By Dezan Shira & Associates

A Certificate of Origin (CO) is a shipping document indicating that shipped export goods are wholly obtained, produced, manufactured or processed in a particular country to reassure consumers of the origins of the commodity being purchased. Enterprises lawfully established in China and those which enjoy the right to engage in foreign trade are eligible to apply for a CO from the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine of the People’s Republic of China (AQSIQ).

Application Procedure

Applicants should apply to relevant issuing authorities at either the location of the applicant, place of manufacturing of goods, or location of exit customs for a CO prior to the shipment of goods. Preliminarily, the following materials are required when applying for a CO for the first time:

  • A completed Registration Form
  • Business Licence
  • Foreign Trade Operator Registration Form or any other foreign trade qualification certificate
  • Organization Code Certificate
  • A Power of Attorney for Declaration Personnel of Certificate of Origin and the relevant information of the declaration personnel
  • Formatting of the Mark of Origin
  • An application form for the Certificate of Origin (Non-preferential) of the People’s Republic of China
  • A Certificate of Origin (Non-preferential) of the People’s Republic of China filled in pursuant to the provisions
  • Commercial invoice of exports
  • For goods manufactured at a foreign location, the place-of-origin investigation results issued by the issuing authorities of Certificates of Origin are also required for submission
  • For goods manufactured in two or more countries, a Breakdown of Product Costs is also required for submission
  • For electronic applications, an Application Form for Electronic Issuance of Certificate of Origin and a Letter of Undertaking for Electronic Issuance of Certificate of Origin are required for submission

Examination should be completed within two working days from the acceptance of an application for the issuance of a certificate; when the application passes examination, a certificate will be issued.  A CO is valid for one year from the date of issuance. The validity period of a revised or re-issued certificate confers with the period of validity of the original certificate.

Where a commodity is processed or assembled in any way involving imported raw materials or components, or foreign goods re-exported from China, and a Certificate of Origin cannot be applied to, it is possible for an exporter to apply for a Certificate of Processing or Certificate of Re-Export with the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade (CCPIT)

Preferential Certificate of Origin

A Preferential Certificate of Origin helps to improve an export’s competitive edge by making it eligible for preferential tariff treatment. The AQSIQ and CCPIT have separate certification systems in place through their respective online applications:

Applying with the CCPIT

  • Complete the product record-filing procedure using the online system, providing relevant information of the exporter, manufacturer and product. The information will then be submitted to the certificate institution for inspection
  • After obtaining approval of the certification institution for the product, the applicants may submit an application for the preferential certificate of origin through the online system
  • Applicants may collect the certificate from the local certification institution in person. Commercial invoices, packing lists, and the company’s stamp need to be provided upon collection

Applying with the AQSIQ

  • Applicants should first register the product and company information using the online system and submit a scan of its business license, organization code certificate and other relevant documents. The AQSIQ may ask the company to assist with the product origin inspection
  • Prepare for goods delivery and obtain the certificate with the local AQSIQ certificate issuing institution

It is important for an exporter to know the requirements of the target country in order to avoid obstacles when exporting goods. Certificates of origin only need to be issued when they are actually required – for example, to meet customs requirements, to meet statistical needs imposed by the importing country, or to comply with the banking or trade finance requirements.



This article was first published on China Briefing.

Since its establishment in 1992, Dezan Shira & Associates has been guiding foreign clients through Asia’s complex regulatory environment and assisting them with all aspects of legal, accounting, tax, internal control, HR, payroll and audit matters. As a full-service consultancy with operational offices across China, Hong Kong, India and emerging ASEAN, we are your reliable partner for business expansion in this region and beyond. For inquiries, please email us at [email protected] Further information about our firm can be found at:


Posted by USCBC