In international trade, Freight Forwarders are the companies that make things happen after an Exporter has made a sale. While making the sale is obviously the critical first step, Forwarders are called upon by most Exporters to move their merchandise from one country to another, and deal with myriad Customs rules and varying local procedures in the roughly 200 countries of the world.
Certificates of Origin and other Chamber of Commerce-certified documents are one area in which Forwarders support their export clients. Origin documentation is often important when determining import duties applied by customs authorities on goods coming into a country. Exporters want to ensure their goods can enter foreign markets as friction-free and inexpensively as possible, a role in which Freight Forwarders excel.
Some interesting developments on the world stage are making compliance with Certificate of Origin standards even more critical. The International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) – the same organization that established INCOTERMS and other international trade frameworks – now has a set of guidelines governing Certificate of Origin issuance. In those countries that require Certificates of Origin, Customs Authorities are becoming more rigorous in their examination of these crucial documents, working closely with ICC to standardize procedures.
Recent tensions between major trade counterparts such as the US and China, particularly regarding the application of higher tariffs based on origin of goods, are certain to increase the need for Certificates of Origin. Customs Authorities are tasked with enforcing tariffs, and Certificates of Origin are a critical part of this process. For exporters in the UK, Brexit is also expected to increase the need for origin documentation, as British-made goods will need to be clearly distinguished from goods made in the European Union.
All of these developments make getting Certificates of Origin right even more critical to international Freight Forwarders
essCert supports Forwarders in that mission through a comprehensive, web-based digital platform, with tools specifically designed to enable paperless certification for Freight Forwarders. Local offices of large Forwarders, as well as independent forwarders with just one or two offices, use essCert to digitize their Certificate of Origin processes in the countries in which we operate. We work closely with Chambers of Commerce to ensure our platform complies fully with ICC guidelines and other national and international changes (such as FTAs) as they occur. We also provide nationwide white-labeled platforms to Forwarders who want to assure compliance and consistency across an entire nation.
If you’re a Freight Forwarder looking to ensure streamlined origin document processes in an ever-changing global trade landscape, contact us to get started on your journey to paperless certification!