A Certificate of Origin (CoO) is a vital document in international trade, confirming that the goods in a shipment originate from a specific country. The CoO contains fundamental information such as the exporter, consignee, shipment route, and goods description.
It may also be supported by an Exporter Declaration and an Inspection Certificate. The Exporter Declaration is the exporter’s confirmation of the product details and country of production, while the Inspection Certificate serves as proof of a certifying body that the goods have been inspected.
The CoO is essential for customs clearance as it helps to determine the relevant duties and confirm the legality of imports. There are two general types of CoO depending on their form and purpose. Non-Preferential CoOs are standard CoOs that certify the origin of a product without giving any preferential treatment or tariff reduction. Preferential CoOs are related to bi-lateral or multilateral Trade Agreements and can result in lower tariffs or exemptions.
Examples of Preferential CoO include those used in the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) and the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), which enable special tariff rates or exemptions.