With the newly established status, the chambers will benefit from the use of the internationally recognised ICC CO label and will be able to link their CO to the official ICC CO Verification website.
Ralf Kronberger, Director of Financial, Fiscal and Tax Policy at the Austrian Federal Economic Chamber said: “The Economic Chambers in Austria have been issuing certificates of origin for the export of goods across national borders for more than 130 years. The Austrian Federal Economic Chamber has observed the development of the Accreditation Chain of the WCF/ICC from the very beginning. The ICC WCF Accreditation Chain has the best prospects to become a globally recognised instrument.”
Mr Kronberger’s colleague, ATA Manager Herbert Herzig, added: “The path to the fully electronic certificate of origin is predetermined…The Austrian Federal Economic Chamber is pleased of having been accepted as a new member of the Accreditation Chain and supports the development of improved processes and the digitalisation of the certificate of origin.”
Established by ICC WCF in 2012, the CO Chain now comprises 733 chambers from 31 countries. Together, this network of chambers issues more than 8.5 million COs a year with the trusted and official ICC WCF Label, adhering to the most stringent and universal certification standards – outlined in the ICC WCF International CO Guidelines – to issue trade documents in their respective countries. Through the creation of the CO Chain, ICC WCF enables chamber leaders to promote the use of universal certification standards and processes to better serve the global trading community. Membership provides assurance that chamber competency and credibility, as trusted third parties in the issuance of COs, is optimal.
Felipe Luis Ody Spaniol, Internationalisation Services Coordinator at CNI said: “CNI and the Federations of Industries in Brazil have been working for more than a decade to assure that the procedures for the issuance of certificates of origin are in accordance with the most recent rules and legislations, and in observation of the international best practices. Now, that we have received ICC’s label of quality for our certificates of origin, we are not only confirming the high level of our service and conformity processes, but also supporting companies to get better guidance and benefits for their export strategy. Brazil became the 31st country to receive ICC’s label, and CNI is determined to actively contribute with the selected group of countries that are part of the CO Chain.”
New members were approved during a meeting of the ICC WCF International CO Council held at the Dubai Chamber of Commerce on 21 November, which brought together 40 CO experts from over 20 countries. Chaired by Martin Van der Weide, Origin Policy Manager at the Netherlands Chamber of Commerce, the group discussed a new CO strategy presented jointly by Martin Van der Weide, Chair of the International CO Accreditation Committee and ICC Global Partnership and Development Director Julian Kassum.
ICC WCF Project Manager Julie Sonladuangchanh said: “Now more than ever, Customs and trade stakeholders are seeking tools to help mitigate fraud risks and ensure security. The CO label and verification website provided by ICC, a leader in the CO field, is a first and trusted port of call to help them do this.”
The meeting also saw discussions on the upgrade of the CO verification website and concluded with a farewell to past chair Peter Bishop, who stepped down from his position as Chair of the CO Council last February. Mr Bishop played an integral role in ICC and WCF with particular emphasis on trade facilitation. ICC WCF colleagues thanked him for his contribution and wished him well for future endeavours.
Mr Bishop said: “The role of CO chair is an enviable mix of hard work and hospitality in a network that is truly global and relies on cooperation, knowledge-sharing, and an understanding of each other’s challenges. During my chairmanship, origin in cross-border trade has become even more critical – as well as topical – and I believe that the Council will have an increasingly important part to play. With its current chair and secretariat, it is in expert hands and I trust they will continue to receive the great support and companionship that I experienced during a very enjoyable time at the helm.”