Anyone operating an international trading business needs to obtain a Certificate of Origin form to verify that the goods being sold were made, produced or wholly manufactured in a specific country. This form is used in determining any applicable taxes placed on the item or if export is even legal.
A Certificate of Origin is completed by the person or entity responsible for completing the export, not by the person or entity creating the goods. It is a legal form that is part of all international exporting operations, and has a direct effect on the taxing and pricing information of the item. It is important to note that the origin the form refers to is not the country in which the good is being sold, but the country in which it was made or produced.
For example, imagine if a piece of clothing was made in China by a manufacturer, then sold to a distributor in Japan. The Japanese distributor itself would fill out a Certificate of Origin form stating that the clothing was made in China. If an American exporting business wanted to purchase the clothing from the Japanese distributor and sell them in the United States, the American export business would need its own Certificate of Origin stating that the clothing was made in China, not Japan.