World Chambers Federation

ICC launches the International Certificates of Origin Chain

  • 28 September 2012
Incoterms® rules

ICC World Chambers Federation (WCF) has officially launched its International Certificates of Origin (CO) Chain, in response to members’ requests to reinforce the global integrity of Certificates of Origin issued by chambers of commerce.

An official note has been sent to all World Customs Organization Customs administrations, notifying them of the implementation of the ICC WCF International Certificates of Origin Accreditation Chain. This initiative aims to assist chamber leaders to harmonize CO certification standards and processes, to the benefit of chambers of commerce, traders and customs administrations. It also reinforces the unique position of chambers as the competent, trusted third party in the delivery of COs.

Millions of COs are issued every year by chambers of commerce, facilitating trade worldwide. With the strong support of members, the ICC WCF International Certificates of Origin Guidelines, establishing international best practice for issuance procedures, have been implemented by chambers around the world.

Based on these international guidelines, ICC WCF has created its International Certificate of Origin Chain, to which chambers can adhere on a voluntary basis. By joining the accreditation chain, chambers agree to follow these internationally applicable and widely accepted standards. This gives assurance of independent, transparent, responsible and accountable issuance.

Chamber members will benefit from the use of an instantly recognizable international quality label, which will reinforce their integrity and credibility as competent trusted third parties in the issuance of COs. The Certificates of Origin Accreditation Chain brings chambers the recognition that they are mutually responsible and globally interconnected with their peers, bringing reassurance to business, traders, bank and customs administrations that COs are issued according to internationally accepted best practices.

As the Certificates of Origin Chain will reinforce the trust and integrity of the CO network, it will facilitate WCF’s efforts in providing support for chambers to address pertinent issues of concern in their communities, including the recognition of electronic certificates of origin (eCOs) and the liberalization of the issuance of preferential certificates of origin (PCOs).

This ICC WCF initiative was presented this year during the origin workshop, organized by World Customs Organization (WCO) in Brussels on 18 January, attended by customs representatives from almost 30 countries. The event was took place immediately after WCO’s 30th session of the Technical Committee on Rules of Origin, of which ICC has observer status. A second intervention at the last WCO Knowledge Academy in July allowed ICC WCF to inform attendees about ICC WCF’s leadership in establishing the global standard for the issuance of certificates of origin, sharing with customs and traders present, the International CO Accreditation Chain.

“No other organization is more qualified than ICC WCF in setting international CO standards for the accreditation of Chambers of Commerce,” said Ju Song Lee, Chair of the ICC WCF CO Task Force.

“Chambers have been issuing COs since as early as April 1898, thus they not only have the creditable track record, but also the expertise built over the years. As the World Chambers Federation, representing chambers of commerce worldwide, we have the unrivalled authority to undertake this initiative.”
In addition, several chamber members of the ICC WCF CO Task Force underscored the opportunity that the International CO Accreditation Chain could provide in bringing the additional surety for the successful deployment and acceptance of eCOs.

To read the official note sent to all customs administrations and to learn more about the CO Chain visit the International CO Chain.

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