Certificate of Origin China The Ultimate Guide (Updated 2021)

Certificate of Origin in China
The Ultimate Guide about Certificate of Origin in China 2021
Certificate of Origin China

Certificate of Origin (C.O) plays an important role in import from China business, many international customers and buyers need the Certificate of Origin when importing from China, but sometimes they may get confused to choose C.O and FORM A because there are different kinds of C.O in China. We have exported for many years as a furniture manufacturer in China, Certificate of Origin (C.O) is a certification document provided by the exporter at the request of the importer and issued by a notary institution or government or exporter to certify the origin or manufacturing place of the goods. This certificate is very common in international trade, customs of different countries have different requirements for the certificate of origin based on the agreement between import country and export country, so there are many kinds of certificate of origin around the world. Certificate of Origin China is one of these certificates, it plays an important role in import from China business, many international customers and buyers need the Certificate of Origin when they need custom clearance for the goods from China, but sometimes they may get confused to choose the right China Certificate of Origin because there are different kinds of C.O in China. We have exported for many years as a furniture manufacturer in China, and we have good experience in Certificate of Origin China, you will know all details about Certificate of Origin China after reading this post, let’s get started.

Table of Contents

1.What is Certificate of Origin meaning?
2.What is the use of Certificate of Origin?
3.What are the three types of Certificate of Origin?
4.The difference between FORM A and General Certificate of Origin
5.Who issues Certificate of Origin in China?
6.How to get Certificate of Origin China?
7.How to fill out a Certificate of Origin China?

What is Certificate of Origin meaning?

Certificate of Origin (also called C.O) is a certificate that certifies the origin country/region of specific imported and exported goods, that is, it proves that a batch of goods originated in a certain country or region or was manufactured in a certain country or region. Its main function is to apply for tariff reduction and exemption in importers’ country (the main purpose of Preferential Certificate of Origin) or to facilitate the importing country to carry out specific international trade control (the main purpose of Non-preferential Certificate of Origin).

For example, China and Pakistan have signed the “China-Pakistan Free Trade Agreement” in 2006, China exporters can apply for the Certificate of Origin China-Pakistan FTA (referred to as FORM P) as long as their products exported from China to Pakistan comply with the “Origin Rules of the China-Pakistan Free Trade Agreement,” Pakistan importers & buyers can get certain preferential treatment such as tariff reduction or exemption after they get the Certificate of Origin China-Pakistan FTA (FORM P) issued by China official agency.

Another example is that the United States imposes economic/military sanctions on Iran, so some products originating in or manufactured in Iran cannot be exported to the United States or are subject to strict restrictions.

What is the use of Certificate of Origin?

The Certificate of Origin plays a very important role in importing & exporting business, and it is hard to make customs clearance without C.O in some countries and regions. C.O is also an important document for importers’ local customs to decide tariffs. Importers who have the preferential Certificate of Origin (Form A) can reduce or exemptions in tariff.

The main uses of C.O for importing countries are:

  1. The main basis for determining the tax rate treatment (whether to grant specific preferential treatment or not).
  2. An important basis for international trade data (country/region of origin statistics for imported goods).
  3. The basis for implementing foreign trade control measures such as import goods quantity control, anti-dumping and countervailing measures (determine which foreign trade control measures are applied according to the place of origin).
  4. Control the goods from specific countries and the basis for approval or not (specific control based on the “nationality” of import goods).
  5. Proof of the goods’ intrinsic quality or the basis for foreign exchange settlement.

What are the three types of Certificate of Origin?

The certificates of origin issued by China for export goods are mainly divided into three categories: Non-preferential C.O, Preferential C.O ,and Special C.O.

Certificate of Origin in China Mind Map 2021
Certificate of Origin in China Mind Map 2021

Non-preferential C.O

  1. GENERAL / NORMAL CERTIFICATE OF ORIGIN, China suppliers who apply for this certificate usually export goods to the Middle East, Africa, Southeast Asia, Central, South America, etc.
  2. CERTIFICATE OF PROCESSING, it refers to all or part of the imported raw materials or parts used for processing and assembly of export goods in China, when this certification document would be issued by China official agency following the application of the exporter certifying that China is the processing and assembly place of exported goods if it does not meet China origin export goods standard and fails to obtain the normal certificate of origin.
  3. CERTIFICATE OF RE-EXPORT, refers to foreign goods that are re-exported through China. Since a normal certificate of origin cannot be obtained under this situation, the China official agency would issue a re-export certificate to prove that the goods are produced in other countries and are re-exported through China.

