Hands using pen to sign certificate of origin in Australia
Preparing to export

Why do I need a Certificate of Origin?

A Certificate of Origin (CO) is vital in exporting globally and bringing products to overseas markets.


16 April 2024

It is one of many possible pieces of documentation you will need in order to export products.

What is a Certificate of Origin in Australia?

A Certificate of Australian Origin is used to specify goods that have been grown, produced or manufactured in Australia. Similarly, a Certified Declaration of Origin verifies the origin of goods manufactured outside Australia and or combined in a shipment with Australian originating products.

A Certificate of Australian Origin is often required:

  • to export certain goods from Australia

  • for customs clearance at the port of delivery

  • as stipulated in a letter of credit.

Certificates of Origin can also be requested by the overseas buyer or the business receiving your goods, as some will require this document before authorising their bank to issue a letter of credit and thus payment.

Are you preparing to export?

Whether you are an experienced exporter or exploring export opportunities for the first time, it's critical to understand what is required and to stay up to date. Our friendly team can guide you through the process of obtaining the right export documents you require to ensure smooth customs clearance and facilitate duty exemptions.

What types of Certificate of Origin are there?

There are two types of Certificate of Origin.  

The first is a non-preferential Certificate of Origin, or simply an ordinary certificate. This is by far the more common type and essentially states that the goods’ country of origin does not fall under any kind of preferential treatment.  

The second type, a preferential Certificate of Origin, is used when the goods are subject to reduced tariffs or exemptions. For example, if the country you are exporting to has a Free Trade Agreement in place with Australia. This typically gives you preferential rates when exporting.  

Australia currently has Free Trade Agreements with a number of countries, including:

  • New Zealand
  • Canada
  • USA
  • Thailand
  • China
  • Japan
  • Korea
  • Cambodia
  • Indonesia
  • Malaysia
  • Philippines
  • Singapore
  • Vietnam
  • Peru
  • Brunei Darussalam
  • Laos
  • Myanmar
  • Mexico
  • Chile
  • India
  • United Kingdom

You will need to research which certificate is required for your goods.

A Certificate of Australian Origin is used to specify goods that have been grown, produced or manufactured in Australia.

How to complete a Certificate of Origin

To complete a Certificate of Origin, you must first find a government authority or authorised body that is an authorised issuer. 

The authority will not only supply you with the correct form, but you will submit it through them as well. 

There are roughly a dozen issuers across Australia, many of which are specific to your state or territory, and some which are specific to the types of goods you are exporting. 

For example, these include:

  • The Australian Grape and Wine Authority

  • Australian Business Chamber

  • Victorian Chamber of Commerce and Industry

  • South Australian Business Chamber

Note that most authorised issuers offer online services to speed up your application process and add an extra layer of security.

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