We are exporting goods to Korea and they have asked for a certificate of origin. We are not the manufacturer of the goods, they were made in USA. Firstly, can we say they are UK origin even though we have only re-packaged and re-labelled the goods? If not, can we issue an EC Certificate of Origin if the goods do not originate in the EC?

To answer your first question first, you cannot change the origin of goods by repacking. For goods to change origin you must do more than handling, they must undergo a process that is substantial enough to change the product, components or raw materials imported and add value. Origin rules (note: we do not mean preference, nothing to do with filling in EUR1 Forms) are governed by the Department for International Trade (formerly the DTI or BIS) but you can receive guidance from most Chambers of Commerce. The second question is answered simply with a yes. You can issue an EC Certificate of Origin (CofO) even if the goods are not EC Origin. To expand on this, the EC in the title of the form means this form, in the same style, is used in all the member states of the EU – it does not mean that goods mentioned on it must be of EC origin. To apply for a certificate of origin you must present the completed EC CofO with your shipping invoice and, because you are not the manufacturer and the origin is not UK, you must provide evidence of USA origin. This can either be a copy of the purchase order, the original supplier’s invoice or, in some cases Chambers will accept a statement from the manufacturer confirming origin. 


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