Increasing the number of COs issued with the ICC World Chambers Federation (WCF) CO quality label to more than 8 million, the announcement was made during a meeting of CO experts from more than 30 countries which took place in Warsaw on 3-4 June. Hosted by the Polish Chamber of Commerce the gathering was the first of its kind in Eastern Europe.
Welcoming the new members Nigel Rudd, Chair of the International CO Accreditation Committee, said that significant progress had been made in establishing a robust structure for the chain’s operations in certain countries through the creation of national coordinating bodies. “More and more chambers are keen to join the CO Chain, with Bulgaria’s final steps of its application also being set,” he said.
The relevance of the CO verification website and its success was well received by the Council. This service, available to members of the International CO Chain, allows Customs authorities to verify online the authenticity of COs issued by participating chambers. More than 3 million COs from China are now included in the system, joining existing COs issued by participating chambers from France, United Arab Emirates and Netherlands, with those from Belgium, Korea, Slovakia and the UK set for the near future.
To better serve their customers, chambers are also pro-actively developing systems for issuance and delivery of COs online. The inaugural electronic Certificate of Origin (eCO) Task Force meeting – chaired by Luc Dardaud, Manager of the Trade Facilitation department at the Paris Ile de France Chamber of Commerce – also took place in Warsaw a day prior to the CO Council meeting. Critical advances were made in aligning chamber understanding of and defining eCO terminology, as well as addressing issues relating to eCO acceptance by Customs.
The growing trend under free trade and preferential trade agreements of self-certification and authorized economic operators programmes was a focus of debate at the International CO Council meeting, chaired by Peter Bishop, Deputy Chair of the ICC WCF International CO Council, and Deputy Chief Executive of the London Chamber of Commerce.
In a world of fast changing systems relating to origin control, including self-certification and Authorized Economic Operations, the Council was able to provide input to develop a common position in response to latest developments, as presented during the meeting by ICC Commission on Customs and Trade Policy Manager Donia Hammami.
”From focusing on the importance of chambers’ role in the post-Bali national trade facilitation implementation, to exploring the opportunity of the private sector to bring greater clarity into a role of chambers in trusted transactions, the future role of chambers in origin matters is well underway to becoming redefined,” said Peter Bishop. “For small businesses, there is still an important future for chambers in helping them trade,” he added.
Discussion on developments relating to the continuing expansion of Preferential Certificate of Origin issuance to chambers also took place during the two-day meeting.
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