Why Certificates of Origin

The primary purpose of the certificates of origin is:
  • Quality
  • Duty and/or tariff benefits
  • Statistical purposes

The Chamber Certificate of Origin – for all goods requiring proof of origin, there are no duty benefits for the importer as these certificates are considered non-preferential.

What Is A Certificate of Origin

Certificates of Origin are issued to authenticate the country of origin in which the goods were:

  • Wholly obtained, goods are completely obtained in one country no foreign inputs i.e. Fish, beef, potatoes, live animals & minerals, waste metal
  • Manufactured, made by hand or machine using raw materials; cotton - textiles
  • Produced – added value to raw materials or semi finished goods

Two types of certificates of origin

Non-preferential certificates of origin
  • No preferential duty treatment
  • Only confirmation of origin
  • Trade statistics
  • Quality
Preferential certificates of origin
  • Issued within the context of a trade agreement
  • Enables the importer to benefit from tariff exemption or a reduction of duty of eligible imports

Trade Agreements

Free Trade Agreements for South Africa

SADC - 12 Member states: South Afica, Botswana, Lesotho, Swaziland, Namibia, Mozambique, Angola, Tanzania, Mauritius, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Seychelles and Madagascar.

Qualifying goods – most products

Certification – SADC Certificate of Origin

Issuing authority – SARS (Customs & Excise)

Exporters, both manufacturers and suppliers can apply

The Chamber can never attest a duty benefit certificate - SADC

TDCA - Trade Development & Co-operation Agreement

South Africa & the entire European Union

A review is currently underway which is aimed at broadening the scope of product coverage under the EPA – European Economic Partnership Agreements

Certificate of Origin – EUR 1

Issuing authority – SARS (Customs & Excise)

Duty free access for a number of listed items into the European Union

Goods entering South Africa that have been produced, manufactured or obtained in the EU also enjoy this benefit

EFTA – European Free Trade Association – Southern African Customs Union

Iceland, Lichtenstein, Norway and Switzerland

Industry goods, including fish and marine products, processed agricultural products. Basic agricultural products are covered by bilateral agreements with individual EFTA states EUR1 certificate issued by SARS – CUSTOMS & EXCISE

EPA – SADC & The European Union

South Africa’s core interest has been to harmonise trading regime between SACU and the EU; to secure further market access in agriculture (beyond the TDCA agreement)

The agreement covers most products. It will replace the trade chapter of the TDCA – new market access

Certificate of Origin – EUR 1

Issued by SARS, Customs & Excise

Paper Certificates of Origin

  • Paper by nature is a manual based process that takes time.
  • Requires the exporter to complete a certificate of origin.
  • Handwritten – no longer acceptable.
  • Have to print onto a pre-printed format - WATERMARK.
  • The COO is then presented to a commissioner of oaths – sworn affidavit Then presented to the Chamber where it is attested and embossed.
  • Original with the affidavit
  • Signed second original
  • Copy – blue, yellow copy
  • Each certificate has to be kept on file – a manual billing and filing system
  • The exporter has to physically go to the Chamber with each entry

Each client has to complete the following:

  • A formal undertaking
  • A letter of Authority
  • Formal undertaking – signed document to state that the exporter will adhere to the ICC rules when issuing a certificate of origin
  • The senior member of the company must sign this document
  • Letter of Authority – signed specimen signatures of every staff member that will be signing the certificates of origin

Electronic Certificates of Origin

  • Exporter’s signature is captured electronically (ID number and signature)
  • Exporter has to complete the Formal undertaking and Letter of Authority and submit it electronically
  • The company registration forms are also uploaded onto the system
  • The certificate is presented electronically
  • The chamber attests and releases the document electronically
  • The exporter prints the certificate at their office
  • No longer required to go to the have the COO stamped by a commissioner of oaths
  • Electronic
  • No need for paper presentation
  • No need to go to a commissioner of oaths
  • Shorter turn around time for accreditation
  • Certificates can be amended without having to re-submit a paper document/VOC
  • Can be completed on an IOS (Apple), Android, laptops, desktops from anywhere – provided the exporter/chamber has internet access
  • We train your staff and members at NO COST on the system

Which Countries Support Electronic COO?

Good question... more and more countries accept electronic generated certificates of origin:

Notarised Electronic COO

A notarized Certificate of Origin is a Certificate that has been certified by a notary public. The notary public is an official who verifies the identities of everybody signing the document, witnesses the signatures, and marks the document with a stamp or a seal.

Only certain countries require the notarisation of Certificates of Origin.

  • Bahrain
  • Kuwait
  • Oman
  • Qatar
  • Saudi Arabia
  • United Arab Emirates
How To Obtain a Notarisation for Electronic COOs

The exporter has to present a chamber the printed electronic certificate of origin to the chamber of commerce

  • The Chamber will then emboss the certificate and the commercial invoice
  • The electronic certificate of origin will be returned to the exporter
  • The exporter will forward the certificate to DIRCO in Pretoria
  • DIRCO will then put the state presidents seal onto the e-COO
  • Then the exporter must present these notarised documents to the embassy of the country to which they are exporting for final notarisation
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