Certificate of Origin: Steps, Benefits and MORE

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The certificate of origin It is an essential title when merchandise must be transported from one country to another. In fact, it is a document that must be current and must contain all the information regarding the origin and destination to which the merchandise is directed.

In general terms, one of the main objectives of this certificate is to avoid retention of merchandise, inconveniences with customs or delays in shipments. If you want to know more about the certificate of origin, We invite you to continue reading!

What is it?

Although it is true, the origin of a good is the requirements that were negotiated within the framework of a treaty or agreement. In order to determine which goods are entitled to receive preferential tariff treatment, it can be a production process, on transit through other countries, documentary. In this case, the tariff treatment on the issuance of certificates.

In short the certificate of origin it is defined as one of the most important accreditation documents in international trade. It is also known as «Certificate of origin of the products». Among its main objectives we find that it intends to verify documentary that a merchandise is considered as originating within the framework of a Treaty or Agreement.

Types of Certificates of Origin in Costa Rica

If we take as a reference the history of certificates of origin in the Republic of Costa Rica and the relationship between them, only two systems have been used that are applied to certify the origin of goods.

Among the types of certificates we find the following:

  • Controlled certification.
  • Self-certification process.

Controlled Certification

It consists of a process that runs long before an export. In fact, it allows verifying whether a merchandise complies with the standards previously established in the Agreement or Treaty. Likewise, if the merchandise in question complies with the regulations of the Agreement or Treaty, it can be considered originating.

In this way, the Costa Rican Foreign Trade Promoter (PROCOMER) is in charge of certifying the declaration of origin, presented by the exporter. Controlled certification can be requested through PROCOMER.

Documents necessary to obtain the Certificate of Origin

Generally, the person who usually requests the certification of origin is the exporter of the merchandise. In other words, the responsibility falls on the latter against the importer in the event of supplying erroneous or false data in the documentation consigned to issue the certificate of origin of the goods.

Similarly, the exporter must provide the following documents that will allow the issuance of the certificate in question:

  1. Quantity: It should be based on the units of net, gross or any other weight according to the merchandise. In addition, it must indicate meter and liters.
  2. Numbering and marks.
  3. Nature of the merchandise: It must be established according to its commercial designation.
  4. Packing number and model: Refers to pallets, rolls with bearing conforms and boxes.

By means of this documentation, the competent authorities will be in charge of verifying that the merchandise is originating. If the merchandise complies with the provisions previously established in the agreement by PROCOMER, it will successfully obtain the certification.

Indeed, the action of defining the origin of a product is essential since it allows us to recognize whether the merchandise is affected by any particular regime. Clearly, the customs authorities, together with other expert entities in the matter, are in charge of determining this process.

Steps to Follow to obtain the Certificate of Origin

If he certificate of origin is requested by the exporting company, you must follow the steps mentioned below:

  1. First, access the official website of the Costa Rican Foreign Trade Promoter.
  2. Then, select the «Exporter» option.
  3. Click on the statement «Guide to export».
  4. Select «Certifications of Origin».
  5. Consecutively, the exporter must complete an origin questionnaire for each type of product to be exported.
  6. To obtain the questionnaire, go to the bottom of the web page and select option number 2, «Questionnaire of origin – AELC».
  7. Click on the «download» option.
  8. The file will automatically download into a Microsoft Word document.

In the same way, there is a prior procedure and a procedure after the request of the certificate of origin. Once the exporting applicant downloads the questionnaire, they must complete and sign it.

It must then be delivered to PROCOMER. If it is a natural person, the questionnaire must be attached to a photocopy of the identity card or, failing that, the document must be signed by the legal representative of the company.

On the contrary, if it is a legal person, the signature must be endorsed by a lawyer or notary public. In addition, the original and current legal status certification must be attached. After the exporter submits the form, PROCOMER will analyze and verify the information provided.


If you wish to obtain additional and detailed information on the procedure before and after the questionnaire, you can enter the next link. It consists of a document in PDF format that contains information and articles regarding the certificate of origin. In addition, you will find the procedure specifically.

Objectives and Benefits of the Certificate of Origin

Within the objectives of certificate of originWe find that it is intended to enable the customs entity corresponding to the importing country to verify during immediate or «posterior» control. In the event that the merchandise complies with the provisions of origin previously negotiated in the Treaty or Agreement.

In addition, it fulfills the purpose of documentary proof that a merchandise qualifies as originating within the framework of a Treaty or Agreement. At the same time, it allows the importer to request tariff preferences for the goods or products involved in the import process from their customs authorities.

Regarding its benefits or commercial advantages, we find that it is an accreditation document that can be requested by an exporter or importer for any Costa Rican product or merchandise. In the same way, it allows the merchandise to be moved to another destination outside the territory of the Republic of Costa Rica.

Foreign Trade Promoter of Costa Rica

It is a non-state public entity, also known by its acronym PROCOMER. Indeed, it is recognized for being the foreign trade promotion agency of the Republic of Costa Rica. Likewise, its foundation was carried out in 1996.

Since then, the Commerce entity has taken on the responsibility of promoting and facilitating foreign trade and investment, as well as ensuring commercial and tariff benefits for merchandise exporters and importers.

Like any entity, PROCOMER performs its functions under the legal foundations of the Republic of Costa Rica. Among them are:

  1. Coordinate export and investment programs.
  2. Promote and safeguard the commercial interests of the country abroad.
  3. Streamline and facilitate import and export procedures.
  4. Have a follow-up to foreign trade statistics.
  5. Provide technical and financial support to the Ministry of Foreign Trade (COMEX), in order to administer the special export regimes.

According to its functions, it allows the expediting of import and export procedures. Clearly, by this he means certifications such as, for example, the certificate of origin. In fact, PROCOMER is one of the institutions in charge of submitting the certification of origin.

On the other hand, the Foreign Trade Promoter performs its functions together with its values ​​and principles that define it as a customs entity. Among them are integrity, purpose, collective talent, creativity, passion and agility. Without a doubt, they are excellent values ​​to constitute the principles of an institution.

Where Get the Certificate of Origin?

While it is true, in the expedition of the certificate of origin different authorities intervene. Among them: the Costa Rican Foreign Trade Promoter (PROCOMER), the Foreign Trade Ministry and the Origin Unit, which is attached to the Foreign Trade Single Window (VUCE).

PROCOMER gave germ to the Unit of Origin, which was created under the legal bases of the Regulation for the issuance of certificates of origin and verification of the origin of exported goods. Likewise, it is published in the Official Gazette La Gaceta No. 136 by Decree No. 36651-COMEX.

On the other hand, the Origin Unit is the entity responsible for verifying and accrediting the origin of the goods within the framework of the commercial utensils that constitute the figure of controlled certification. In general terms, this dependency guarantees the origin of the goods exported by the protection of the Generalized Systems of Preferences (GSP) with Australia, Japan, New Zealand, Russia and Turkey.

In addition, it verifies and certifies the origin within the framework of the Partial Scope Agreement with the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela and the commercial agreements attached to the European Free Trade Association (EFTA), the European Union, among others.

In the same way, it is important to mention that, the certificate of origin it can be requested by the importer or the exporter. However, regardless of who is in charge of making the request, they must be responsible for the documentation provided.

Thanks for reading! We hope we have helped you.

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