A certificate of origin is a legal document that certifies a product’s country of origin. Certificates of origin (COs) are needed to assess the correct duty and to qualify imported products for reduced duty under free trade agreements (FTAs).
The CO is completed by the exporter attesting that the goods have been produced, manufactured or processed in a particular country. The specific rules around certificates of origin vary for different products and for different FTAs.
Having accurate COs for all the goods you import is important because…
You will pay the correct duty on your goods, avoiding after-the-fact interest and penalties.
The savings you pass on to your customers will mean a competitive advantage for your products.
Keeping accurate COs help to satisfy your obligation to maintain your import records and will help ensure you are prepared for a customs audit.
Tips for success
Request a CO from your suppliers for each product you purchase from them. A blanket certificate may be requested for qualifying NAFTA goods, which can cover multiple importations of the same product for a 12-month period.
FTAs are complex and the requirements for qualification can vary. Learn the rules of the FTAs that can benefit you to ensure you save duty on all eligible goods.
We can help
Cole International has an experienced FTA team that can help you obtain and manage your FTA documentation – including certificates of origin. We also provide FTA verification services and training for importers and exporters looking to make the most of these agreements.
Information provided by: Customs Brokerage Dept. - Cole International