4 Important Steps of Obtaining the Certificates of Origin

The certificates of origin are the documentary evidence that makes certain export and import goods eligible for reduced or completely eliminated tariffs as prescribed by a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between the two trading countries. Australia has signed a number of FTAs with the countries, the examples including:

  • JAEPA with Japan
  • ChAFTA with China
  • KAFTA with Korea
  • AANZFTA with New Zealand and ASEAN countries

As an exporter from Australia, you need to follow 4 important steps to obtain a certificate of origin from one of the Chambers of Commerce in the country. These steps are common for every FTA that Australia has signed with other countries and include:

Step 1: Understanding Tariff Classification

The first step is to identify the customs tariff code for the category of goods you wish to export from Australia. These codes are prescribed by the globally-accepted Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System, also known as HS Coding System. To learn about these classification codes, you can directly consult the Customs Services of the destination country. For example, you can search for the tariff classification code of your goods intended for export to Japan by reaching out to the Japanese Customs Service.

Step 2: Know How Your Goods Are Treated under FTAs

Once you know the classification code for your goods, the next thing is to learn how your goods will be treated under specific free trade agreements. In other words, you need to find out whether your goods would be completely exempted from the tariffs or would enjoy preferential rates. For this, you need to read the tariff schedule which presents in the form of tables the information like base duty rate, tariff staging category and more for each product category.

Step 3: Decide the Eligibility of Your Goods Based on Origin

The goods usually qualify for the reduced tariffs under FTAs if they wholly originate (are grown/produced/obtained) in Australia. In addition, there are other categories like whether the good was manufactured from materials originating in Australia. Refer to these guidelines carefully.

Step 4: Prepare the Certificate of Origin

Finally, you need to prepare a certificate of origin according to the formats prescribed under the FTAs and by the Chambers of Commerce. Using a software, you can submit these documents electronically to a chamber for quick stamping and approval.

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