for certificates linked to specific trade agreements.

Exporters’ Associations: Some regions and specific sectors may have exporters’ associations authorized to issue Certificates of Origin, providing a more specialized service.

Electronic Platforms: With the digitalization of trade, some entities offer the issuance of Electronic Certificates of Origin (e-CO), which speeds up the process and improves security.


These entities not only issue the certificates, but also play a crucial role in verifying and ensuring the integrity of the data provided, which is vital to maintaining confidence in the international trading system.


Differences between the Certificate of Origin and the EUR1:

Although both documents are vital in international trade, the Certificate of Origin and the EUR1 have key differences in their purpose and application:


General Purpose

Certificate of Origin: Serves as proof of the country of manufacture or production of a good, applicable globally.

EUR1: This is a specific movement certificate for trade between the European Union and certain countries with which it has free trade agreements.


Tariff Benefits

Certificate of Origin: It is not automatically linked to tariff benefits, although it may be a requirement to obtain them under certain agreements.

EUR1: Allows exporters to benefit from preferential tariffs or tariff exemptions specifically in trade between the EU and associated countries.


Scope of Application

Certificate of Origin: Universal, used in commercial transactions worldwide.

EUR1: Geographically limited to the European Union’s trade relations with specific nations.


Procurement Procedure

Certificate of Origin: Issued by various entities, including chambers of commerce and government agencies.

EUR1: Issued under specific criteria established by the European Union, often through customs authorities.


Understanding these differences is crucial for exporters and importers, as it ensures regulatory compliance and maximization of available trade benefits.


How to Obtain a Certificate of Origin:

The process for obtaining a Certificate of Origin varies by country and type of certificate, but generally includes the following steps:

Determining the Type of Certificate Needed: Based on the export destination and existing trade agreements, exporters must decide what type of Certificate of Origin they need.

Preparation of Required Documentation: This includes detailed information about the product, such as description, tariff classification, and proof of origin. It is essential to ensure the accuracy of this data to avoid problems at customs.

Application to the Corresponding Entity: Exporters must file their application with a chamber of commerce, government agency, or authorized exporters’ association, depending on the country’s regulations.

Verification and Approval: The issuing entity will review the documentation to verify its veracity and compliance with the rules of origin. This process may include additional inspections or audits.

Issuance of the Certificate: Once the application is approved, the Certificate of Origin is issued. In the case of electronic certificates (e-CO), this process is faster and is done online.

Payment of Fees: Generally, there is a fee associated with the issuance of the certificate, which varies according to the type of certificate and the issuing entity.


It is important to note that requirements and procedures may vary significantly among different countries and types of certificates, so it is recommended to consult with the local issuing entity for specific and updated information. It is also advisable to have a logistics partner who can handle this type of bureaucracy.


Importance of the Certificate of Origin in Logistics:

The Certificate of Origin is more than just a document in the field of international trade; its importance in logistics is multifaceted and crucial for several reasons:

Trade Facilitation: This certificate is essential for efficient customs and fast import/export clearance, avoiding costly delays in the supply chain.

Regulatory Compliance: Ensures that products comply with the legal and regulatory requirements of importing countries, minimizing the risk of sanctions or confiscations.

Cost Optimization: By allowing access to preferential tariffs or tariff exemptions, the Certificate of Origin can significantly reduce the costs associated with cross-border trade.

Transparency and Traceability: Provides clear traceability of product origin, increasing confidence and security in the global supply chain.

Competitive Advantage: Exporters who efficiently manage the procurement and use of these certificates can offer better prices and delivery times, improving their competitiveness in the global marketplace.


In summary, the Certificate of Origin is a vital instrument in modern logistics, not only meeting legal requirements, but also improving efficiency, reducing costs and strengthening international trade relations.


Across Logistics, Your Trusted Logistics Partner

At Across Logistics we pride ourselves on being leaders in logistics solutions, responding to the most stringent demands of time, cost and sustainability. Our firm commitment is to excellence in each of the projects we carry out, meeting the expectations and needs of our clients.

We stand out for the continuous development of innovative processes, constantly improving the efficiency and productivity of our operations. This continuous improvement is essential in an industry where agility and precision are crucial.

In addition, we have a global network of agents and offices, providing extensive worldwide coverage. This international reach, combined with a team of professionals from diverse cultures, allows us to efficiently handle complex and varied logistics operations worldwide.

In short, at Across Logistics we position ourselves as your reliable logistics partner, able to respond to the most challenging logistics needs with innovative, efficient and customized solutions.