Expert Assistance for Certificate of Origin Application

In international trade, the Certificate of Origin (CoO) is a vital document establishing the country where goods or commodities being exported were initially manufactured or produced. This document is a requirement for many countries and is frequently referenced in trade agreements to assess the eligibility of goods for import and to determine the applicable customs duties. Therefore, every exporter shipping goods from India must secure this certificate. At IndiaFilings, our team of experts specialises in assisting entrepreneurs in obtaining this crucial document. Talk to our experts today for guidance and support in navigating this process!

What is a Certificate of Origin (CoO)?

The Certificate of Origin (CoO) is critical in international trade as it is the definitive document establishing the origin of goods exported from India. Provided by the Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT), this certificate verifies the country where the products were manufactured, produced, or obtained. The DGFT CoO plays a crucial role in facilitating cross-border trade by enabling exporters to prove the origin of their goods and determine eligibility for tariff preferences.

This document is significant for products like fruits, vegetables, and flowers that need to be moved quickly because it helps them get through customs easily and ensures they meet all the trade rules when exported or imported.

Importance of Certificate of Origin

The Certificate of Origin (CoO) is of utmost importance in international trade for several reasons:

  • Proof of Product Origin: The Certificate of Origin certifies that goods in an export shipment were manufactured, produced, or processed in a specific country.
  • Essential Product Information: It includes vital product details, such as their nationality, country of origin, and intended destination.
  • Import Eligibility and Customs Duties: The CoO is crucial for determining a product's eligibility for import and assessing applicable customs duties.
  • Customs Clearance Requirement: Customs officials require the Certificate of Origin to carry out customs clearance procedures, ensuring that goods meet import regulations.
  • Facilitates Smooth Goods Movement: By verifying compliance with import regulations, the CoO facilitates the smooth movement of goods across international borders.
  • Determines Product Authenticity: The document is key in assessing the origin and authenticity of products in international trade transactions, influencing tariff rates and enforcing trade agreements.

Types of Certificate of Origin

Exporters can obtain two primary varieties of the Certificate of Origin (CoO):

  • Preferential Certificate of Origin
  • Non-Preferential Certificate of Origin (NP CoO)

Preferential Certificate of Origin

This certificate is allocated to exports eligible for tariff concessions under certain trade pacts. It is essential for exporting goods to nations where India benefits from tariff reductions or exemptions under these agreements.

Such certificates are provided for products entitled to favourable tariff rates, including reduced or complete tariff waivers. These preferential treatments are typically part of trade agreements between two or more countries, offering tariff reliefs for goods traded among them.

Non-Preferential Certificate of Origin (NP CoO)

Conversely, the Non-Preferential Certificate of Origin authenticates the origin of exported goods without affording them any tariff advantages. This certificate is relevant for exports ineligible for tariff concessions, indicating that the goods are subject to standard tariffs during the import/export procedures.

These certificates serve distinct purposes in export transactions and are crucial for adhering to the stipulations of various trade agreements.

Benefits of Certificate of Origin

The Certificate of Origin (CoO) offers several benefits in international trade:

  • Tariff Preferences: It enables exporters to qualify for preferential tariff rates or duty exemptions under trade agreements, reducing the cost of importing/exporting goods and enhancing competitiveness.
  • Compliance with Regulations: The CoO ensures compliance with import regulations, including labelling, packaging, and safety standards, facilitating smooth customs clearance and avoiding trade barriers.
  • Access to Trade Benefits: Some trade agreements or programs offer additional benefits beyond tariff reduction, such as government incentives, subsidies, or quotas, which the CoO helps unlock.
  • Authenticity and Traceability: By verifying the origin of goods, the CoO establishes authenticity and traceability in supply chains, helping combat counterfeiting, intellectual property infringements, and unauthorised transhipment.
  • Trade Data Collection: Certificates of Origin contribute to trade data collection, enabling authorities to track and analyse trade flows, monitor market trends, evaluate trade policies, and formulate strategies for economic development.

The Certificate of Origin is crucial in facilitating international trade, ensuring compliance with regulations, and promoting fair and transparent trade practices.

The Role of Certificate of Origin in Trade Policy

The Certificate of Origin (CoO) is an independent tool of commercial policy aimed at promoting and nurturing mutual trade relations while fostering economic cooperation among nations. It is intricately connected to the foundational concept of tariffs, a long-standing instrument in commercial policy.

At its essence, the CoO serves to ascertain and validate the origin of goods being exchanged in trade. It furnishes essential details regarding the country where the goods were produced, manufactured, or sourced. This information is essential in determining the applicable tariff rates or preferential treatment that may be accorded under various trade agreements.

