Tuesday, November 20, 2018 | Awards: SACCI Chamber of the year 2011; World Chamber Forum Finalist 2013

Certificates of Origin

What is a Certificate of Origin?

A Certificate of Origin (CO) is an important international trade document attesting that goods in a particular export shipment have been wholly obtained, in a particular manufactured or processed in a particular country. It is also a declaration by the exporter.

There are two major types of CO’s:

  • Non-preferential COs, issued for goods which will not enjoy any preferential treatment.

  • Preferential CO’s, issued in the context of preferential trade agreements which will enable exporters to benefit from tariff exemption or reduction for eligible exports.

COs may be requested by Customs administrations, importers, freight forwarders, or banks for clearance of letters of credit.

International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) World Chamber Federation (WCF) is proud to offer business a Certificate of Origin recognized worldwide.

Chamber authority

Millions of COs is issued every year, facilitating trade around the world. The first CO was issued in 1898.

According to the 2009 ICC World Chamber Federation (WCF) World CO survey, more than 2000 chambers from over 100 countries issue CO.

The issuance of CO is an important function for chambers in international trade. The majority of governments and governing agencies rely on the network of chambers due to their expertise and credible track record.

Following the signing of the 1923 Geneva Convention, governments began delegating the issuance of CO to chambers. Chambers are deemed to be competent organizations and regarded as a credible and trusted third-party in the issuance of CO.



Certificates of Origin

Guide for first time applicants

Please follow the 4 steps carefully


Step 1: Prepare the Letter of Authority together with the Formal Undertaking letter on the export company’s letterhead.

Step 2: Purchase a set of certificates of origin from the Chamber.

Step 3: Printing the certificate of origin.

Step 4: Supply the Chamber with a copy of the commercial invoice.


Step 1: Reproduce the example of the attached Letter of Authority and the Formal Undertaking on the export company’s letterhead, dated and addressed to the Chamber and signed by the most senior member in the company (i.e. owner/proprietor/partner/member/director).

This letter will only be valid for 12 months.

Please nominate as many signatories from your company as possible. This will ensure that someone is always available to sign the affidavit.

Step 2: Purchase a set of certificates of origin from the Chamber. Certificates are printed on special paper in order to prevent fraud.

Step 3: The certificates of origin consists of 3 pages, the original (printed on the certificates you purchased from the Chamber), a copy (printed on plain white paper) and the application with an affidavit (printed on plain white paper). The affidavit can only be signed by one of the signatories you have selected. The application must also be signed in front of a commissioner of oaths. The application and the copy will be kept by the Chamber for our records.

Step 4: Please supply the Chamber with a copy of the commercial invoice for our records.


(On applicant company’s letterhead)




The following persons have been nominated by the company as signatories of affidavits relating to the issue by the Middelburg Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Certificates of Origin as well as certification of other documents:




Specimen signature















This letter supersedes any authorization granted preciously to any other person(s), which has been lodged with yourselves.



Yours faithfully









(On applicant company’s letterhead)




Middelburg Chamber of Commerce & Industry

P O Box 1152






In consideration of the Middelburg Chamber of Commerce & Industry, from time to time granting or certifying Certificates of Origin or other documents, I/we hereby agree to accept and be bound by Standard Rules for the issue of Certificates of Origin etc, in force at the time of certification, and further that I/we will at all times keep the issuing body and its officials indemnified against claims or any demands whatsoever which may at any time be made against them, or any of them by reason of any fault, defect, omission or inaccuracy in the content of the Certificates or other documents, or in the manner of their issue, this indemnity being subject to all statutory provisions to the contrary.

_____________________________ _____________________________

Signed Date



_____________________________ _____________________________

Name Position



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