How to complete a Certificate of Origin
Box 1 – Consignor
There must always be a reference in the consignor box to a UK party. The name and address of the UK exporter should appear here, irrespective of whether the exporter himself is making the application for the certificate or whether an agent on his behalf is applying it.
On occasion it may be necessary for a Certificate to be made by a UK supplier of export goods for which the supplier’s customer will be the “Consignor” to an overseas Certificate of Origin. If the Chamber is satisfied with the necessity, such application will be accepted provided that the entry in box 1 shows the facts, e.g. a composite entry of the supplier’s name and address, “on behalf of” and then the name and address of the exporter.
Box 2 – Consignee
This box should generally show the name and address of the overseas receiver of the goods. The Chamber will not issue a certificate unless it is clear that the goods specified in it are to be exported.
Where goods are not being despatched by the exporter directly to the foreign destination but, instead, are being delivered into the possession of a UK based buyer or representative, it is generally appropriate for the latter to apply for the Certificate of Origin – as the actual exporter.
When the goods are being sent to a different destination from the name and address to which the invoice is addressed, e.g. when the purchaser has requested the goods to be delivered directly to a customer to whom he has already re-sold the goods, box 2 should then read name and address of the person to whom the goods are invoiced in addition to that of the consignee. This applies even if the consignee and the purchaser are in different countries.
Occasionally, also, instances arise in which the exporter is not sending the goods directly to a port or airport for exportation but instead sending them to an export packer. In most cases the exporter or agent should still be able to do so if an overseas agent acting for the foreign buyer has placed the order for the goods. In these circumstances it is acceptable for the entry in box 2 to read, “To order for despatch to…” (Country of ultimate destination).
Box 3 – Country of Origin
This of course, is the most important box, since the whole object of the Certificate of Origin centres here.
For goods of EC in the statement must read “EUROPEAN COMMUNITY” followed by member state i.e. EUROPEAN COMMUNITY – UNITED KINGDOM or EUROPEAN COMMUNITY – FRANCE
It must be noted that the substitution of “England”, “Scotland”, “Wales” or “Northern Ireland” for “United Kingdom” is not acceptable.
For goods of non-community origin the entry in box 3 should show the actual country from which the goods originated e.g. Canada, Japan etc. It is not acceptable for the entry to show the name or initials of a grouping of countries such as EFTA, CARICOM etc. It should also be noted that it is the country of origin, which is to be named, not the country from which the goods were imported if this is different.
Several Countries of Origin one certificate
In any cases in which a Certificate of Origin covers several items for which different countries of origin are appropriate, the entry in box 3 can be “As shown in box 6” – the appropriate countries should then be shown against each item in box 6.
Abbreviations: The use of abbreviations is not acceptable.
Box 4 – Transport Details
This box should be completed where possible since the entry here will assist receiving authorities to identify the goods against the certificate.
E.g. If the goods are going by sea – enter “Seafreight”. By Air – state “Airfreight”. If the method of transport is not known however you may insert the letters E.A.T (Earliest Available Transport).
Box 5 – Remarks
At present, no entry is required in box 5.
Box 6 – Description of Goods etc.
The marks and numbers on packages should be clearly stated in this box. If the goods are shipped without marks, the certificate should show the word “Unmarked”.
The number and kind of packages also should be stated e.g. 3 cardboard cartons. If the goods are shipped in bulk or unpacked the certificate should be marked “Unpacked” or “Loose” or “In bulk”.
The description of the merchandise to be given should be the usual trade description, in sufficient detail to give a clear indication of the nature of the goods. It should not, for example, be too general, nor solely by reference to a trademark. If the goods exported are spare parts you must say what the spare parts are for e.g. “spare parts for a mechanical machine”.
