The results of two surveys carried out by ICC’s World Chambers Federation (WCF), have revealed that just a handful of countries currently operate with issuance standards and procedures relating to certificate of origin practices.


The surveys, conducted over the last two years, gathered information from over 200 countries on country of origin practices, training implementation, electronic services and development trends.


Almost every country in the world considers the origin of imported goods when determining what duty will be assessed on goods or, in some cases, whether the goods may be legally imported at all.


Certificates of origin are documents attesting that goods in a particular export shipment are wholly obtained, produced, manufactured or processed in a particular country (country of origin).


Chambers of commerce around the world receive thousands of trade documents each day from companies preparing international trade shipments. They issue more certificates of origin on a daily basis than the ATA Carnet – an international customs document which permits almost any type of goods to temporarily cross borders, duty-free and tax-free.

WCF’s role in the ATA Carnet system is already well known in 62 countries. But unlike the ATA Carnet, there is currently no certificates of origin chain linking or supporting chambers and their corporate members.

The role of a chamber in the issuance and attestation of certificates of origin and shipping documents is unique and vital to the facilitation of international trade. This is especially so given an increasingly differentiated rule of origin trading environment lacking international certification standards.


A certificate of origin task force, created by WCF, is currently working to:

Reinforce the chambers’ trade documentation role by establishing an international certificate of origin certification procedure standards and guidelines for the issuance and attestation of certificates of origin;
Establish international accreditation of chamber staff through an international certificate of origin training programme;
Help chambers in identify and use advanced technologies to deliver certificates of origin and other trade documents;
Set up a global certificate of origin platform and harmonise certificate of origin procedures.


To showcase chamber best-practices in this field, a special session will be held in Durban, South Africa, during part of the fourth World Chambers Congress.