What is Certificate of Origin?

Certificate of Origin (CO) is an important international trade document. It certifies and confirms that a particular country wholly obtained, produced, manufactured or processed the goods in a particular shipment. The Certificate of Origin contains information regarding the product’s destination and country of export. Many treaty agreements requires the submission of the CO before being able to accept the said shipment into another nation.

Types of CO

Preferential CO

This is for eligible exports for preferential tariff exemption or reduction under free trade agreements (FTA). A preferential CO allows your buyer to pay lower or no customs duty when you export your goods under a Free Trade Agreement or Scheme of Preferences.

Non-preferential CO

Commonly known as Ordinary CO, it is usually for goods which do not enjoy preferential treatment. COs may be requested by importing countries’ Customs Departments, importers, freight forwarders or banks (for letter of credit clearance). It is a commonly used as a trade document to identify the origin of the goods.

Who can issue Certificate of Origin?

The Singapore Customs or any of the following authorised organisations is able to issue Ordinary COs:

  • Singapore Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry
  • Singapore Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry
  • Singapore International Chamber of Commerce
  • Singapore Malay Chamber of Commerce and Industry
  • Singapore Manufacturing Federation

These authorised organisations issue ordinary COs for locally manufactured or processed goods, and goods from other countries which are re-exported from Singapore. However, they do not issue ordinary COs for the export of Singapore-origin textiles and textile goods to the United States of America.

Only by the Singapore Customs can issue Preferential COs.

Various Types of COs Available in Singapore

Why do you need Certificate of Origin?

Certificate of Origin is one of the required documents for import customs clearance in some of the importing countries. Why is CO one of the required documents for import customs clearance?

The government policies of each country may change from time to time. This in turn affects the existing bilateral and unilateral business agreement between countries. Hence, exemption of the import duty may be possible for certain specified goods from particular countries. Or as per the availability of consumption goods, certain commodities are imposed import duty to control the import of such goods. This is also an indirect form of protecting the local economy of such goods produced in the importing country.

Political policies might also determine or affect the levying of duties against the goods importing from certain countries. So, with the CO on hand, the ultimate consignee is able to have a clearer picture of the amount of duty or taxes payable. This would in turn affect the margin for the imported goods.

We have been assisting our customers for their application of various CO for their shipments. Do feel free to write to us for any queries.

For more information, please see below websites.

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