EC Certificate of Origin

Question posted by Alan McCloud, on behalf of Karlan Digital Ltd in HU8

There is plenty of advice on how to obtain an EC CofO (which we now have) but no one seems to give any information on how this should be presented. Can someone please explain whether the certificate (original) should be attached to the outside of the package (so customs can see it) or sent separately by post? I have seen somewhere that it can be sent separately or even within the package but how are customs going to clear the consignment if they cannot see the certificate?
Thanks
Alan

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Gemma Price, on behalf of @GemmaPriceUK in W13.

Hi Alan

Firstly, apologies for not giving a definitive answer.

Technically speaking, each country has its own individual customs clearance regulations so you would need to check in an international trade procedures guide such as Tates or Croners to see if original export documentation was required to enable clearance.

Logically speaking if shipping under Letter of Credit the originals are normally called for as part of the presentation, so it would be impossible to send the originals with the goods unless you wanted to be discrepant against the LC.

Speaking from (bitter) experience I personally would always send the original with the goods if possible. When shipping via seafreight I will courier the export docs to the customer in advance so they can present originals for clearance. I always send a scan via email to my forwarder (or the customers forwarder for EXW shipments), the forward will normally pass this on to the local/clearing agent.

The EC CofO is a three page set, the chamber will retain the pink, leaving you with the white and yellow copy. You can normally get additional yellow copies from your Chamber of Commerce free of charge, some local Chambers may apply a nominal fee. I get at least four additional yellow copies and provide one to all relevant parties.

I hope this helps!

Kind regards

Gemma
@ExportExpertUK
info@export-expert.co.uk
www.export-expert.co.uk

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Gemma Price, on behalf of @GemmaPriceUK in W13.

Also...

Just spotted you are shipping to Oman which is an Arab Leauge Nation, so officially you should be raising an Arab British Certificate of Origin rather than an EC.

I do not believe clearance will be hindered on the basis of original documentation not being supplied when it is the incorrect document for that country. It is more likely clearance will be hindered pending the correct documentation being raised and couriered across.

Kind regards

Gemma

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Dear Alan
We suggest you confirm with consignee what type of certificate of origin is required whether
EU or Arab British certificate of origin. If Arab British c of o is required the consignee needs
also to confirm if legalisation is required.
We would suggest if shipment sent by sea c of o to be sent with b/l. if by air attach to waybill.
if by courier attach to parcel. If letter of credit c of o to bank.
If any help required on the freighting side please contact us directly on 01263 513127 or
email ; colin.crown@ntlworld.com
best regards
Colin ; Crown Frt

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Hello Alan,
As you can see from the previous answers the certificate of origin is not for use of the exporting country's customs authorities. The C/O is for the use of the importing customs Authorities.

At the time of import the goods will be held in customs pending the provision of import information by the importer. At this time the importer can produce the certificate of origin via his freight agent or courier or directly to customs. In some countries the goods will be released pending submission of full information. At any event there is time at this point for the original certificate to be presented.

The certificate of origin is usually used as proof of origin in order to gain a discount or total relief from import duty.

For this reason it is usual for the original certificate to be sent to the importer by courier. It can be sent by you or your freight agent. A copy can be put with the parcel to let everyone know that there is a certificate.

If you are shipping to Arabia and have an EU C/O instead of an Arab one the importer will have to pay a small fine to clear the goods through customs. This is frequently done and not usually considered a problem. In some countries this can depend on the status of the importer.. This is not an illegal procedure.

People send the originals by courier as they don't want the CO to get torn off the parcel or lost in transit.

Feel free to contact me if you need further information.

Regards,
Susan

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Alan McCloud, on behalf of Karlan Digital Ltd in HU8.

Thanks to everyone for your replies. We have already contacted the customer who says that a EC C/O is acceptable so we think we are okay there. We have already been paid for the goods (on a proforma invoice) so we need to make sure that the customer doesn't have to pay any duties. Colin, sorry but we have already enlisted a well known courier to take the package. They tell us that all we need is a harmonised tariff code yet "another" courier told us this:
******************************************************
"Please be informed that an additional export documentation is needed for your package.
SED-(New Electronic Export System) . A formal electronic export declaration must be sent to customs authorities by the exporter or their representative. Customs authorities grant the release for export and issue an Export Accompanying Document (EAD) with a unique Movement Reference Number (MRN)."
******************************************************
Being new to exporting, we are not sure who is right. Our courier states on their website that they can clear customs quickly but how do they know what documents we have? We rang them and we weren't filled with confidence to be honest.

Thanks again,
Alan

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Hello Alan,
If you give me a call on 0784 1133027 I will help you sort this out. No charge!

I have been in the export business for over 35 years and now teach import and export as well as offering consultancy. I can't stand to see a new exporter getting such well meaning and in their way correct but mixed up messages.

Regards,
Susan

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Alan McCloud, on behalf of Karlan Digital Ltd in HU8.

Susan, thank you so much for your help. If only we had spoken several weeks ago! Your experience and knowledge has given us the information that we so badly needed.

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Ian James, on behalf of i2i Infinity Limited in BA4.

Hi Alan,
Some great information in this post already. Just in case you need to raise additional export paperwork or would like to make the NES (National Export System) declaration to HMRC yourself, please take a look at www.4-exim.com and setup a free e-z Consign account. The additional benefit is that it links to your e-z Cert account for certified documents with your Chamber of Commerce so that you don't have to re-type the information multiple times.

Kind regards,
Ian James.

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