certificate of origin coo

Certificate of Origin (COO) – Simple Explanation and Examples

What is a Certificate of Origin (COO)?

A Certificate of Origin (COO) is an essential document used in international trade, which certifies that the goods in a particular shipment are wholly obtained, produced, manufactured, or processed in a specific country. It is a key administrative document that provides proof of the origin of goods being exported and imported. This document is often required by customs authorities around the world to determine the origin of the goods, apply any necessary tariffs, and ensure compliance with trade regulations.

Importance of a Certificate of Origin (COO)

The COO serves several critical functions in international logistics and customs clearance:
Customs Clearance: Customs authorities often require a COO to determine if goods qualify for import or export under a specific tariff on non-tariff trade barriers.
Trade Agreements: Many international trade agreements and treaties require a COO to apply preferential duty rates or exemptions.
Consumer Confidence: A COO can increase consumer confidence by providing transparency about where goods were manufactured.

Types of Certificates of Origin

There are primarily two types of Certificates of Origin:
1. Non-Preferential Certificate of Origin: This certificate attests that the goods do not qualify for reduced tariffs or trade benefits under any bilateral or multilateral free trade agreements.
2. Preferential Certificate of Origin: Provided under trade agreements such as NAFTA, this certificate allows for reduced tariffs or duty-free treatment for goods traded between member countries.

Required Information on a Certificate of Origin

A COO generally includes the following information:
Exporter and consignee details: Names, addresses, and other contact details of both parties.
Description of goods: Detailed description of the goods, including their quantity and weight.
HS Code: The Harmonized System (HS) code for the goods.
Origin criteria: Specification of the origin of the goods.
Certification details: Signature and seal of the certifying authority.

How to Obtain a Certificate of Origin

The process to obtain a COO can be broken down into the following steps:

Step 1: Determine the Origin Criteria

Assess whether the goods meet the origin criteria based on the rules of origin under applicable trade agreements.

Step 2: Prepare Documentation

Prepare all necessary documentation, including invoices, bills of lading, and any other certificates required.

Step 3: Apply for the COO

Submit an application to a local Chamber of Commerce or other relevant certifying body, along with the required documentation.

Step 4: Certification

The certifying authority reviews the application, verifies the information, and provides the COO.

Examples of When a Certificate of Origin is Required

To illustrate the real-world applications of a COO, consider the following examples:

  1. Exporting Machinery: A U.S. company exporting machinery to the European Union needs a COO to ensure the machinery qualifies for reduced tariffs under the U.S.-EU trade agreement.
  2. Importing Textiles: A company importing textiles from India into Canada might need a COO to apply the correct tariffs and ensure compliance with Canadian import regulations.
  3. Automobile Manufacturing: A car manufacturer in Mexico shipping components to the U.S. will need a COO under the USMCA (formerly NAFTA) trade agreement to qualify for preferential duty rates.

Common Issues and Considerations

While dealing with Certificate of Origin, several challenges and considerations may arise:
Accuracy: Ensure all information—is accurate. Any discrepancies can lead to delays in customs clearance.
Compliance: It is crucial to understand the specific origin rules of the importing country to ensure compliance.
Timeliness: Obtain the COO in advance to avoid delays in shipping and border crossing.


Understanding the importance and process of obtaining a Certificate of Origin is crucial for smooth international trade operations. This document not only helps in procedural accuracy but also plays a significant role in ensuring that goods qualify for reduced tariffs and meet the compliance requirements set by customs authorities.

Are you navigating the complexities of US customs clearance and international trade? Trust eezyimport to handle your import/export documentation and compliance needs seamlessly. Contact us today for expert assistance and hassle-free customs clearance services.

Certificate of Origin COO – FAQ


How do I obtain a Certificate of Origin for my shipment?

To obtain a COO, follow these steps:
1. Determine if your goods meet the origin criteria based on applicable trade rules.
2. Prepare all necessary documents, such as invoices and bills of lading.
3. Submit an application to a certifying body like a Chamber of Commerce.
4. The certifying body will review your application, verify the information, and issue the COO.

When is a Certificate of Origin (COO) required?

A COO is typically required in the following situations:
– When exporting goods to countries with which certain trade agreements exist, enabling reduced tariffs or duty-free treatment.
– When importing goods to satisfy customs regulations and apply the correct tariffs.
– When specific consumer transparency is needed regarding the origin of the goods.

Examples include exporting machinery from the U.S. to the EU or importing textiles from India to Canada.

eezyimport is an online platform and is not a licensed customs broker. However, we work closely with a third-party licensed customs broker who can assist with any entry-related issues.

eezyimport is an online platform and is not a licensed customs broker. However, we work closely with a third-party licensed customs broker who can assist with any entry-related issues.

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