European Certificate of Origin

BCC Update on Origin Documents

Following the referendum result to leave the EU, the BCC can confirm there are no immediate changes to the issuance of either EU Certificates of Origin or HMRC preference documents.

David Cameron indicated that he would not trigger Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty, leaving this to his successor, who will take office in October. Should this prove correct, the earliest any changes are likely to arise is October 2018, following the two-year negotiation period between the UK and the rest of the EU.

Be assured that the BCC will keep businesses informed of developments as they occur and that we will initiate discussions with government on the future provision of preference documents.


A certificate of Origin is filled out by the exporter and states that the shipment has been wholly produced, manufactured or processed in a particular country. It is an integral part of the export documents needed.

In the UK, Chambers of Commerce are the chosen issues bodies for EU Certificates of Origin.

When applying for a Certificate of Origin the Standard Rules must be followed.

Why is a Certificate of Origin needed?

The buyers, or importers, will need a certificate or origin to:

  • Meet the requirements of customs in their own country
  • Meet quota requirements for the importing country
  • Comply with banking requirements
  • Or need one for official / commercial reasons.

How do I apply for a Certificate of Origin?

  • Collect a blank certificate from the Lincolnshire Chamber of Commerce by emailing Helen Tomkinson or call 01522 846929. Stationary charges are applicable.
  • By post

Applying for the first time

The first time that you apply for a Certificate of Origin, or any certification for international trade with the Lincolnshire Chamber of Commerce, you will need to fill out a Formal Undertakings document and supply authorised signatories. The Formal Undertakings document allows us to file and record all the information needed to effectively process your applications in the future. It is used to double check the information submitted in future documents is accurate and correct. 

Filling out a Certificate of Origin correctly

Watch the video about how to fill out your Certificate or Origin correctly. Or follow the instruction below.

Step By Step Instructions - Completing a European Community Certificate of Origin

The certificate may be typed or may be hand-written in block letters in ink. The appropriate boxes on the Certificate should be completed as follows:

Security Patterned Original and Yellow Copies

Box  1 – Consignor

Insert the name and address of the exporter (i.e. the firm who will invoice the goods overseas). If the manufacturer who is not the exporter is asked to issue the certificate, they should ask the Chamber for advice.

Box 2 - Consignee

Show the name and address of the overseas consignee. If this name is not known, show “TO ORDER” e.g. “TO ORDER JAPAN”.

Box 3 - Country of Origin

For goods made in this country insert: European Community - United Kingdom (neither may be abbreviated). The words United Kingdom may be omitted, but are a common commercial requirement. For goods made in other Community countries insert the appropriate country name if necessary. However, if goods are being re-exported which were imported from outside the Community the name of the country will be shown in the usual way e.g. Japan. Goods which are manufactured outside the United Kingdom are classed as foreign origin and the customer must provide a back up document i.e. Certificate of Origin, invoice, delivery note etc. showing the manufacturing company(ies) names and address.

Special Note - Use of Sitpro Master Document:

If certificates are produced from a SITPRO master there may be insufficient space if the full phrase “European Community - United Kingdom” is needed. In such a case the words "United Kingdom" should be inserted on the master, and the Chamber will add “European Community”.

Box 4 - Transport Details

Optional, but completion is strongly recommended. Show the name of ship or sea, air, road or rail etc as appropriate. Where international transport is by more than one means “mixed transport” may be shown. If means of transport is not yet known, “earliest available transport” is acceptable.

Box 5 - Remarks

Information outside the Chamber’s knowledge such as the customer’s order number, letter of credit number etc may be included if required, preceded by the words, “Consignor’s statement”.

Box 6 - Marks and Numbers

Quantity and Kind of Packages - Description of Goods - Weight (gross and net). Each class of item must be numbered from 1 upwards.

Shipping marks and numbers stencilled on the cases should be shown, or if the package is only addressed, as in the case of a postal parcel, it is sufficient to show “as addressed”.

An adequate commercial description must be given for each item. Trade names or catalogue references are not sufficient; also the general description is not normally adequate. However, when this is not enough space on the form to describe the goods adequately, a detailed invoice for the shipment must be attached to the Certificate. It is then permissible to give a general description followed by the words “According to the Attached Invoice No. ..... dated....." and a copy of the invoice must be attached to each copy of the Certificate including the Chamber’s application.

Box 7 - Quantity

Gross or net weight in kilos should be shown here; if net weight is used this must be indicated.  Other units of measurement e.g. volume or number of items which would indicate exact quantities may also be used where necessary.

Box 8

These spaces are not completed by the exporter. The exporter does not sign the original or the copies but only the application form which is dealt with below (pink copy).

N.B. Ruling Off

A horizontal line must be drawn immediately below the last entry and any unused box above cancelled.

Application Form (Pink)

The Application can be a carbon copy of the details typed on the original and other copies and it will be retained by the Chamber. The following additional information must be inserted:

Box 8

Insert the place and date of signature and sign. The name of the individual whose signature appears must be typed or written in block letters as well as the signature itself. The word “agent” here refers to the individual. If the certificate is completed by a commercial agent such as a forwarding agent, Box 9 must also be completed.

Box 9

If the certificate is signed in Box 8 by someone other than the consignor, insert the name and address of the company (or person) concerned. If there is an agency relationship this should be shown.

Other Notes

Reverse of the Application: Space for Additional Particulars

In this space the necessary evidence of origin of the goods must be inserted. If the goods are manufactured by the consignor named, insert the words “of our manufacture”. If the goods are not of the consignor’s own manufacture, the manufacturers should be listed in this space and their invoices submitted as evidence.

Special arrangements regarding evidence and the appropriate declarations which have been agreed with exporters in the past to meet particular circumstances will continue for the time being.

When the application is made by a forwarding agent the appropriate evidence must be given by a signed statement on the principal’s invoices; the space on the application form will then be completed with, “see attached invoice”.

Applicant's Record

It is essential that applicants should keep a record of their signature as entered on the application, together with the serial number printed on the certificate. Without these details it will not be possible to issue replacement certificates in the event of loss.

Applicants are strongly urged to take a plain carbon copy of the certificate including additional details on the application and to note on this copy the serial number.

Reverse Side of Application Form


Errors must not be erased on the Certificate or the copies. Any alterations must be made by striking out the error and adding any correction necessary above or alongside. Such alterations must be initialled by the applicant. You must not use correction fluid as this will invalidate your certificate.

Please read the instructions on the back of the pink copy, if you have any queries please contact Helen Tomkinson or Rachel Mooney on 01522 523333 for assistance.

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