China Certificate of Origin – What An Importer Should Know
Certificate of Origin, also known as C/O or CO, is a shipping document which is used for certification that the products exported are wholly obtained, produced or manufactured in a particular Country.
This shipping paper is intended solely to prove the origin of goods in order to satisfy customs or trade requirements. Now it can be served as:
- Reference for trade statistics
- Evidence of goods’ inner quality or settlement of exchange
- Important tool for deciding on tariff treatment
Most countries now are applying different customs duty rate upon imported commodities from different countries. In the specific conditions, import countries will provide different tariff treatment according to the C/O. While in some cases, tariff duty rates can make up a large part of the total landed cost.
Certificates of Origin should only be issued when they are actually needed, for example, in the following circumstances:
- To meet customs requirements in the importing process
- The customer/buyer/importer (consignee) requires it
- To meet ‘quota’ or statistical requirements imposed by the importing country
- To comply with the banking or trade finance requirements ( L/C, letters of credit)
Check with your local Customs authority to see if you’ll benefit from getting a proper C/O. If yes, request your supplier apply it for you. It’s an easy process, and cost free.
Attention: For some countries such as Egypt/Saudi Arabia/Syria, a C/O is a must, no matter whether you can benefit from the duty discount.
A blank template with detailed explanation
0. Certificate No.
The certificate is invalid if the column is blank.
It is the benefitiary. The exporter’s address is asked to be made out in details including street, doorplate number; city and country.
It is usually the buyer or the notify party of the B/L. If it is required to be in blank, “To whom It May Concern” or “To order” is marked here.
3. Means of transport and route
The port of destination and shipment, terms of shipment are to be made out. If transshipment is allowed, the place of transhipment is marked. Example:
FROM QINGDAO TO ROTTERDAM VIA HONG KONG BY VESSEL.
4. Country / region of destination
It refers to the country or region at which the goods arrive, the middle businessman is not mentioned.
5. For certifying authority use only
It is usually kept in blank. The content is made out by the issuing organization according to the concrete condition.
6. Marks and numbers
To be made out according to the invoice, the phrases “as per invoice No.xxx” or “As per B/L No.xxx” are not allowed. “N/M” is filled in in while there is no mark.
7. Number and kind of packages; description of goods
Example: ONE HUNDRED (150) CARTONS OF GROCERY BAG, and end of “********”
8. H.S. Code
The part should be kept in conformity with customs declaration.
The quantity and measurement are required to be printed.
10. Number and date of invoice
Make out according to the invoice.
11. Declaration by the exporter
The issuing place and date are printed here with the exporter’s stamp and signature. The date is not later than the date of B/L and not earlier than the date of invoice.
The issuing place and date are to be made out. The issuer should sign manually with seal.
The C/O format may change, but the content inside is estimated to remain the same for years. So your Chinese supplier needs to provide the following information for an application.
- Means of transport and route
- Country/region of destination
- Marks and numbers
- Number and kind of packages;description of goods
- H.S. Code
- Number and date of invoices
China Certificate of Origin Samples
When it comes to imports from China, there’re several kinds of C/O between China and different countries, including Form A, Form B, Form E, Form F, Form L, Form N, Form P, Form R.
Certificate of Origin – General
This general one can be used in all the countries of the world. But in most cases, it dose not affect the duty rate.
Form A – “Generalized System of Preferences Certificate of Origin”
Applied to following countries: Britain, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Belgium, Ireland, Denmark, Greece, Spain, Portugal, Austria, Sweden, Finland, Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Slovenia, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Cyprus, Malta, Bulgaria, Romania, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Russia, Belarus, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, and Turkey.
Form B – “Certificate of Origin according to Asia-Pacific Trade Agreement”
Applied to following countries: Bangladesh, India, Laos, South Korea and Sri Lanka.
Form E – “Asean-China Free Trade Area Preferential Tariff Certificate of Origin”
Applied to following countries: Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.
Form F for China-Chile FTA
Applied to Chile only.
Form L for China – Costa Rica
Applied to Costa Rica only.
Form N for China – New Zealand
Applied to New Zealand only.
Form P for China-Pakistan FTA
Applied to Pakistan only.
Form R for China-Peru FTA
Applied to Peru only.
1. What products can get this certification?
All exporting products that follow the ‘Regulation of Place of Origin for Import and Export Commodity in People’s Republic of China’ could apply for the General type, which means:
Made in China + Exported from China
2. Who will handle the application?
Your supplier, whether it’s a trading company or the real manufacturer. Please note that only company with export license is eligible for filing the application.
3. Who issues the certification in china?
It can be issued by local AQSIQ authority (General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine of P.R.C.) or CCPIT (China Council for the Promotion of International Trade).
4. When to apply?
It’s better apply for the C/O before the ETD (estimated time of departure), which means 5 days earlier before the shipment departed from China. There will be marked “ISSUED RETROSPECTIVELY” if applied after the ATD (actual time of departure).
5. How long does it take?
The original will be issued in 1~2 working days to the party who filing the application, (and there’s no electronic version). The process can start from the day the vessel departs, because most C/Os need the departure time as accurate as possible.
6. Do I need more than 1 C/O if I have several shipments?
1 set of C/O for 1 set of B/L, 2 C/O for 2 B/L, etc… If several shipments with only 1 set of B/L, you just need 1 corresponding C/O.
7. My vendor can’t get it done for me. Can you help?
Yes. We can provide China Certificate of Origin service with competitive price. Let us know by submitting our quote page, or dropping a note via right corner in every page.
Please note that all shipping documents from China should be complied with each other, including Bill of Lading, Packing List, Commercial Invoice and Certificate of Origin. Or else you’ll get trouble in customs clearance at the port or airport.
For example, invoice number on the C/O should be the same with that listed on the Commercial Invoice. And cargo details on the B/L, Packing List, C/O should be the same.
Properly use Certificate of Origin will make your import process smoothly, and get better tariff treatment with some type of products.
CFC News - Sept. 18, 2018
Effective from Sept. 24, 10% tariff list: https://ustr.gov/sites/default/files/enforcement/301Investigations/Tariff%20List_09.17.18.pdf
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