Learning international best practice in the issuance procedures required by chambers of commerce in performing this vital trade facilitation service, chamber staff from Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Saudi Arabia and UAE were reminded of the vital role that chambers play in issuing certificates of origin (CO).
The workshop, held on 1-2 April, also received support from the Federation of GCC Chambers. The training was led by Atiq Juma Nassib, Senior Director, Commercial Services Sector of Dubai Chamber, which is one of the biggest issuers of COs in the world, having issued more than 700,000 COs in 2011 alone.
Mr Nassib shared with participants the six stages of development of the certificate of origin services at Dubai Chamber, which began with the manual issuance of certificates, with the chamber now delivering electronic COs to many of its trading community. Ms Lee Ju Song, ICC WCF CO Task Force Chair, took part via a conference call, during which she told participants that despite the movements towards self-certification, in the reality of the world trade environment, COs are still in great demand as world trade expands.
“According to ICC WCF surveys, the number of COs issued has increased over the years. The last survey shows that more than 15 million COs have been issued in 17 countries. If we include the US, we could be looking at more than 20 million COs issued. China alone enjoys a healthy growth of 23% and issued a record high of 3.7 million COs in 2011,” she said.
Ms Lee also told participants that in response to members’ request for an International CO Chain to reinforce the global integrity of CO issued, on 14 March 2012, ICC WCF launched the ICC WCF International CO Chain. She also highlighted the benefits of the CO Chain which include the use of an instantly recognizable International Quality Label, which gives assurance of transparent, independent, responsible and accountable issuance.
This, in turn, will raise the level of acceptance by customs administrations and business communities. The CO Chain will also help reinforce the unique position of chambers as the competent, trusted third party in the delivery of COs.
The training was based upon the best international practices laid out in the ICC WCF International CO Guidelines, raising awareness among relevant staff of the responsibilities, obstacles and risks relating to certificates.
The ICC WCF International Certificate of Origin Guidelines establish the standard procedures for issuing and attesting COs by chambers. This set of international standard rules and procedures reinforces the trust and integrity of the chamber, not only for benefiting traders but also customs administrations.