When you want to export your products overseas, you’ll usually need a Certificate of Origin (CO). This important piece of paperwork confirms that the exported goods within a shipment is Canadian in origin, manufacture or process.
You might need to present a Certificate of Origin to Customs, importers based abroad, freight companies, or to banks to clear credit lines.
How to create a Certificate of Origin
There are three key stages to creating a Certificate of Origin.
- Your business creates a certificate for every shipment to be exported giving full details of what exactly is in each shipment.
- Your Certificate of Origin must be notarized. This involves the person who wrote the Certificate confirming to a a lawyer or a notary public that the facts in the documents are true.
- Once a Certificate has been notarized, it must be authenticated (certified) by an reputable organization.
Authenticating your Certificate of Origin
As a reputable organisation, your local Chamber here in Woodstock can help our members significantly reduce the timescale for creating Certificate of Origin. We can authenticate them with our Chamber stamp here at the Chamber of Commerce offices here in Woodstock.
Why have your Certificates authenticated at your local Chamber
If you send different goods at different times, you will need an individual Certificate of Origin for each shipment. It really helps to have someone else look over the details, and check them before you submit your documents are notarized. This way, mistakes can be spotted before paying a notarization fee if you don’t have a Letter of Waiver, or before having your Certificate stamped (if you do. It’s also a good way to keep in touch with us here at the Chamber, and to get first-hand information on how we can help you grow your export business.
What do I need to get my Certificate of Origin authenticated?
To certify your Certificates of Origin, we need to see:
- All your documentation to review in advance of notarization.
- Copies of the original notarized documents OR a letter of waiver
- Proof of your company’s registration in Canada
- Your annual business license renewal
- A related invoice, packing list, and waybill
All documents in support of a Certificate of Origin must be presented less than 24 months from the date of issue.
Proof of origin
You need to show us proof of origin for all items listed on your CO.
If you manufacture your own goods in Canada, this could be:
- A signed and notarized declaration on your company’s letterhead detailing the goods manufactured.
- A valid factory/official license issued by a government entity referencing your manufacturing operations.
If you export good produced by another Canadian company, this could be:
- A signed and dated invoice from the manufacturer or supplier, confirming the origin of the goods (This is known as 3rd party confirmation).
- A declaration from the manufacturer / supplier on their company letterhead detailing the origin of the goods in question.
What is a Letter of Waiver?
A Letter of Waiver removes the need for every single Certificate of Origin to be notarized each time. It confirms that your business takes full responsibility for the contents of your documents, and “agrees to release and hold harmless” the Chamber who will certify them. Each Letter of Waiver is valid for two years unless your business changes its name, in which case you will need a new Letter.
The Letter itself must be:
- Signed by an authorized representative of your business
- Signed and/or sealed by a Notary or Commissioner of Oaths
Your Letter of Waiver should be accompanied by current proof of your business registration.
Online certification by the Canadian Chamber of Commerce
As a member of Woodstock Chamber of Commerce, you can access an online certification service for Certificates of Origin. This service, operated by partners TradeCert, allows your business to apply online, and print off Certificates in your own office. However, you still need to send off forms to register for the online service. For more details, see the Canadian Chamber Certification page
Fees for Chamber authentication
Fees apply for Chamber authentication of your Certificates of Origin, whether online or in person here in Woodstock. For the latest fees, call us at the Chamber’s offices.
Need help with any aspect of a Certificate of Origin?
Call us at 519 539 9411 – we’re always happy to help. Please also call to make an appointment to have your Certificate of Origin certified in person, so we can ensure someone is in the office to help you.