Certificates of Origin

What is a certificate of origin?

A Certificate of Origin (CO) is a document required by foreign governments that validates the country of origin of where the product was manufactured. Virtually every country in the world considers the origin of imported goods when determining what duty will be assessed on the goods or, in some cases, whether the goods may be legally imported at all. This certificate authenticates these actions.

Origin does not refer to the country where the goods were shipped from, but to the country where they were made.  In the event the products were manufactured in two or more countries, origin is obtained in the country where the last substantial economically justified work or process is carried out.  An often used practice is that if more than 50% of the cost of producing the goods originates from one country, the “national content” is more than 50%, then, that country is acceptable as the country of origin.

How do I obtain a certificate of origin?

It’s simple! Download form >>

What is the cost?

  • $25 for Metro Chamber Members*
  • $50 for nonmembers

* Reduced pricing may be available for Metro Chamber Members that frequently use the service. Please contact us at (916) 552-6801 to discuss further.

What is the process?

The Certificate of Origin form must be produced by your business, signed by the exporter, and notarized (if applicable). We require all members to fill out a yearly Indemnity Agreement form. Once this process is completed, bring the form(s) to the Sacramento Metro Chamber of Commerce office (1 Capitol Mall, Suite 700, Sacramento) for a final validation by receiving an authorized signature and our chamber seal.

How do I schedule an appointment?

To schedule an appointment, please call us at (916) 552-6801 or email vdebord@metrochamber.org.


The formalization in the role of chambers of commerce as issuing agencies for certificates of origin (CO) can be traced back to the 1923 Geneva Convention relating to the Simplification of Customs Formalities (Article 11) and has been reinforced with the updated Kyoto Convention. Under these Conventions, signatory governments were able to allow organizations “which possess the necessary authority and offer the necessary guarantees” to the State to issue certificates of origin. Thus due to the widespread network of the chamber of commerce community, in most countries, chambers of commerce were seen as these organizations allowed to issue certificates of origin. As such, seen as “competent authorities”, chambers began to more widely issue non-preferential certificates of origin.

In 1968, at the Uruguay Round, an agreement was reached on Rules of Origin which led to more transparent regulations and practices regarding rules of origin (RoO). Later, in 1999, the Revised Kyoto Convention added an Annex on the Simplification and Harmonization of Customs Procedures to further facilitate the transfer of legal documents in international trade.  By 2008, 350 Free Trade Agreements had been reached with provisions on preferential treatment; 400 Free Trade Agreements are expected by 2012, seeing an expansion on the issuance of preferential certificates of origin

Links provided below for more information

NAFTA Trade Information