What is a certificate of origin?


A certificate of origin is a specific document identifying the goods. The authority or body empowered to issue it certifies expressly that the goods to which the certificate relates originate in a specific country. This certificate may also include a declaration by the manufacturer, producer, supplier, exporter or other competent person.

An erroneous application of the country of origin rules under a specific trade agreement can have disastrous consequences for the parties involved in the transaction. For example, merchandise marked with the incorrect country of origin may be subject to seizure of an assessment of supplemental marking duties. The Customs authorities in several countries may also impose substantial monetary or criminal penalties against the importer if Customs suspects that the importer purposefully obscured, removed, or altered the country of origin mark.

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