Confirming the origin of production of goods being exported is an important step during foreign trade. This article will cover how to do so in Brazil using a Certificate of Origin.
The origin of goods can be used to determine several factors in foreign trade, including taxation and the distribution of the referred merchandise. A Certificate of Origin plays a crucial role in this chain, as the most important document that proves that those goods were produced in the listed region.
Known in Brazil as Certificado de Origem, this document also proves that the cargo being exported follows all the recommendations, conditions, and requirements stipulated by Brazilian entities and also the importing country. There are essentially two categories of certificates - the preferential, and the non-preferential.
Preferential Certificate of Origin
This certificate is needed when goods are exported to participants of trade blocs, or any other countries with which Brazil has economic agreements. According to MDIC, short for the Brazilian Ministry of Development, Industry and Foreign Trade, the main objective of this category is to assure that any special tax treatment is limited only to the signatories of the agreement.
This certificate of origin is really important when goods produced in Brazil are exported to countries from Mercosul, for example, which involves nations such as Argentina, Paraguay, Uruguay, and Venezuela. It is also needed in some cases when the export is covered by the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP), or known in Brazil, as SGP.
Non-preferential Certificate of Origin
This certificate might be required by the importing country, even though not related to tax benefits involving Brazil. It might be requested by the buyer to gather information about the products, prove its specifications, and even apply the rules of autonomous agreements.
Acquiring a Certificate of Origin
Each export operation, and therefore each commercial invoice, requires a different Certificate of Origin. So, if three commercial invoices are issued by the exporter, three certificates are needed, even if it is the same importer. This document is valid for 180 days after being issued. The costs, characteristics, and issuing bodies of the certificate may vary according to the importing country.
Certificates of Origin to Mercosul or ALADI
SECEX, the Brazilian Foreign Trade Secretariat, is responsible for the preferential certificates in Brazil, which might be issued online in some cases. The governmental body authorizes different entities in each state to issue and legitimize this document.
Some of the responsible bodies for issuing common certificates and the ones for Mercosul are:
- Federation of Industries, like FIESP in São Paulo, and FIRJAN in Rio de Janeiro
- Federation of Trade Associations from several states, like FecomercioSP in São Paulo, and FecomercioMG in Minas Gerais
- Commercial Associations of some cities and states, like ACB in Bahia, and ACS from the city of Santos
As there are different types of agreements involving the countries from Mercosul, and different lists of products able to receive each benefit, different models of certificates are available.
Certificates of Origin to GSP Countries
GSP is used for a preferential tariff system where importing countries treat goods from members of the World Trade Organization no less than they treat the imports of other commercial partners. Form A is used to obtain a Certificate of Origin for the GSP and is issued by the bank - Banco do Brasil. This document is the proof that all the products being exported were produced in accordance with the regulations applied by the agreement. In Brazil, it is administered by the Department of International Negotiations (DEINT).
Prices and Needed Documents
As stated previously, the fees to issue a Certificate of Origin varies widely from entity to entity. FIESP in São Paulo, for example, charges BRL 32 from associated companies, and BRL 127 from non-associated companies. FIRJAN in Rio de Janeiro, charges BRL 20 from associated companies, and BRL 30 from the non-associated ones.
As a general rule, a few copies of the Certificate of Origin form which are available at the entities’ website are needed, all filled out and signed, along with a copy of the commercial invoice. Sometimes a Producer Declaration might be needed with a description of the goods being shipped, and other characteristics from the exporter.
According to an official order, Form A is free to micro and small companies. To request it, the exporting company must complete three copies of the form available at the Banco do Brasil's website, signed by the appropriate person. Other documents that must be presented at the bank are:
- Commercial Invoice or its copy
- Export Registration
- Bill of Lading
- Chart demonstrating the price composition
- Any other documents needed to prove the origin of the goods