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The British Chamber of Commerce (BCC) as the authorising body in the UK for Certificates of Origin has decided that plain paper United Kingdom Certificates of Origin will be issued from the 1st of April 2023 in the UK.

Over 40% of Certificates of Origin issued worldwide are now printed on plain paper. As we move into a digital future the BCC wants the Chambers to be in the vanguard working with the Government to achieve its digital ambition for a paperless border by 2025. The move to plain paper Certificates of Origin is the first step in this journey.

From this date all applications will have to be made via our online platform eCert https://ecert.sgs.com/ which you have already been signed up to. There are two ways to submit Express (you print the certificate in your workplace) or Standard (we print the certificate for you and return as per your selection). There is also a Premium service for Express or Priority service for Standard. Wet stamp certification required by an importer, bank or destination country customs authority will be via the Standard applications route. Pre-printed Certificates after this date will no longer be valid and need to be destroyed.

Certificates of Origin printed via the online platform have additional security features such as the QR code allowing anyone with the Certificate of Origin to scan the QR code and see an online version of the Certificate of Origin so they can check the version they have has not been amended or falsified. Anyone with the Certificate of Origin will also be able to verify the authenticity of the Certificate of Origin via the ICC verification website https://certificates.iccwbo.org. Increasingly Customs authorities worldwide are looking to be able to verify Certificates of Origin online.

The Standard Rules to be Observed by Applicants for the Issue of Certificates of Origin or for the Certification of International Trade Documents are currently being updated to incorporate the use of plain paper Certificates.

For you, exporter benefits include saving the costs of purchasing the pre-printed certificates along with simplifying the printing of Certificates – you will no longer need to insert a pre-printed Certificate of Origin correctly into the printer before printing. We will be issuing printing guidelines, in the meantime as a general guide the Original (first page) will need to be printed in colour on quality paper, the Copy and Application can be printed in black and white.

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