certificate of origin

A birth certificate for your goods

Whether in the area of domestic or foreign trade – in many cases, buyers require proof of origin for the goods being delivered. With a certificate of origin, the IHK Potsdam attests that a product has been manufactured in its own respective base of operations in Germany, or that the final significant work process was undertaken in an enterprise in Germany. Conversely, we also certify on the basis of supplier declarations and other suitable reference documents that goods originating in a third country were not produced by the company itself.
In a manner of speaking, the certificate of origin is like a birth certificate for goods. If you transport these over European borders to another country, you will need definitive proof of their commercial origins. We can provide you with just that.

What does one need to keep in mind?

For a start, check whether the import requirements of the destination land or the conditions of the purchasing contract (or letter of credit) explicitly require a certificate of origin. If you then choose to file a request for a certificate of origin through the IHK Potsdam, ensure that the applicant is named and the registered seat of the company is located in our chamber district. However, the operations of the sender of the goods may be located outside of our chamber district.
So that everything can ultimately be processed quickly, the product must already be ready for shipping at the point of filing for a certificate of origin.

Which forms are necessary?

The necessary pre-printed forms are available at the IHK or via the form publisher. Those requiring more than 50 copies are best advised to order the pre-printed forms directly through the publisher. These consist of an application on red paper and the original certificate of origin. If the certificate of origin is being requested twice or more, please use the yellow carbon copies.
Please use our writable filing assistant to fill out all forms. (Link). You can enter all necessary information directly into the PDF and print out your application with all associated forms in-house at your enterprise. We are not permitted to process any handwritten applications.

How long does it take?

The simplest and most convenient option is to receive your certificate of origin via mail. For this option, you must send all filled-out documents to the IHK in a timely fashion. The processing time at the IHK Potsdam is usually one to two days. 
In urgent cases, we offer an immediate processing service, Monday through Friday from 9:30 to 14:00. If this is impossible for you due to scheduling conflicts, we are happy to arrange an individual appointment over the phone.
Applications for a certificate of origin can also be submitted online, with subsequent printing in your own company of the corresponding forms. This way, you can save yourself a trip to the IHK Potsdam. However, the IHK signature card is a prerequisite for this option. (Link to electronic certificate of origin / IHK signature card)

What are the benefits of an IHK certificate of origin?

With proof of commercial origin of a product, it is easier for the recipient countries to control their flow of goods and monitor import restrictions and quotas. The certificate of origin is also necessary when it comes to the question of export credit insurance (Hermes export credit guarantee).

The issuing procedure

So that we can reliably attest to the origins of a product, we need to ask for certain information. If the product was produced in one's own enterprise, we ask about operational conditions and production programs. On the other hand, if you indicate that you are not the manufacturer of the product, then you must also submit proof of origin. For goods manufactured in the EU, we accept supplier declarations with preferential origin, IHK declaration, certificates of origin and EUR.1. With a REX declaration on the invoice or a certificate of origin (Form A), we can also provide you with a certificate of origin for goods from third countries.
The IHK Potsdam may review your submitted information via written or verbal correspondence, and if necessary may require an examination of business records. In rare cases, if the submitted documents are insufficient or inapplicable, or necessary information is withheld, we may not be able to issue a certificate or origin.

Additions and reissuing

Because certificates of origin are defined as public instruments, it is forbidden to alter them in an unauthorized manner on one's own initiative. If you retroactively make corrections or additions, these must be clearly marked and confirmed by the IHK via signature. Any other course of action qualifies as falsification of documents.
If you would like to have an old certificate of origin reissued, the old certificate must be returned to us. If this is not possible, please explain the reasons for this in writing.

Does it cost anything?

We levy a processing fee for the issuing of foreign commerce documents such as a certificate of origin.