Your export business in Australia may be exporting different types of goods. For example, there can be goods entirely produced, manufactured or grown in Australia. Then, there can be another category of goods prepared in Australia using raw materials imported from some other country. Also, there can be goods imported from some other country, undergoing value addition in Australia and then re-exported.
So, the thing that matters while exporting goods in each of these categories is their origin. There are many parties that might have an interest in knowing where the goods actually belong to:
And, to cater to their interests, you must produce an important export document called the certificate of origin. In case you are reading this term for the first time, the following guide would help you to understand:
Let’s begin by answering the second question first
Undoubtedly, the global trade setup has become highly complex over all these years. At the same time, countries that are trade partners often indulge in activities and agreements to promote their trade relationships. For instance, Australia has a number of Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) in force with many of its trading partners to facilitate preferential tariffs.
In simple words, preferential tariffs are the Customs duties less than the normal rates. Usually, two trading countries mutually endorse these tariffs to benefit the exporters as well as the importers. In many cases, the tariffs are reduced to zero for a number of export goods.
However, the FTAs don’t entitle every export good for preferential tariffs. Also, it is important that an exporter proves that his/her goods, entitled to receive these tariffs, have their origination point in his/her country only.
So, a certificate of origin serves two purposes:
Now, it makes sense to answer the first question of this discussion.
In the very simple language, a certificate of origin is an export document that certifies the origin (growth, production, manufacture etc.) of the goods intended for export from one country to another. To be specific, a certificate of Australian origin is an export document that certifies that the goods intended for export to countries (with which Australia has FTAs in force) originated in Australia.
Furthermore, a certificate of origin is of two types:
Also, this certificate may act as a guarantee from an exporter to the bank he/she borrows funds from to support importing. The bank may demand this certificate to issue a letter of credit. In this case, a non-preferential certificate of origin is what you may need to provide to your importer.
Coming back to the importance of a certificate of origin, you can now conclude that without it, you can’t:
In Australia, the following bodies have the authorization to issue certificates of origin:
Besides, the ACCI also authorizes the Australian Arab Chamber of Commerce and Industry for issuing the certificate in the regions like Victoria and Queensland.
First of all, you must register with a Chamber of Commerce in your region. Clearly, you must register for a specific FTA, depending on the country you want to export to. For example, you must register for:
To register, you must fill out the Exporter Information Form (Form CO4), providing details about your business. Also, the form must mention the people you want to nominate as signatories for certificates of origin.
Every time you need a certificate, you just need to follow the below steps:
It is recommended to follow the process for electronic documentation to save time as well as costs.