Why is a Certificate of Origin Important for Export Documentation?

The Certificate of Origin verifies the place of growth, production, and manufacture of goods. It contains a certification by an empowered authority.
In Australia, the Certificate of Origin is used to specify that goods were grown, produced and manufactured in Australia. Likewise, a Certified Declaration of Origin verifies the origin of products manufactured out of Australia and/or combined in a shipment with products originating from Australia.

Certificate of Australian Origin is required:

  • For exporting goods from Australia
  • For customs clearance at the delivery port
  • As mentioned in a letter of credit

This certificate is typically important for customs clearance at the country of arrival. Overseas buyers and business receiving goods can also request a Certificate of Origin. In some cases, companies receiving goods would also require the certificate before authorizing the bank to issue a letter of credit.

According to certain free trade agreements, the Certificate of Origin is mandatory to apply for preferential tariffs. For instance, Australian exports should register under the Thailand-Australia Free Trade Agreement or TAFTA with a TAFTA Certificate of Origin to qualify for preferential rates.

TAFTA Certificate of Origin

Goods exported to Thailand should have a TAFTA Certificate of Origin to gain preferential tariff rates under the Thailand Free Trade Agreement. The certificate is needed to reduce tariff/duty rates on all goods under the agreement.

To obtain a TAFTA Certificate of Origin, you have to register as a TAFTA exporter and then apply.

Like TAFTA, Free Trade Agreements, including Korea, New Zealand, and Japan, also bind other countries.

KAFTA Certificate of Origin

Korea-Australia Free Trade Agreement or KAFTA Certificate of Origin is required to access reduced duty/tariff rates under the Free Trade Agreement.

The certificate can be used for goods exported in Korea in order to reduce duty and tariffs. To obtain this certificate, you have to register as an exporter to KAFTA. Only goods originating in Australia or Korea can enjoy duty preferences under KAFTA preferential rule of origin. It is also useful to prevent transshipment (goods from third-party can be redirected through Korea or Australia to avoid import tariff).

JAEPA Certificate of Origin

JAEPA Certificate of Origin under JAEPA is required to access reduced duty/tariff rates on goods under the Japan Australia Economic Partnership Agreement. The JAEPA certificate of origin can be used to eliminate duty and tariff rates on those goods. In order to obtain this certificate, you have to register with the authorized body as a JAEPA exporter.

Goods originating in either Australia or Japan enjoy preferential tariff under JAEPA rules of origin.

The Basic Rule

The rule to obtain any of these aforementioned certificates is as follows:

  • Goods should be wholly produced or obtained entirely in Australia or the country with which Free Trade Agreement is signed – Japan, Thailand, New Zealand, Korea
  • Goods should be produced wholly in Australia or the specified country from materials classified as the “originating” category under rules of origin
  • Goods should be produced in Australia or the specified country using inputs from different countries to meet the Product Specific Rules applicable to those goods