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Certificates of Origin

What is a Certificate of Origin?

A Certificate of Origin (CO) is an important international trade document attesting that goods in a particular export shipment are wholly obtained, produced, manufactured or processed in a particular country. COs also constitute a declaration by the exporter. 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.

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.

Note: Certain countries, primarily those that are non-signatories to the Hague Convention Abolishing the Requirement of Legalization for Foreign Public Documents, require commercial documents to be legalized by the country’s US Embassy or Consulate. Depending on invoice value, embassy fees can run into thousands of dollars in some countries, so exporters must be aware of these requirements.

The most common countries requiring embassy or consulate legalization include: Algeria, Argentina, Bahrain, Bolivia, Egypt, Iraq, Iran, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Oman, Paraguay, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Qatar, Tunisia, UAE and Yemen.

The Utah Valley Chamber of Commerce signs Certificates of Origin electronically through eCertify for a cost of $10 for members and $35 for non members.  For instructions on how to register for essCert, please click here. For questions concerning Certificates of Origin, please contact Katie Christensen at katie@thechamber.org.

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