The International Trade Blog Export Forms
How to Complete an Electronic Certificate of Origin
On: December 7, 2022 | By: David Noah | 3 min. read
As an exporter, you've probably been asked by your international customer for a certificate of origin to identify where your goods have been manufactured. In most cases, the customs authority in the country of import requires a generic certificate of origin that has been stamped by a chamber of commerce.
For years, the only option for exporters was to provide a paper version of the form that they had to deliver or courier to a chamber of commerce office to be reviewed and, hopefully, stamped. Of all the required export documents, obtaining a certificate of origin had one of the most expensive and time-consuming processes.
Recently, however, more and more exporters are going online to request a certificate of origin from a U.S.-based chamber of commerce that can be returned the same day with the chamber seal. It's faster, cheaper, and because it is registered with the International Chamber of Commerce, more secure. Here’s how to complete an electronic certificate of origin (eCO).
An Easier Way to Get a Certificate of Origin
For almost a century, chambers of commerce have been the organizations most exporters rely on to sign and stamp their certificates of origin. The old way of doing this was tedious. It required exporting companies to:
- Manually create the certificate of origin form.
- Deliver or courier it to the chamber.
- Wait for an appropriate staff member to review and certify the certificate.
- Return it to the exporter’s office.
- Forward the certificate of origin by international courier to the importer.
The traditional process was (and is!) time-consuming and expensive when you add all the delivery and courier fees. But the online version—the electronic certificate of origin—is an easier way to get the certificate you need.
How to Create an Electronic Certificate of Origin
This seven-minute video walks you through the entire process of signing up for and creating an electronic certificate of origin. It can be summarized with these three steps:
- Fill out and submit the registration form on the Shipping Solutions website. There is no cost and no obligation until your first electronic certificate of origin is approved.
- Once your registration form has been submitted, you will receive your eCO login credentials and user guide by email within 48 hours.
- Login to the eCO portal to enter your export shipment details. Click Submit when ready.
In just a few hours, you’ll receive email notification that your eCO is approved, certified and ready to use.
Create Your eCO Now!
Ready to start using electronic certificates of origin? Head to our certificates of origin page and fill out the form to begin generating certificates you can use for your export shipment.
If you aren’t interested in or don’t need an electronic version of the certificate of origin form, you can download and print a PDF version of the form.
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This article was first published in November 2015 and has been updated to include current information, links and formatting.
About the Author: David Noah
David Noah is the founder and president of Shipping Solutions, a software company that develops and sells export documentation and compliance software targeted at U.S. companies that export. David is a frequent speaker on export documentation and compliance issues and has published several articles on the topic.