Changes to Certificate of Origin will help streamline the process

Changes to Certificate of Origin will help streamline the process

As part of the KC Group Shipping In-Depth series, Chris McGowan, KC Group Shipping Operations Supervisor, looks at the latest changes to The Certificate of Origin (CO), which came into play on the 1st of April, 2023. Chris explains what these changes mean for the industry and KC Group Shipping customers.

The Certificate of Origin (CO) is an important international trade document, which certifies that goods are wholly obtained, produced, manufactured or processed in a particular country, so it's worth starting with a quick overview and explanation of the Certificate of Origin.

Overseas buyers often request a CO for customs clearance, payment management, or import tariff concessions, and the Rules of Origin govern each CO.

The Rules of Origin are the criteria needed to determine the national source of a product. There is a wide variation in government practice concerning the rules of origin. The rules are negotiated as part of a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) and differ under each FTA. The FTAs generally make trade cheaper and easier to facilitate for all parties.

As an industry working alongside the Government, there is a desire and campaign to move toward a digital transformation of processes and documents, something KC Group Shipping has been championing for many years.

Currently, over 40% of Certificates of Origin issued worldwide are in pre-printed format and often populated with final information. The British Chamber of Commerce wants all of the UK Chambers to work in step with the Government, which has committed to achieving its digital ambition for a paperless border by 2025.

Understanding the Changes

Step 1 – ICC (International Chamber of Commerce) Logo

The ICC logo has been redesigned and will replace any pre-printed Certificate of Origins.

From the 1st of April 2023, any pre-printed CO featuring the old ICC logo will be obsolete and, if used, risk refusal at any customs points as an invalid document.

It's expected that the ICC will provide a directive confirming both the deadline and the instructions regarding the refusal of old CO as of the cut-off date - the 1st of April.

Step 2 – Plain Paper Certificate of Origin 

As part of the transitional move towards the single trade window proposed implementation deadline of 2025, the British Chamber of Commerce and International Chamber of Commerce has set a deadline of the 1st of October 2023 for the switch from pre-printed CO for any electronically certified CO to plain paper.

The changes will mean that although the current process for CO completion and submission will remain as we are all familiar with, the updated development will be on the final printing of the certified CO.

Once a Chamber approves a CO, and the order status shows "certified ready to print", you input the PA number of the supplied CO copy into the system and print your downloaded pdf file onto the provided CO template.

The new process will mean that once the CO is showing as certified, you will print the completed certificate file onto plain paper. The ICC directive will require printing of the document in full colour.

Any CO printed entirely in one colour, black, will be refused at the customs entry point as invalid documents.&

Soon, the ICC will provide a directive confirming this refusal of incorrectly printed CO.

The Certificate of Origin is one of various documents and certificates often required for import and export shipments, depending on the region, regulatory body and legislative requirements.

Introducing the plain paper Certificate of Origin is a significant step forward to what has always been a manual and timely process.

The updated CO process and document will benefit KC Group Shipping clients and partners by streamlining the application process.

Introducing a digital QR code on each certificate provides an additional security feature that allows stakeholders to scan to see an online version of the certificate and verify its authenticity on the ICC (International Chamber of Commerce) website.

Additionally, with the UK Government looking to achieve a paperless border by 2025, the plain paper Certificate of Origin is a considerable step towards that target.

At KC Group Shipping, our Customs Management team ensures you always have the correct customs documentation for your goods, dealing with the application, form-filling and associated certifications.

We're here to guide our customers, as mistakes may cost you unwanted penalties and delays.

You can find out more about the ICC new brand identity launch by clicking here