A certificate of origin（CO or COO）is an official document attesting the goods described therein are originally produced in a particular country or place. It is a separate document issued under the request of the buyer and includes product name, sell price, quantity, and destination country among other things. Certificates of origin are widely used in international trade today. They are requested by the importer or buyer, together with other documents such as commercial invoices, to declare at the border or customs of the country for which the goods are destined. Invoice certificate of origin is mandated by the importing nation and is often included in trade agreements to decide the right amount of tariffs to be imposed on goods bound for import. Invoice certificate of origin is used by the importer to receive preferential treatment as stipulated in trade agreements between two or more countries.
Within the World Trade Organization, developed nations agree to give preferential treatment to developing countries under certain conditions. In practice, importers from developed countries my request a certificate of origin from exporters based in a less developed country as entitlement to lower or no tariff. It is fairly easy to obtain an invoice certificate of origin since not a single nation would not want to export more than they import. It is usually issued by the chamber of commerce or other concerned authority. In China, it is issued by the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade or the Entry-Exit Inspection and Quarantine Bureau.
With more countries entering into bilateral trade agreements, certificates of origin play a crucial role in facilitating trade between the signatory members.