Chambers of Commerce Discuss Developments in Certificates of Origin
Members of chambers of commerce in more than 30 countries met in Paris recently for the latest in a series of dialogues on recent developments in certificates of origin, including electronic COs, the issuance of preferential COs and self-certification. According to a Dec. 10 press release from the International Chamber of Commerce, highlights of this meeting included the following.
- The ICC’s World Chambers Federation announced the anticipated Jan. 21 launch of the CO verification Web site, which will provide customs authorities the opportunity to verify online the authenticity of COs issued by participating chambers.
- The ICC’s CO Council approved the creation of an Electronic Certificate of Origin Task Force to raise the level of acceptability of eCO by customs administrations around the world.
- There were roundtable discussions on the position of chambers on trusted trader programs, the challenges of chambers serving as authorizing bodies to issue preferential COs, and the issues that self-certification raises for small and medium-sized enterprises.
- A representative from Europe discussed various CO-related activities in that region, including the European Union’s new Union Custom Code, which comes into effect in June 2016, and the European Commission’s initiative on the mandatory labeling of origin on consumer goods.
- A World Trade Organization official spoke on recent WTO developments concerning rules of origin, including the latest work on preferential rules of origin for least-developed countries and on harmonizing non-preferential rules of origin.
- A Dubai Chamber of Commerce official called on Gulf Cooperation Council countries to accept electronic COs and detailed how his organization has made CO applications possible via smartphone.