Are you completing your Certificates of Origin correctly?

Here in the export department at the Norfolk Chambers of Commerce we understand the daily pressures that you as exporters and agents come up against when preparing Certificates of Origin and other shipping documents and how tricky it can be when things are delayed. 

Julie Austin, Norfolk Chambers' International Trade Manager, said

"Completing applications for Certificates of Origin can be a tricky process as there are lots of steps to remember. To try to make the process as smooth as possible for exporters, we have pulled together a checklist, which gives you a step by step guide to minimise the delays and give you peace of mind when submitting your documentation."  

If you work through our checklist below before submitting your application this can avoid discrepancies and related extra charges

  1. If you're applying online never use a colleagues' log-in details and electronic signature
  2. Make sure United Kingdom (in full) appears as part of your/the exporter's address in box 1
  3. Make sure the goods are described in a way that a lay person would understand, i.e. no technical jargon
  4. Remember to add your export invoice number and date to the certificate
  5. Check to ensure that the invoice number and date you've declared on the certificate match your supporting invoice
  6. If your supporting invoice does not show the weight of the consignment please remember to supply a packing list
  7. Check that the correct country of origin has been declared in box 3
  8. If you're claiming foreign origin make sure that you have supplied sufficient proof of origin with your application and check to ensure it provides clear linkage to the goods
  9. If you're applying for your Certificate of Origin online remember to upload your export invoice at the same time as well as your proof of origin if you're claiming foreign origin
  10. For goods of European Community origin the correct designation of origin in box 3 is "European Community" followed by the member state/s
  11. Remember to add the marks and numbers that appear on the packages
  12. Check that invoice or other documents for certifying are signed
  13. When applying online for export invoices or other documents to be certified, tick the "stamp uploaded document" box
  14. When applying online, enter an invoice or PO number as your customer reference - avoid adding your company name to this box - it helps you and us if you ever need to query an invoice we send you

If any mistakes are made we will work with you to put things right as quickly as possible, as we understand that you and your clients are relying on the service for the timely exportation of your goods. 

If you have any questions please give Julie or the team a call on 01603 729706.  Still worried about submitting your documents?  For additional peace of mind, we also offer an advance checking service which you would need to implement before uploading your documents.  The cost is just £5+VAT (members) and £10+VAT (non-members) plus the cost of the Certificate of Origin.  To take advantage of this service, just email a draft copy of your certificate along with your supporting documents to for us to check. We will then let you know if any amendments need to be made; if we require any additional information; or if you can submit the application online. 

For more information and if you have any questions about the process of completing Certificates of Origin, please do not hesitate to call us on 01603 729717 or email at


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