Certificates of Origin

Chambers establish new certificate of origin structures and action programme

  • 6 November 2012
ICC Customs and trade

Chamber trade documentation experts from more than 20 countries set in motion a series of global initiatives and action plans during their recent meeting on 6 November 2012 in Goa, reinforcing their central role in helping business do international trade.

Building upon the launch earlier this year of the ICC WCF International CO Accreditation Chain (CO Chain), the Task Force on Certificates of origin, to be known in future as the International CO Council (ICO Council), updated members on work with member countries and customs agencies in establishing the CO Chain.

Based upon the International Certificates of Origin Guidelines, the CO Chain brings reassurance to business, traders, banks and customs administrations that COs are issued according to internationally accepted best practices. Participating chambers will be recognized in future by a distinctive accreditation seal which will appear on certificates of origin, identifying the chamber as recognized globally to meeting international best practices.

The International Guidelines worldwide acceptance was recently reinforced over the past two weeks with their endorsement by nine national chambers from the CIS countries at their regional meeting in Dushanbe, Tajikistan, announced Damir Aitkulov, Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the Russian Federation during the meeting.

Underpinning the effective implementation of the chain, the ICO Council approved the creation of its International CO Accreditation Committee (ICOAC), to support the roll out of the chain.

To be chaired by Nigel Rudd, Head of Chamber Accreditation at British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), with the support of Atiq Nasib, Senior Director, Commercial Services Sector of the Dubai Chamber of Commerce as his deputy, the ICOAC was charged to manage the expansion of the CO Chain, prepare recommendations, monitor compliance and formalize the approval of chambers wishing to join the chain.

In addition to BCC and Dubai Chamber, the first incoming members of this group include the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade / China Chamber of International Commerce, Paris Chamber of Commerce, Singapore International Chamber of Commerce, the Slovak Chamber of Commerce and the Union of Turkish Chambers/

“The establishment of the international CO Accreditation Committee is an important step forward for ICC WCF. The widespread implementation of our community’s global standards will enable chambers of commerce to become famous for international trade services. I am privileged to be asked to lead the Committee to help chambers’ international businesses to do business even better,” said Mr Rudd.

Case studies and experience sharing are an important foundation on the ICO Council’s mission.

Presentations were made by Homin Kang, Executive Director, Public Business Division at the Korea Chamber of Commerce and Industry, showcasing how the network of 71 local chambers across Korea manage more than 800,000 preferential and non-preferential COs per year online.

Technical expertise and opinions were given in response to questions raised by chambers from France, China, Australia and Sweden, seeking global experiences to issues faced currently within their country. Chambers also discussed at length recent problems encountered with electronic COs and the importance of obtaining recognition of these documents and their digital signatures by all customs administrations.

During the meeting, ICC and British Chambers of Commerce announced their partnership to provide online training for chamber staff with no access to extended local expertise on CO issuance and who wished to follow internationally recognized practices. The training platform will be introduced to the chamber community in early 2013.

The meeting was hosted by the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry.

Learn more about the International CO Chain.

Read the public announcement of the Chain.

Get a copy of the ICC WCF International Certificate of Origin Guidelines.