Origin Certificate: Pillar of Global Logistics

In the world of international trade, the Certificate of Origin emerges as an indispensable document, being a fundamental element in logistics operations. In this analysis, we will delve into its nature, typologies, functions and procurement processes, illustrating its irreplaceable role in the global supply chain.


The Importance of the Origin Certificate

In the highly dynamic global trade environment, the Certificate of Origin emerges as an essential document that certifies the country of origin of a good. This document plays a vital role in determining whether products are eligible for preferential tariffs under trade agreements or to comply with the import regulations of certain countries.

Nature and Purpose of the Origin Certificate

The Certificate of Origin, issued by an authorised entity, provides transparent and reliable proof of where a good was produced or manufactured. This allows companies and customs authorities to verify the authenticity and provenance of goods, influencing applicable customs duties and facilitating fair and regulated trade between countries.

Types of Origin Certificates

In the broad landscape of international trade, various types of Certificates of Origin are recognised, each adapted to different needs and trade agreements.

Variations and Applications

  • General Origin Certificate: Used for regular trade transactions without preferential agreements, it verifies the country of origin of the goods without being associated with tariff benefits.
  • Origin Certificate Preferencial: Vinculado a acuerdos de libre comercio o tratados entre países, permite a los productos beneficiarse de tarifas reducidas o exenciones arancelarias bajo condiciones específicas.
  • Form A – Origin Certificate GSP: Aimed at developing countries, it facilitates access to developed markets at preferential rates.
  • EUR1: Specific to trade between the European Union and certain partner countries, simplifying trade with preferential tariffs.
  • Origin Certificate Electronic (e-CO): A digital version that increases efficiency and reduces potential errors and fraud.

Functions and Purposes of the Origin Certificate

The Certificate of Origin plays a number of crucial roles in international trade, beyond being a mere proof of a product’s country of origin.

Role in the Global Supply Chain

  • International Trade Facilitation: By specifying the origin of products, the certificate helps exporters to access foreign markets under preferential terms established in trade agreements.
  • Customs Tariff Determination: Used by customs to calculate applicable duties and taxes based on trade agreements between countries.
  • Regulatory Compliance: Ensures that products comply with the import and export regulations of the countries involved, essential to avoid penalties or delays at customs.
  • Transparency and Trust: Provides clear assurance on the authenticity and quality of products, fostering greater confidence in global supply chains.
  • Protection against Unfair Trade Practices: Helps prevent practices such as dumping or unequal competition due to government subsidies.


Origin Certificate Issuing Entities

The issuance of Certificates of Origin is a responsibility delegated to specific, accredited and internationally recognised entities.

Key Actors in the Process

  • Chambers of Commerce: They provide general and preferential Certificates of Origin, guaranteeing the veracity of the information provided by exporters.


  • Government Agencies: Issue these documents, especially for certificates linked to specific trade agreements.


  • Exporters’ Associations: In specific regions and sectors, they provide a more specialised service.


  • Electronic Platforms: Offer the issuance of Electronic Certificates of Origin (e-CO), streamlining the process and improving security.


How to Obtain a Origin Certificate

The process for obtaining a Certificate of Origin varies by country and type of certificate, but generally includes the following steps:

  • Determination of the Type of Certificate Required.
  • Preparation of the Required Documentation.
  • Application to the Corresponding Entity.
  • Verification and Approval.
  • Issuance of the Certificate.
  • Payment of Fees.

It is important to consult with the local issuing entity for specific and up-to-date information on requirements and procedures, as they can vary significantly between different countries and types of certificates. In addition, having a logistics partner can facilitate the handling of these bureaucracies and ensure a smooth and efficient process.

Importance of the Origin Certificate in Logistics

The Certificate of Origin transcends its function as a mere document in the field of international trade; its relevance in logistics is multifaceted and crucial for a number of reasons:

  1. International Trade Facilitation: Ensures efficient customs and fast import/export clearance, avoiding costly delays in the supply chain.
  2. Regulatory Compliance: Ensures that products comply with the legal and regulatory requirements of importing countries, minimising the risk of sanctions or confiscations.
  3. Cost Optimisation: Access to preferential tariffs or tariff exemptions that significantly reduce the costs associated with cross-border trade.
  4. Transparency and Traceability: Provides clear traceability of the origin of products, increasing confidence and security in the global supply chain.
  5. Competitive Advantage: Exporters who efficiently manage the procurement and use of these certificates can offer better prices and delivery times, improving their competitiveness in the global marketplace.


In conclusion, the Certificate of Origin is a vital component in modern logistics, meeting legal requirements, improving efficiency, reducing costs and strengthening international trade relations. Its correct understanding and application are fundamental to success in international trade, highlighting its importance as a pillar of global logistics.