Preferential C.O

What is Preferential C.O? It is mainly used to enjoy preferential treatment such as tariff reduction or exemption during goods importing. It can be divided into unilateral GSP certificates of origin (also called FORM A, 39 developed countries, except the United States) and reciprocal regional preferential certificates of origin (such as FORM B, FORM E, FORM P, FORM X, etc.).

  1. Certificate of Origin FORM A: The Generalized System of Preferences, or GSP for short, is a tariff system that refers to a tariff preference system for manufactured or semi-manufactured products exported from developing countries or regions to developed countries or regions. It is universal, non-standard, discriminatory, and non-reciprocal, significantly different from reciprocal and non-universal certificates of origin such as FORM B, FORM E, FORM F, and FORM P, etc. GSP aims to increase the export income of developing countries, promote their industrialization, and accelerate their economic growth in the long term. FORM A is issued by the origin rules of the GSP preferential country, and related requirements is FORM A certificate. It is the certificate of origin for the preferential treatment of GSP tariffs when goods from beneficiary countries (mainly developing countries) are exported to favored countries (mainly developed countries). The goods listed on the FORM A certificate are eligible for tariff reduction or exemption only if they comply with the GSP rules of the corresponding preferential country. Forty countries have granted China’s GSP treatment (as of 2021): 28 EU countries (Belgium, Denmark, United Kingdom, Germany, France, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Greece, Portugal, Spain, Austria, Finland, Sweden, Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Latvia, Estonia, Lithuania, Hungary, Malta, Cyprus, Slovenia, Bulgaria, Romania, Croatia), Norway, Switzerland, New Zealand, Liechtenstein, Turkey, Russia, Belarus, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Japan, Canada, and Australia.
  2. Certificate of Origin FORM B: It is an official certificate of origin issued under the origin rules of the Asia-Pacific Trade Agreement. It enjoys reciprocal tariff reduction or exemption for specific products between the members of this agreement, and it is different from the non-reciprocal FORM A certificate. All members of the Asia-Pacific Trade Agreement can issue FORM B certificates, and these countries are China, India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Laos, and South Korea.
  3. Certificate of Origin FORM E: It is issued per the “China and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement,” all the members enjoy reciprocal tariff reduction or exemption of specific products from this official origin certification document. All ASEAN members can issue FORM E certificates since July 20th, 2005, and these countries are: China, Laos, Vietnam, Thailand, Myanmar, Cambodia, Philippines, Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Singapore.
  4. Certificate of Origin FORM P: also known as CERTIFICATE OF ORIGIN CHINA-PAKISTAN FTA, it is issued per the “China-Pakistan Free Trade Agreement” and “China-Pakistan Free Trade Area Rules of Origin” between China and Pakistan to enjoy reciprocal tariff reduction or exemption for specific products since 2006.
  5. Certificate of Origin FORM F: also known as CERTIFICATE OF ORIGIN FORM F FOR CHINA-CHILE FTA, the China-Chile Free Trade Agreement (the first free trade agreement between China and Latin American countries) has been officially implemented since Oct 1st, 2006, nearly 6,000 kinds of products can enjoy zero tariff preferences with the FORM F certificate issued by the official agency in both China and Chile.
  6. Certificate of Origin FORM N: also known as CERTIFICATE OF ORIGIN FORM FOR THE FREE TRADE AGREEMENT BETWEEN THE GOVERNMENT OF THE PEOPLE’S REPUBLIC OF CHINA AND THE GOVERNMENT OF NEW ZEALAND, it is an official document issued per the Free Trade Agreement between the China Government and the New Zealand Government on the mutual tariff reduction and exemption treatment since Oct 1st, 2008.
  7. Certificate of Origin FORM X: also known as CHINA-SINGAPORE FREE TRADE AREA PREFERENTIAL TARIFF CERTIFICATE OF ORIGIN. It is an official document issued per the Free Trade Agreement between the China Government and the Singapore Government on the mutual tariff reduction and exemption treatment since Jan 1st, 2009.
  8. Certificate of Origin FORM S: also known as CERTIFICATE OF ORIGIN USED IN FTA BETWEEN CHINA AND SWITZERLAND, it is an official document issued per the Free Trade Agreement between the China Government and the Swiss Confederation on the mutual tariff reduction and exemption treatment since July 1st, 2014.
  9. Certificate of Origin FORM R: also known as CERTIFICATE OF ORIGIN FORM FOR CHINA-PERU FTA, it is an official document issued per the Free Trade Agreement between the China Government and the Peru Government on the mutual tariff reduction and exemption treatment since Mar 1st, 2010.
  10. Certificate of Origin FORM L: also known as CERTIFICATE OF ORIGIN FORM FOR CHINA-COSTA RICA FREE TRADE AGREEMENT. It is an official document issued per the Free Trade Agreement between the China Government and the Costa Rica Government on the mutual tariff reduction and exemption treatment since Aug 1st, 2011.
  11. Certificate of Origin FORM K: also known as CERTIFICATE OF ORIGIN FORM FOR KOREA-CHINA FTA, it is an official document issued per the Free Trade Agreement between the China Government and the Costa Rica Government on the mutual tariff reduction and exemption treatment since Dec 20th, 2015.
  12. Certificate of Origin FORM AU: also known as CERTIFICATE OF ORIGIN FORM FOR CHINA-AUSTRALIA FREE TRADE AGREEMENT. It is an official document issued per the Free Trade Agreement between the China Government and the Australia Government on the mutual tariff reduction and exemption treatment since Dec 20th, 2015.

