Certificates of Origin
The Chamber offers a comprehensive documentation service covering Certificates of Origin and other export documents.
Although Certificates of Origin have been around for many years, it was not until 1923 that the issue and the associated certification of other export documentation was first regularised. This came about under the provision of the International Convention relating to the Simplification of Customs Formalities held at Geneva (Kyoto Convention). Under those provisions, national governments were allowed to delegate the administration of the certification scheme to suitable organisations such as Chambers of Commerce & Industry.Note:
Certificates of origin may be issued not only by Customs or other authorities but also by bodies such as Chambers of Commerce & Industry previously approved by the competent authorities (Article 11, paragraph 2 of the 1923 Convention on the Simplification of Customs formalities). This was a landmark in history of certification procedures because it put in place the opportunity to delegate the administration of the scheme to various bodies. In taking on the responsibility for the management and administration of the certification scheme, the issuing Chambers accept the responsibility for matters involving the facilitation of international trade.
The SACOB accredited Chambers* have pledged their chambers and their staff to binding undertakings, accepting observance of the Rules and Regulations compiled from ICC and WTO Practice Notes. These rules have been adapted to conditions prevailing in the South African market.Customs Practice & Certificates of Origin
The applicability of many Customs measures, in particular those relating to tariffs, depends on the origin of the goods. Certificates and other documentary evidence of origin produced at importation are intended to facilitate control of origin and thus expedite clearance operations.
A simple statement by the manufacturer, producer, supplier, exporter or other competent person shown on the commercial invoice or some other document, may provide documentary evidence of origin.
In some cases, however, these statements must be authenticated or supplemented by means of certification by an authority or body such as a Chamber of Commerce & Industry, which is empowered for this purpose and is independent of both the exporter and the importer. In other cases provision may be made for special forms (certificates of origin) on which the body empowered to issue them certifies the origin of the goods and which shall also include a sworn statement or affirmation by the exporter or authorised agent, manufacturer, producer, etc.
On the other hand, there are circumstances where it may be possible to dispense with the requirement of any documentary evidence of origin.
Issuers are called upon to certify not only Certificates of origin but also many documents of other kinds. The certification required on "other documents" will vary according to the nature of these documents and the varying purposes of the applicants and may include the verification of signatures.
Precise rules are, however, necessary so that exporters and importers may know exactly what the Customs requirements are in this field and may thus take advantage of the simplification of formalities made possible in some cases. These rules also lay down the conditions of validity to be met by the various forms of documentary evidence.