Generic Certificate of Origin

Generic Certificates of Origin

Generic Certificates of Origin  

A generic certificate of origin is one of the most commonly requested documents. Here is what you need to know when to use, how to certify and where to obtain such COO to help you make a smooth transaction:  

  • A generic certificate of origin (COO) needs to be certified by an outside entity such as a local Chamber of Commerce. This does not apply to FTA certification (the documents need to be self-Certified). 
  • The COI may be required by some countries for all or only for certain products. In many cases, a statement of origin printed on company letterhead will suffice. The exporter should verify whether a COO is required with the buyer and/or an experienced shipper/customs broker/freight forwarder. 
  • For textile products, an importing country may require a certificate of origin issued by the manufacturer.  
  • The number of required copies and language may vary from country to country.  

Note: Some countries may require that certificate of origin be notarized, certified by a chamber of commerce and legalized by the commercial section of the consulate of the destination country. For Middle Eastern countries, the National U.S.-Arab Chamber of Commerce provides notarization and certification services.   

Where to Obtain a Generic Certificate of Origin 

  • Generic certificates of origin for goods that do not qualify for free trade agreements or are not manufactured in the United States can be obtained in an electronic form from the US Council for International Business. The electronic certificates (eCOs) save time and money, bypassing the delay and expense of employing messengers to obtain certification.   
  • After a few simple steps, USICB certification, an eCOOs can be printed from any computer and used for both US and non-US made goods, as appropriate. In the case of non-U.S.-made goods, an additional proof of origin may be required (e.g., proof that they are from a particular country). 
  • Generic Certificate of Origin may also be obtained from a commercial vendor, broker of freight forwarder.