Special C.O

It is for special products in some industries according to import and export supervision needs, such as agricultural products, wine, tobacco, cheese products, rough diamonds, etc. These special products must comply with certain origin rules before they can be legally imported or exported. The basis for special C.O is a bilateral or multilateral agreement signed between different countries or regions. Here are some examples of special C.O: Certificate of Origin for Agricultural Products Exported to EU, Tobacco Authenticity Certificate, Kimberley Process International Certificate, Handmade Products Certificate of Origin, Certificate of Origin Marking, Certificate of Cheese Products, Tokay Wine Certificate of Origin, and Certificate of Authenticity for Emperor Wine.

The difference between FORM A and General Certificate of Origin

FORM A (FORM B, FORM E, FORM AU, etc.) is preferential C.O, mainly used to enjoy preferential treatment such as tariff reduction or exemption in the importing country, buyers would pay more tariff if they don’t have this certificate, there are also restrictions in the countries who can apply FORM A.

Normal C.O, also called non-preferential C.O or general C.O, does not have preferential treatment such as tariff reduction or exemption, the main purpose of this certificate is the basis for levying tariffs, trade statistics, safeguard measures, discriminatory quantitative restrictions, anti-dumping, countervailing, etc., China issues normal C.O for most developing countries in the world.

You may ask: How much tax can I save after using FORM A? Well, tariff reduction and exemption are different for different products in different countries, it depends on the free trade agreement with China, you can check CHINA MINISTRY OF COMMERCE WEBSITE to find tax rate, and you can also call local import agent to check your products’ rate.

Who issues Certificate of Origin in China?

CCPIT Stamp Certificate of Origin in China
CCPIT Stamp Certificate of Origin China

Usually a certificate of origin is issued by the Chamber of Commerce, but the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade (CCPIT) is the China Chamber of Commerce now, therefore CCPIT would issue China Certificate of Origin if the importers do not have any special requirement. CCPIT can issue all non-preferential C.O and most preferential C.O (such as FORM A, FORM B, FORM E, FORM F, FORM K but not including FORM P), there is a “CCPIT” logo and stamp on this kind of C.O.

In addition, China Customs (former CIQ – China Inspection and Quarantine) can also issue certificates of origin in China. It can issue all kinds of C.O for many countries, the effect of certificate is the same as CCPIT’s, but it is more authoritative because China Customs is a government department. There is no “CHINA CUSTOMS” logo, but it has a stamp on this kind of C.O, the blanket certificate of origin template from China Customs is a little different from CCPIT’s. China customs and CCPIT are the only two institutions that can issue China certificate of origin. Manufacturers in China can not issue certificates of origin with their stamp, so it is impossible to get a manufacturer’s certificate of origin in China.

Certificate of Origin with CHINA CHAMBER OF INTERNATIONAL COMMERCE stamp
Certificate of Origin with “CHINA CHAMBER OF INTERNATIONAL COMMERCE” stamp

According to our experience in China furniture export business, customers from Middle East and North Africa, such as the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and Israel, etc., all choose CCPIT certificate of origin China because they also need CCPIT (it is also China Chamber of Commerce) to certificate commercial invoices, doing both certificates in CCPIT is more convenient, and it can reduce more tariff in their local customs than the certificate of origin from China Customs does. Customers from other countries and areas are more likely to choose certificate of origin from China Customs, because it is more authoritative and has less chance to make something wrong during custom clearance,

How to get Certificate of Origin China

You can ask China suppliers to provide certificates of origin, especially under incoterms such as FOB or CIF. Most China suppliers will apply for CO as your requirements when preparing documents such as bills of lading, packing list, and commercial invoice. It doesn’t cost too much, but remember to check the draft of CO (usually in word format) before making an official China Certificate of Origin. This is the best way to get certificate of origin China. However, some factories or manufacturers in China may be reluctant to provide certificates of origin and other related documents under EX-WORK incoterm, you must confirm details with your China suppliers before placing an order.

