European Community (EC) Certificate of Origin Completion Guide

Guide to completing European Community Certificates of Origin and other documents


  1. The Certificate of Origin comprises a three part set as follows:

    1. The original certificate (buff coloured sheet with a guilloche security pattern).
    2. The copy certificate (yellow coloured).
    3. The certificate application (pink coloured) for retention by the Chamber.
  2. Each Certificate of Origin set is individually numbered.
  3. Additional copy certificate forms are available from the Chamber for use as required, e.g. to comply with Letter of Credit terms etc.
    The serial number printed on the original certificate and copy must be entered on additional copy forms in the space provided.
  4. The Certificate of Origin set must be completed in typescript. You may want to consider applying for your certificates electronically using e-zCert.
  5. The Certificate of Origin must not contain any erasures or superimposed corrections.  Alterations should be made by crossing out the erroneous entries and adding the correct entries as required.  All alterations should be initialled by the applicant and endorsed by the Chamber.
  6. The Certificate of Origin should normally be completed in English.  However, should requirements of trade demand the completion of the document in any other language, this will be acceptable provided the applicant submits a translation to the Chamber.

Completion of the Certificate

The following details should appear on each sheet on the Certificate of Origin set.

  • Box 1  Consignor

Insert the full name and address (including country) of the UK exporter.

  • Box 2  Consignee

Insert the full name and address of the foreign recipient of the goods.  If the consignment is made to order and the consignee is not known then insert "To Order: For shipment to …………… (the name of the country of destination)".

  • Box 3  Country of Origin

Insert the country of origin of the goods.  For goods originating in the European Community the designation should read "European Community" followed by the particular member state(s), e.g. "European Community-United Kingdom".

N.B. For goods of non community origin then the name of the actual country of origin must be used. Area groupings (e.g. EFTA) are not acceptable.

Where the Certificate includes goods of multiple origins which will not fit in the box, insert "as shown in box 6" in box 3.  When completing the description of goods in box 6, clearly indicate the country of origin against each item listed.

  • Box 4  Transport details (optional)

Indicate the method of transport of the goods, e.g. road, airfreight, seafreight etc.

If the method of transport is unknown at the time of application, insert "First available transport".

Where more than one method of transport is being used insert "Mixed transport".

  • Box 5  Remarks

This can be left blank or used for any additional information e.g. Letter of Credit details

  • Box 6  Item number, marks, numbers, number and kind of packages, description of goods

Insert the number and type of packages to be consigned e.g. 4 boxes, 3 bales, 5 cartons, etc., together with any marks and numbers appearing on the packages.

If the goods consigned are not packed insert "unpacked".  If the goods are simply addressed to the customer insert "fully addressed".

If the goods are not marked then indicate "Unmarked".

Insert the description of the goods. This must be sufficient detail to clearly indicate the nature of the goods. Descriptions must not be too general, vague, ambiguous or solely given by trademark or brand name e.g. Spare parts or Pampers or something similar.
Clearly indicate each separate description by the use of item numbers.

After the final entry in box 6, the box should be ruled across and all unused space crossed through diagonally.

Should there be insufficient space in box 6 to describe all the goods adequately, then it is permissible to insert a general description of the goods followed by the phrase "as per invoice number...".

  • Box 7  Quantity

Insert gross and nett weight in kilos.  Should the weight be unknown, this detail may be replaced by other identifying particulars e.g. number of individual items, metres, litres etc.

The following particulars are to be completed on the pink application form only.

  • Box 8

Indicate the place (i.e. town) where the application is signed, the date of application, and the name of the person signing the application.  This detail should be entered on the line indicated by "Place and date" and "Signature of the applicant".

Immediately above this detail the applicant must sign the application.

It is essential that all applicants lodge list of their authorised signatories with Chamber International together with specimens of their signatures.  Click for a copy of the Formal UndertakingAuthorised Signatory Form and Standard Rules.

Box 9 - Applicant if not the consignor

Where the applicant is a forwarding agent acting on behalf of the consignor, then the name and full address of the agent should be inserted in this box.

Reverse of the pink application form

This forms part of the application and undertaking signed by the applicant in box 8 on the application form and must be completed. This is done by ticking the box appropriate to the goods in question and providing the necessary supporting documents as required. There are three boxes to choose from:

  1. Where goods are wholly of United Kingdom origin. This relates to UK raw materials or goods manufactured from UK raw materials.
  2. Where goods are of United Kingdom origin by virtue of the processing that the goods have been subjected to in the UK - give details of the relevant manufacturing process.
  3. Where goods are not of United Kingdom origin. In such circumstances the origin has to be declared and a list of supporting documents given in support of the declaration. Such supporting evidence must be attached to the application.

Negative declarations and political boycott statements

Chamber International will not issue a Certificate of Origin containing any negative declaration (e.g. that the goods are not of a particular origin), nor will Chamber International issue a Certificate of Origin containing any statements relating to any political boycotts, (e.g. that the manufacturer/exporter is not a blacklisted company etc).

These rules will not be waived under any circumstances.


You can apply now for Certificates of Origin and invoices online using our secure certification system e-z Cert. For more information call 0845 034 7200 or email us.

7 most common errors on Certificates of Origin

Learn how to avoid them  here