Understand Tariffs and their Relationship with CoO

As a broader concept, tariffs denote the taxes levied on imported goods and have historically been central to trade policy frameworks. They serve multifaceted purposes such as safeguarding domestic industries, regulating imports, generating revenue, or furthering strategic economic goals. The CoO seamlessly integrates with the tariff framework by enabling customs authorities to apply the relevant tariff rates accurately based on the origin of the goods. This mechanism helps thwart misclassification or erroneous claims regarding the origin of goods, ensuring the correct tariff rates are levied during the import process.

CoO's Importance in Trade Agreements

Furthermore, the CoO is pivotal in trade agreements and preferential trade arrangements. These accords often entail the reduction or elimination of tariffs on goods traded between participating nations. Here, the Certificate of Origin is indispensable in verifying that the goods adhere to the stipulated criteria outlined in the agreement, thereby qualifying them for preferential treatment.

Certificate of Origin (CoO) Issued for Exports from India under Various Trade Agreements

The e-platform for Certificate of Origin (CoO) issuance facilitates exports from India under several trade agreements. The following trade agreements are currently applied and issued through the electronic platform:

  • ICPTA – India Chile Preferential Trade Agreement
  • SAFTA – South Asia Free Trade Agreement
  • SAPTA – SAARC Preferential Trade Agreement
  • IKCEP – India Korea Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement
  • IJCEPA – India-Japan Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement
  • AIFTA – ASEAN India Free Trade Agreement
  • ISFTA – India Sri Lanka Free Trade Agreement
  • APTA – Asia Pacific Trade Agreement
  • GSP – Generalized System of Preferences
  • GSTP – Global System of Trade Preferences
  • IMCECA – India Malaysia Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement
  • ISCECA – India Singapore Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement
  • India-Mercosur Preferential Trade Agreement
  • India-Thailand Early Harvest Scheme
  • India-UAE Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (India-UAE CEPA)
  • ICPTA – India Chile Preferential Trade Agreement

Eligibility Criteria for Products under the Certificate of Origin

Under the Certificate of Origin, products are categorised based on specific criteria to determine their eligibility for preferential treatment originating from a contracting nation. The categories include:

  • Wholly Obtained or Produced Products: This category encompasses items that are entirely obtained or produced within the territory of the contracting country. Examples include:
  • Live animals born and raised in the country
  • Agricultural products harvested within the country
  • Products derived from animals grown in the country
  • Marine products caught or harvested by vessels registered with the country
  • Products extracted from the ground or harvested from natural resources within the country
  • Products Produced Exclusively in the Territory: These are products made entirely within the country using raw materials or components sourced locally, without incorporating any materials from outside the contracting nation.
  • Sufficient Working or Production: Products that have undergone substantial transformation or processing within the contracting country, meeting the Product Specific Rules (PSRs), also qualify. This transformation often involves changes in the product's HS code or other criteria specified in the trade agreement to confer origin.

Note: Exporters must provide a Certificate of Origin for their products to affirm their origin as per the stipulations of the trade agreements between the involved nations, ensuring the products are recognised for preferential treatment under those agreements.

DGFT Online Platform for Issuance of Certificate of Origin

The Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) has unveiled an innovative online portal to issue the Preferential Certificate of Origin (CoO). This unified platform caters to issuing Certificates of Origin across all trade agreements, encompassing both Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) and Preferential Trade Agreements (PTAs). Crafted to streamline the process, the platform offers exporters a seamless, secure, and entirely digital method for acquiring CoOs, eliminating the need for paper-based documentation.

Documents Required for DGFT CoO

To get a Certificate of Origin from the DGFT, you'll need to provide:

  • Shipping Bills: Details about what you're shipping, including the items, how many, and how much they're worth.
  • Bill of Lading/Airway Bill: A receipt from the shipping company with details like who's sending and receiving the shipment and where it's going.
  • Invoice Copy: A detailed bill showing what's in the shipment, including each item's price.
  • Packing List: A list showing what's in each package, how it's packed, and how much it weighs.
  • Digital Signature Certificate: For submitting your application online, you need a digital signature

Registration Process for Obtaining a Certificate of Origin

The registration process for obtaining a Certificate of Origin typically involves the following steps:

Account Creation

Create an account on the designated platform for Certificate of Origin applications. This may involve registering with the relevant authority or organisation responsible for issuing CoOs.

Document Submission

Provide all required documentation and information to support your application. This may include details about the exported goods, origin, exporter, and relevant trade agreements.


