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What is a certificate of origin?

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A Certificate of Origin (usually abbreviated CO, C/O or COO) is a document issued by a country to certify that a certain product(s) originate and are manufactured in that specific country. This type of certificate is issued by a governmental department of that country that is responsible for controlling the exports.

The CO is primarily important for classifying the goods in the customs regulations of the importing country, thus defining how much duty shall be paid. But it may also be important for import quota purposes and for statistical purposes, and especially for food shipments, it may also be important for health regulations.

Why would you need a Certificate of Origin?
When importing from some parts of the world, into certain countries, the local customs might require a CO and in some cases it might be mandatory. Also in some countries the customs regulations might wave taxes for imports from some parts of the world, and thus a CO might be necessary.

There are many forms of certificates of origin and these are classified in depending on the nature of the goods, or if there are certain trading agreements between the two countries.

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