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What is a Certificate of Origin and why is it important?

The Certificate of Origin (CO) is a document to certify the place of growth, production or manufacture of goods. It is required when exporting to specific countries, when requested by the consignee for customs clearance, or when it's stipulated in a letter of credit.

The CO identifies goods and contains an express certification by a government authority, or other empowered body, that the goods in question originate in a specific country.

Many overseas importers insist upon a CO when dealing with Australian exporters.

Although obtaining a CO is straightforward, it's important that specific procedures are followed:

  • You must include an Exporters Information Form Update. This form has to be completed and forwarded to the appropriate issuing body (see below for a list), together with a list of signatories authorised to sign the certificates on behalf of your company.

  • Evidence of origin (ie. copies of the invoice, a bill of lading, a letter of credit, or a statutory declaration) must be supplied prior to stamping.

  • Exporters must provide a copy of the documents being stamped for Chamber records.

  • Before submission for authentication, the exporter must sign all export documents on the bottom left-hand side under the exporter’s declaration.

  • Importantly, Certificate of Australian Origin forms can't be used for any other origin, other than Australian.

  • Certificates of Origin must always be typed.

If you are located in Western Australia and need to know more the CCIWA is a great start:

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