The issuing authority will review the submitted documents to ensure they meet the criteria for issuing a Certificate of Origin. This may involve verifying the origin of the goods and ensuring compliance with relevant regulations.

Issuance of Certification

Upon successful verification and inspection, and if the application meets all criteria under the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) or other relevant trade agreements, the Certificate of Origin is issued to the applicant. The registration and the certificate must be in English, containing all essential details about the product and the exporting entity.

Renewal or Reapplication

Depending on the duration of validity of the CoO and the specific requirements of the exporting country or trade agreement, exporters may need to renew or reapply for the certificate for subsequent shipments.

At IndiaFilings, our team of experts can guide you through obtaining a Certificate of Origin.

Simplify CoO Application Process with IndiaFilings

IndiaFilings assists businesses in obtaining a Certificate of Origin (CoO) efficiently and effectively. Our team of experts guides entrepreneurs through every step of the process, from account creation to documentation submission and verification. We ensure that all necessary information is accurately provided and that the application meets the requirements set forth by the issuing authority. With IndiaFilings, businesses can easily navigate the CoO application process, saving time and resources while ensuring compliance with international trade regulations.

Certificate of Origin FAQ's

What is a Certificate of Origin (CoO)?

A CoO is a document that certifies the country where goods exported from India were manufactured, produced, or processed.

Why is the Certificate of Origin important in international trade?

It serves as proof of product origin, determines import eligibility and customs duties, and is required for customs clearance.

What are the types of Certificate of Origin available?

There are two types: Preferential Certificate of Origin and Non-Preferential Certificate of Origin (NP CoO).

What is the role of the Certificate of Origin in trade policy?

It promotes mutual trade relations and economic cooperation among nations, and is crucial for applying accurate tariffs and preferential treatments under trade agreements.

How does the Certificate of Origin affect tariffs?

The CoO enables customs to apply the correct tariff rates based on the origin of goods, preventing misclassification and ensuring fair trade.

What benefits does the Certificate of Origin provide?

It offers tariff preferences, ensures compliance with regulations, provides access to trade benefits, and supports authenticity and traceability.

What is the Preferential Certificate of Origin?

This certificate allows exports to benefit from tariff reductions or exemptions under specific trade agreements.

What is the Non-Preferential Certificate of Origin?

It authenticates the origin of goods without providing any tariff advantages.

How is the Certificate of Origin used in customs clearance?

Customs officials require the CoO to verify the compliance of goods with import regulations, facilitating smooth customs procedures.

What is the significance of the Certificate of Origin for agricultural products like fruits and vegetables?

It helps these perishable goods clear customs quickly and ensures they meet all trade regulations, facilitating their international movement.

How does one obtain a Certificate of Origin in India?

Exporters must apply through the Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) or authorized agencies, providing required documents and information.

What documents are required to obtain a Certificate of Origin from DGFT?

Essential documents include Shipping Bills, Bill of Lading/Airway Bill, Invoice Copy, Packing List, and a Digital Signature Certificate.

What is the registration process for obtaining a Certificate of Origin?

The process involves creating an account on a designated platform, submitting documents, undergoing verification, and then receiving the certification upon approval.

How does the Certificate of Origin facilitate international trade?

It ensures goods comply with international trade regulations, reduces import/export costs through tariff preferences, and supports fair and transparent trade practices.

What trade agreements are currently supported by India's e-platform for CoO issuance?

Agreements include ICPTA, SAFTA, SAPTA, IKCEP, IJCEPA, AIFTA, ISFTA, APTA, GSP, GSTP, IMCECA, ISCECA, India-Mercosur PTA, India-Thailand EHS, and India-UAE CEPA.

What are the eligibility criteria for products under the Certificate of Origin?

Products must be wholly obtained or produced in the territory, produced exclusively within the country, or meet sufficient working or production criteria as per Product Specific Rules (PSRs).

How does the Certificate of Origin help combat counterfeiting and intellectual property infringements?

By establishing the authenticity and traceability of goods, it helps in fighting against counterfeit products and unauthorized transhipment.

Can the Certificate of Origin be used to collect trade data?

Yes, it contributes to trade data collection, allowing authorities to track trade flows, monitor market trends, and evaluate trade policies.

What role does IndiaFilings play in obtaining a Certificate of Origin?

IndiaFilings assists businesses by guiding them through the application process, ensuring compliance with requirements and facilitating the acquisition of the CoO.

How does the Certificate of Origin impact economic development strategies?

It enables the analysis of trade flows and market trends, assisting in the formulation of strategies for economic development and policy evaluation.

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