Certificates of Origin

Certificates of Origin are issued by the millions each and every year, facilitating trade around the world. Through our World Chambers Federation, we represent, advocate and promote the essential role of chambers as experienced authorities in the issuance of Certificates of Origin.

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 also serve as a declaration by the exporter.

Virtually every country in the world considers the origin of imported goods when determining the duty that will be applied 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’ country of origin does not qualify for any preferential treatment. These are the main type of COs that chambers issue and are also known as “ordinary COs.”
  • Preferential COs, which certify that goods are subject to reduced tariffs or exemptions when they are exported to countries extending these privileges. COs may be needed to comply with Letters of Credit, foreign Customs requirements or a buyer’s request.

While Chambers are the key agents of delivery of these international trade documents, other bodies, such as ministries or customs authorities may also have this privilege in certain countries.

International Certificate of Origin 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.


The International Chamber of Commerce is preparing for the publication of Incoterms® 2020, an update of the renowned regulations that define the responsibilities of buyers and sellers operating in the international trade system.

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