As a matter of commercial need e.g. to comply with a letter of credit, exporters may give descriptions which do not meet the Chamber’s requirement. Examples include trademarks, unfamiliar or insufficient descriptions
to comply with import licences issued in another country, foreign language descriptions etc. These may be quoted in addition to the usual trade descriptions provided that the Chamber is satisfied that the additional description is broadly capable of the same meaning and is consistent with the invoice.
When a Certificate of Origin is to cover more than one item, either because of varying descriptions or varying origins each item must be serially numbered. Where the space available is not sufficient the applicant must either:
(a) use two or more Certificate forms according to the space required. In this event the serial number of the second and any further forms may be deleted and replaced by the number of the first form. Each form must bear the number of forms which in total comprise the Certificate of Origin (e.g. “Page 1 of 3 Pages”, “Page 2 of 3 Pages” etc); or
(b) firmly and permanently attach a copy of the export invoice to the Certificate of Origin which should bear in box 6 a general description of the goods.
The description in box 6 must be an accurate description of the goods and fully consistent with the invoice details submitted by you with your application. If the price of the goods is entered on the Certificate, the price will be compared with that shown on the invoice to ensure agreement.
You must also ensure that a horizontal line is drawn below the last item entered in box 6 and that all remaining space is cancelled by a diagonal line across it. The objective, of course, is to ensure that nothing can be added to the certificate after the Chamber has certified it.
Box 7 – Quantity
In this box always enter the gross and net weight. Other appropriate measurements will be accepted e.g. Literage.
You must also ensure that a horizontal line is drawn below the last item entered in box 6.
This part of the document will be completed by the Issuing Authority and should not have any entries by the exporters.
Pink application Copy
The application copy should be an exact copy of the original Certificate of Origin and should be signed and dated by an authorised signatory in the bottom right hand corner.
The Chamber of Commerce with a copy of the exporters’ invoice will retain the application copy after the document has been checked and issued. The signature is your declaration of the accuracy of the application.
Box 9 – On the application form
This box must be used when the applicant is an agent applying for a certificate on behalf of the exporter. In such cases the agent must show his name and status in box 9.
What is not acceptable
The Chamber is under instructions not to accept documents carrying any of the following:
1) Erasures or super-impositions of entries by any means (including the use of correcting fluid) – alterations should be made by crossing out any incorrect entry and adding the corrected detail. The applicant should sign or initial any such alteration.
2) Negative Statements e.g. S.T.C. (Said to Contain)/Purporting to Contain or any other statement, which suggests uncertainty. Documents must only carry positive and true declarations/statements.
3) Boycott Statements e.g. “goods were not manufactured in certain countries” or do not contain any materials from said countries.
4) Box 3 Origin Unknown.
Trail of Evidence
1. Export Invoice “Goods of our own manufacture” declaration
2. Export Invoice “Manufactured by… declaration and manufacturers invoice to applicant
3. Export Invoice and Suppliers Invoice containing signed declaration of origin
4. Export Invoice and copy of Certificate of Origin issued in country of export etc
5. Export Invoice and copy of manufacturers invoice to supplier or signed declaration of origin on suppliers invoice
6. Copy of export invoice from shipper bearing signed declaration of origin (for UK goods only)
Correct completion of an Arab British Certificate of Origin
An Arab Certificate of Origin is completed in exactly the same way as an EC Certificate of Origin. With the following notable exceptions:
1) Name and address/es of manufacture/s must be types in box 6.
2) Any published material e.g. catalogues, books etc, must be stated in box 6 as ” Printed & Published by ……………”
3) If a vessel is named in transport box you must state nationality of said vessel.
4) Boycott statements are permitted but we do not actively encourage this.
5) Goods of foreign manufacture must be supported by evidence.
6) Invoices for either Certification or Legalisation must be original. The value must be stated on the page containing the original signature.
7) All other documents to be Certified/Legalised must contain the name and address of consignee and to be originally signed.
8) Signatures are not allowed on front of Certificate of Origin (BOX 6) except for Libya where signed declaration is required.
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