If you want to know how to apply for certificate of origin in China, here are two options:
Option 1: Register your company in China Customs or CCPIT if it has China import and export license, then buy the certificate of origin declaration system after they approve the registration, you can apply for online certificate of origin and then print it after the system has been installed in office & computer.
Option 2: Go to find an agent to apply for China certificate of origin if your company does not have China import & export license, many China agent companies are good at applying for certificate of origin in China, they have import & export license and have registered in CCPIT & China Customs.

The effect of these two options is the same. What’s the difference? The exporter in option 1 certificate of origin is your company, no other companies, and the exporters in option 2 certificate of origin are the agent company and your company, meaning “agent company O/B your company.” The difference in exporter details would not affect custom clearance (unless the Letter of Credit stipulates that documents with third-party shippers or exporters are not accepted).

Just choose option 2 if you don’t have a huge demand for Certificate of Origin China, just pay USD 20-30 and prepare commercial invoice & packing list, the agent company will do the rest job, you will receive the official C.O within one week after confirming the draft. If you have China import & export license and need a large quantity China Certificate of Origin, then you can do the job by yourself or your employee instead of using an agent company.

Different types of CO have different requirements, some preferential certificates of origin may have special requirements, take FORM E as an example, it requires:

  1. Exporter’s details in the original bill of lading, commercial invoice, and packing list must be the same as No.1 column of FORM E – 1. Goods consigned from (exporter’s business name, address, country).
  2. Copy of original bill of lading, China export declaration form, commercial invoice, and packing list.

You must pay attention to the certificate of origin, or you will not have tariff reduction or exemption. Importers can ask China suppliers to send a C/O draft before making the original one, then check the draft with a professional local agent to see if it is OK, ask China suppliers to make changes if there are some mistakes.

How to fill out a Certificate of Origin China

How to Fill in Blank Certificate of Origin
How to Fill in Blank Certificate of Origin

Let’s take a blank CCPIT Certificate of Origin as example (Check the image on the left), there are 12 columns in it, we will explain it one by one.
No.1 Column – Exporter: Name and address details of China supplier & exporter, you can write ON BEHALF OF (O/B)after China exporter and then add Hongkong or other countries company name & address details in this column, but you can’t only fill in a non-China company only in this column.

No.2 Column – Consignee: Name, address, and nationality of the final consignee. It should be the same as the consignee in the bill of lading or letter of credit. Just write “to order” if you don’t know the final consignee.

No.3 Column – Means of transport and route: Write “From (loading port, China) to (discharge port, country) BY SEA” if you import goods with sea shipping containers.

No.4 Column – Country/region of destination: It would be the same as the consignee in the No.2 column.

No.5 Column – For certifying authority use only: No need to write here. It is for special use, such as the “CCPIT is CHINA CHAMBER OF INTERNATIONAL COMMERCE” statement for Saudi Arabia, UAE, and Egypt.

No.6 Column – Marks and numbers: We usually write “N/M” for furniture goods, N/M means No Marks. You can’t print “MADE IN (NON-CHINA COUNTRIES)” in marks.

No.7 Column – Number and kind of packages; description of goods: Just write it as the requirement, remember to write total package CTNS if there are different goods in it, and add **** in the last line to prevent fake content. Sometimes it may require adding the invoice or L/C number under the L/C payment term.

No.8 Column – H.S Code: You need to write down H.S Code for all items.

No.9 Column – Quantity: We usually write down the gross weight of all goods in this column.

No.10 Column – Number and dates of invoice: The invoice number should be the same as the commercial invoice for these goods. Use abbreviation for the date, for example, Aug 20, 2021, and the date here must be earlier than the issue date.

No.11 Column – Declaration by the exporter: Exporter sign and stamp here, the date can’t be earlier than No.10 column invoice date.

No.12 Column – Certification: CIQ or CCPIT stamp here.

That’s our guide about Certificate of Origin in China, we hope it is helpful for you, pls contact us if you need certificate of origin template China, and we will be appreciate if you can leave a comment or share our post, thank you.

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