If you are an exporter in the Chicago area, you know the importance of processing certificates of origin (CO) in a timely and efficient manner. This just became easier, and less expensive, thanks to the Chamber’s digital certificate of origin service.

Obtaining a Certificate of Origin and movement certificates for export shipments couldn’t be faster. Exporters and Freight Forwarders apply online, Chamber approval is online and Certificates of Origin are printed at the desk of exporters and freight forwarders worldwide. We are 1 of only 2 Chambers in Illinois that offer this process online - saving you time and money!

  • No upfront charges or costs to enroll.  
  • Only pay if you process
  • Turn around is in hours versus days for paper certificates
  • Eliminates the risk of lost documents and print from any printer
  • Simply pay as you use (members save $50 per certificate)

Online Document Certification

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Frequently Asked Questions 

Q: What is a Certificate of Origin?

A: A Certificate of Origin (CO) is a document which states the origin of goods being exported. Virtually every country in the world considers the origin of imported goods when determining what duty will be assessed on the goods or, in some cases, whether the goods may be legally imported at all. 

Q: Who needs it?

A: Exporters. Certificates of Origin may be needed to comply with Letters of Credit, import Customs requirements or a buyer’s request.

Q: What is the role of a Chamber of Commerce?

A: Chambers of Commerce are recognized worldwide as the official body to issue, sign and stamp Certificates of Origin due to the widespread network of the chamber of commerce community around the world and its respected reputation of serving the business community. This came about under the provisions of the International Convention relating to the Simplification of Customs Formalities held in Geneva in 1923. Under those provisions, national governments were allowed to delegate the administration of the certification scheme to suitable organizations – namely Chambers of Commerce.

Q: Why is the Chambers’ role so important?

A: Since Certificates of Origin are required by Customs as one of the key bases for applying tariff rates, a chambers’ role is both unique and vital in facilitating international trade for the business community.

Q: Who determines whether a Certificate of Origin is required?

A: The responsibility to comply with the requirements of the importing company rests with the Exporter – not the Chamber. It is also the exporter's responsibility to obtain the Certificate of Origin, in accordance with the buyer's or country of import requirement.

Q: What other documents can I apply for using essCert? 

A: essCert can be utilized for all key export documentation requirements, including EC Certificates of Origin, AT.R, EUR1, Arab Certificates and much more

Your International Team

Joey Mak
Vice President, Programs
jmak@chicagolandchamber.org