For exports to most Northern African or Middle Eastern countries you may be asked to supply a Certificate of Origin to enable customs clearance.
A Certificate of Origin serves many functions, its primary and most obvious function is to clearly state the origin of the goods being exported. This information is required by customs in the importers country to establish:
• Duty/Tariff rates
• If the goods being imported fall under import sanctions or restrictions
• If the country of origin is “blacklisted” or “boycotted”
Certificates of Origin are issued on a consignment by consignment basis.
There are two types of Certificate of Origin used for exports from the United Kingdom, which Certificate you raise will depend on the country you are exporting to. For any Arab-League Nation, including UAE we use the Arab-British Certificate of Origin, for any other country we use the European Community Certificate of Origin.
The relevant countries Embassy dictates their “requirements” i.e. which channels the documents must go through and which other documents (invoice/packing list) must be processed with the Certificate of Origin to enable customs clearance:
• Certification – Chamber of Commerce
• Legalisation – Embassy
• Appositle – FCO
• Combination of the above
For exports to UAE the documents must be issued as a set (CofO and invoice and must be Certified and Legalised - typically this takes 5-7 w/days to turn around. Ideally the originals should be presented with the goods for customs clearance.
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