Certificates of Origin

Millions of COs are issued every year around the globe, facilitating trade and commerce worldwide. Through our World Chambers Federation, we advocate and promote the unique position of chambers as the natural and trusted agent in the issue of important trade documents.

A Certificate of Origin (CO) is an important international trade document that certifies that goods in a particular export shipment are wholly obtained, produced, manufactured or processed in a particular country. They declare the ‘nationality’ of the product and also serve as a declaration by the exporter to satisfy customs or trade requirements.

COs are requested by customs, banks, private stakeholders and importers for several purposes. Almost every country in the world requires CO for customs clearance procedures: when determining the duty that will be assessed on the goods or, in some cases, whether the goods may be legally imported at all.

There are two types of COs that chambers can issue:

  • Non-Preferential COs which certify that the goods are subject to no preferential treatment. These are the main type of COs that chambers can issue and are also known as “Normal COs”.
  • Preferential COs, which certify that goods are subject to reduced tariffs or exemptions when they are exported to countries extending these privileges. These COs tend to be closely associated with Regional Trade Agreements.


In 2022, ICC launched Genesis, a digital certifying tool that enables exporters to apply online to their related chamber of commerce to obtain the certification of their origin statement on invoice declarations. By offering a reliable verifying tool to exporters but also to importers and customs authorities, Genesis aims to reduce fraud risks and costs, and to facilitate smoother customs checks.

Set to last until the end of 2022, the initial pilot phase will involve eight participating champion chambers: Netherlands Chamber of Commerce, Canadian Chamber of Commerce, Basel Chamber of Commerce in Switzerland as well as five chambers in United Kingdom: British Chambers of Commerce, London Chamber of Commerce & Industry, Thames Valley Chamber of Commerce, Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce and Business West (Bristol Chamber of Commerce).

International Certificate of Origin (ICO) Council

The ICC WCF International Certificate of Origin (ICO) Council enhances and promotes chambers as natural agents in the issuance of trade documents.

Certificates of Origin

Certificates of Origin Guidelines

The ICC WCF International Certificate of Origin Guidelines is a specialised manual detailing international procedures for chambers in the issuance of non-preferential certificates of origin.

Certificates of Origin accreditation chain

Certificates of Origin Accreditation Chain

Through the creation of the Certificate of Origins Accreditation Chain, ICC WCF aims to assist chamber leaders in promoting universal certification standards and processes to better serve chambers of commerce, as well as traders and customs administrations.


Certificates of Origin verification website

The Certificate of Origin verification website enables Customs authorities to check the authenticity of COs issued by members of the Accreditation Chain.

Internet governance

Electronic Certificates of Origin

With increasing concerns on fraud and the need to improve supply chain security, chambers offer online Certificate of Origin services to provide a secured trading environment, in addition to increase transparency and saving time and costs.