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Certificate of origin
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A Certificate of Origin (often abbreviated to CoA) is a document used in international trade. It traditionally states from what country the shipped goods originate, but "originate" in a CoA does not mean the country the goods are shipped from, but the country where there goods are actually made. This raises a definition problem in cases where less than 100% of the raw materials and processes and added value are not all from one country. An often used practice is that if more than 50% of the sales price of the goods originate from one country, that country is acceptable as the country of origin (then the "national content" is more than 50%). In various international agreements, other percentages of national content are acceptable.

When countries unite in trading agreements, they may allow Certificate of Origin to state the trading bloc as origin, rather than the specific country.

The document may be informal, i.e. issued for example by the exporter, but often the importing country may require a formal document, often to be confirmed by an official body in the exporting country. In many cases specific formal documents are required, such as for shipments under the North American Free Trade Agreement, or for preferantial customs treatment in importing countries for shipments of processed/manufactured goods from less developed countries to developed ones (often referred to as the green CoA form "A", or GSP (Generalized System of Preferences) Form A CoA).

The CoA is primarily important for classifying the goods in the customs regulations of the importing country, thus defining how much duty shall be paid. But it may also be important for import quota purposes and for statistical purposes, and especially for food shipments, it may also be important for health regulations.

Before concluding a transaction, the exporter and importer should always clarify whether a CoA is required, and if so, agree on exactly the form and content of the CoA.

A preferential certificate of origin is a document attesting that goods in a particular shipment are of a certain origin under the definitions of a particular bilateral or multilateral Free Trade Agreement. This certificate is required by a countries customs authority in deciding whether the imports should benefit from preferential treatment in accordance with special trading areas or customs unions such as the EU or NAFTA or before anti-dumping taxes are enforced.
The definition of "Country Of Origin" and "Preferential Origin" are different. The European Union for example generally determines the (non-preferential) origin country by the location of which the last major manufacturing stage took place in the products production (in legal terms: "last substantial transformation").
Whether a product has preferential origin depends on the rules of any particular FTA being applied, these rules can be value based or tariff shift based. The FTA rules are commonly called "Origin Protocols".
The Origin Protocols of any given FTA will determine a rule for each maufactured product, based on its HTS(Harmonised Tariff Schedule) code. Each and every rule will provide several options to calculate whether the product has preferential origin or not. Each rule is also accompanied by an exclusion rule that defines in which cases the product cannot obtain preferential status at all.
A typical value based rule might read: raw materials, imported from countries that are not members of this FTA, used in production do not make up for more then 25% of the Ex-Works value of the finished product.
A typical tariff shift rule might read: none of the raw materials, imported from countries that are not members of this FTA, used in production may have the same HTS code as the finished product. 

 1. Goods consigned from (Exporter s business name, address country)

Reference No


(Combined declaration and certificate)

Form A

Issed in............................................


See notes Overleaf 

2. Goods consigned to (Consignees name, address, country) 

3. Means of transport and rout (as far as known) 

4. For official use 

5. Item number 

6. Mark and number of pakages

7. Number and kind of packages; description of goods 

8. origin criterion (see note overleaf) 

9. Gross weight or other quantity

10. Number and date of Invoices

 11. Certification

It is hereby certified, on the basis of control carried out, that the declaration by the exporter is correct






Place and date, signature of authorised signatory


12. Declaration  by the exporter

The undersigned hereby declares that the above details and statements are correct; that all the goods were

produced in   ...........................................


and that they comply with the origin requirements specified

for those goods in the generalized system of preferences for the goods exported to


Place and date, signature of authorised signatory

Place and date, signature of authorised signatory  


CO Form

Form A introduction 

Form A sample

Form A sample( signed)

Form B introduction

Form B sample

Form B sample ( signed )

Form AK

Form D


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