7 common errors found on Certificates of Origin

  • EC C of O

Get your Certificates of Origin right by avoiding some of the most common errors.

      1.  Poor goods description

Don’t use descriptions that are too vague or general, eg spare parts or brand names
Do describe your goods in sufficient detail to clearly indicate the nature of the goods. Ask yourself – would a member of the public be able to identify what my goods are from the description?

      2.  Understanding Origin

Ensure you select the correct box on the back of the Certificate of Origin.
Don’t confuse ‘wholly obtained’ and ‘manufactured’ UK goods
Wholly obtained goods – is defined as UK raw materials or items produced from UK raw materials ie vegetables, minerals, animals born and raised in the UK or products derived from them etc.
Manufactured goods – are goods which confer United Kingdom origin because they have gone through a manufacturing process. The simplest test to apply is to check to see if the tariff used for the products being exported is different to the one for the materials used in the manufacturing process.
Imported goods – imported goods must be supported by proof of origin ie copy of the Certificate of Origin from the country of supply or the manufacturer’s invoice.

      3.  Failure to declare marks and numbers

This refers to the actual wording or labels stencilled to the outside of the packages being shipped. If you usually just show your customers address then you must state ‘fully addressed’ in the marks and numbers box.
For containerised goods the container number can be shown.
For goods shipped without marks ‘unmarked’ should be shown.
The marks and numbers should also appear on your invoice or packing list under the heading ‘shipping marks’.

      4.  Failure to declare packaging details

This relates to the number of cartons, crates, boxes, pallets, bales, rolls etc. that compromise the consignment.
For goods shipped in bulk or unpacked, ‘unpacked’ or ‘loose’ or ‘in bulk’ should be shown.

      5.  Incorrect designation of country of origin

• For UK origin goods, show ‘European Community – United Kingdom’
• For shipments compromised of UK origin goods and goods originating in other EU countries, add the names of the other EU countries after United Kingdom.
• For goods manufactured in the EU and non-EU countries, list the EU countries first before adding ‘and’ or ‘&’ followed by the non-EU countries. E.g. ‘European Community – United Kingdom, France, Germany & China, United States of America’

      6.  No country mentioned in box 1

United Kingdom (in full) should always appear at the end of the UK exporters address.

      7.  Weights and measures

Do declare all weights and measures using the metric system
Don’t use the imperial system of weights and measures.
Always double check your weights and make sure they can be found on your invoice or packing list. 

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