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Certificate of Origin - What you need to know

Posted by Bertrand Duteil on 16/03/2017

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International merchandise traffic brings up the topic of customs laws and the different country specific legal regulations for import and trade. For safety reasons, the food industry is often subject to stricter import and trade rules. We already noticed more severe regulations in past blog posts discussing about the long-term supplier declaration or the International organic standard between the EU and the USA.

One of the most important document required by purchasing companies is the certificate of origin. It attests the origin of the product, but also other information such as the production country and the raw material or products used. We will today learn more about certificate of origin and the most important information you need to know about it.


The certificate of origin

The certificate of origin attests the origin of material of products when they are produced or traded out of their country of origin. The document is generally required by the purchasing company to the supplier, trader or producer as a quality supporting document. Is can also be ask as an import document because of special custom regulations. Depending on the target country, different regulations and standards rule the import of goods - especially when it comes to food products.

The certificate of origin can be necessary in different processes such as:

  • Control of goods movement
  • Quality check
  • Monitoring of import restrictions
  • Accreditations
  • Customer wishes

Non-preferential origin

The non-preferential origin of a good applies in EU when the complete manufacture took place in a EU country or at least the last processing stage. It means that the raw material used can come from another country as long as the last production stage takes place within the EU.

Issuing authority and validity

This product related document is generally issued by the Trade and Industry Chamber of the country of origin. The document is valid for a single delivery and is in most cases subject to a charge.

Certificate of origin and supplier declaration

In the continuity of the certificate of origin stands the supplier declaration. Used as basis for the certificate of origin, the supplier declaration can be used as certificate for goods with a preferential origin.  However, no cumulation notice may be applied to the supplier declaration. It provides information on the future export operations where the delivered goods are eligible for preferential treatment and is therefore required for customs duties. The document is free and can be issued by exporters at any time.

Legal background

In the EU, the issue of the certificate of origin is ruled by the regulation (EU) No. 952/2013 - Union Customs Code (UCC) and complemented with the regulation (EU) No. 2015/2447 and the delegated regulation (EU) No. 2015/2446.

Further information


Are you a purchasing company and need to query, manage, and archive certificates of origin and further documents from your suppliers? Here you can find out more about the functions of our SRM platform, which enables you to manage all supplier and product-related documents efficiently and centrally.

Discover now our SRM platform

Tags: Certifications, tips, product documentation