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eCert Standard Rules


The issuing body is an issuing authority authorised by Her Majesty’s Government under EC Regulation No 2454/93 for granting or certifying officially prescribed Certificates of Origin, which operates in this regard under the guidance and conditions of British Chambers of Commerce.

The following rules (hereinafter referred to as “the Standard Rules”) have been designed to render as simple and as equitable as possible the procedure and formalities connected with the issue of Certificates of Origin and the Certification of international trade documents, and to secure uniformity of practice as between all issuing bodies. The issuing body, as an authorised issuing authority, has undertaken to enforce the Standard Rules and any alteration or modification thereof as may from time to time be approved by British Chambers of Commerce. Before Certification by the issuing body of any documents it is a condition that each applicant shall give, in writing, an undertaking to conform with, and bound by, the Standard Rules operative at the time of Certification.


    Certificates of Origin

  • Certificates of Origin presented for certification by the issuing body must be on the official forms which have been obtained from the issuing body. Each Certificate, Copy Certificate and Application form must, in all respects, comply with the requirements of the authority whose Certificate is to be issued and must be prepared and completed in accordance with any regulations, rules and instructions published by that authority and with any instructions, rules or notes on the forms.


  • A copy of the export invoice in respect of the goods described in the Certificate of Origin must be produced with the Certificate.


  • The goods must be described according to their commercial description which must be the same as appears in the export invoice. If the space reserved in the Certificate for the description of the goods is insufficient the applicant must:-


    use two or more Certificate forms according to the space required; in this event the official number of the second and any further Certificate forms used must be deleted and the number of the first form used must be inserted in its place; each form should be noted with the number of Certificate forms which in total comprise the Certificate of Origin (eg. “Page 1 of 3 pages”, “Page 2 of 3 Pages” etc);


    firmly and permanently attach a copy of the export invoice to the Certificate, to each copy Certificate and to the Application form. A general description of the goods and the words “According to the attached invoice No ...... dated.......” must be inserted in the space for the description of the goods on each of the forms.

    Export Invoices and Other Documents


  • An applicant may request the certification of an invoice bearing a declaration of origin or other declaration as specified by the requirements of a particular country. Issuing bodies may certify the number of invoices as required by that country or to meet reasonable commercial needs. Other documents such as packing lists, exporters declarations and other export related documents may also be certified by an issuing body.


  • All documents presented for certification must be signed in accordance with Rule 3.


  • The issuing body will certify the authenticity of the signature on the documents presented for certification.


  • A copy of each document submitted to the issuing body for certification must be supplied for retention by the issuing body and must bear the signature of the person who signed the original declaration.


It is the responsibility of the applicant to make the appropriate declaration of origin of any goods which are the subject of an application for a Certificate of Origin. The origin of the goods must be determined in accordance with the terms of the relevant Regulations of the European Communities.

In order that the issuing body may be satisfied as to the accuracy of the declaration the following conditions must be met:-

  • An applicant is to make available for examination by the issuing body, when required, his books and records. The issuing body shall have the right also to inspect the goods and to make any enquiries from other firms or organisations stated by the applicant to have been involved in manufacturing, applying any process to, or supplying the goods. Additionally, the issuing body have the right to make any further enquiries it deems necessary.


  • Where the goods have been manufactured or processed by the applicant he must declare, or otherwise detail the processes performed by him, on the reverse of the application form in accordance with the requirements of the certifying authority.


  • If the goods were not manufactured by the applicant, the name and address of the manufacturer must be stated on the reverse of the application. When requested by the issuing body the applicant must provide a copy of the manufactures or suppliers invoice bearing a signed declaration as to the origin of the goods. .


  • In cases of re-exportation the applicant must produce evidence to identify the re-exported goods with the goods previously imported and support his declaration of origin by producing :-


    • a Certificate of Origin of a responsible body in the country of export, or


    • a copy of the invoice from the manufacture, or


    • a declaration by the actual producer or manufacturer of the goods, or


    • a copy of the import entry against which the goods were cleared by H.M. Revenue & Customs, or


    • proof of origin as required by the issuing body.


  • The applicant must provide any further information the issuing body deems necessary.


All applications for Certificates of Origin, all declarations made in connection with such applications and all declarations on invoices or on other documents for which certification is sought must be signed by principals, i.e.:-


  • in the case of a sole trader, by the proprietor himself;
  • in the case of a partnership, by a partner of the firm;
  • in the case of a corporate body, by a director or the Company Secretary;

Alternatively, declarations etc may be signed by a duly authorised official or agent of a sole trader, firm or corporate body. In the case of officials, a letter of authority signed by the Proprietor, a Partner of the firm, or a Director or the Secretary of the corporate body, together with a specimen signature of the person concerned, must be deposited with the issuing body (normally this is in the form of the Formal Undertaking combined with the list of authorised signatories). In the case of an agent such as a shipping or forwarding agent, the issuing body can proceed with the application on the basis of the applicant's Formal Undertaking, but if there is any doubt whether the agent has the necessary authority, written authorisation from the agent's principal should be requested.



If, at any time, any declarations made by an applicant or anyone providing supporting evidence should be called in question by any competent person or authority and the applicant does not, within seven days after being notified by the issuing body, satisfy the issuing body that the declaration or evidence was authentic, the issuing body shall be at liberty to communicate particulars of the case to the appropriate authorities.


The Standard Rules may from time to time be altered, amended or replaced by new Rules approved by British Chambers of Commerce. Any such modification, alteration or replacement, and the date from which such shall be effective, will be made known to applicants by the issuing body in writing. From the date on which any such modification, alteration or replacement of the Rules takes effect, applicants will be deemed to have had notice of it and be bound thereby.


Notwithstanding anything contained in the foregoing Rules, the issuing body reserves to itself the right, at any time and without indicating any reason whatsoever, to refuse to verify or certify Certificates of Origin or invoices (or other documents) which may be presented to it for verification or certification.