What Is an Evidence of Origin?

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  • Written By: Malcolm Tatum
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 09 May 2020
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"Evidence of origin" is a term that is used to identify the information that is included in the body of a document known as a certificate of origin. This type of document is often part of the essential paperwork utilized when goods are produced in one nation and are purchased by a buyer in different country. The details of the evidence of origin help to affirm that the nature and the origin of those goods are as presented to the buyer by the seller, and that the seller is willing to attest to the truth of those statements.

The amount of detail that is included in the evidence of origin will depend greatly on both the terms of the contract between the local seller and the international buyer, and the requirements for documents that relate to the import and export of those goods. Typically, the detail must satisfy the needs of both the buyer and the seller in terms of affirming that the goods being shipped are in fact the same goods that have been sold as part of the transaction. At the same time, the scope of information contained as evidence of origin must also satisfy the need to adequately describe the goods being shipped so that both the issuing and the receiving ports will accept the certificate of origin that accompanies the goods.

While the range of information associated with evidence of origin will vary, a few characteristics are highly likely to be included. A description of the goods in terms of dimensions and weight is often considered essential. Physical aspects such as color and shape may also be provided. A declaration that the goods were in fact produced by a specific entity located in a particular geographical location within the country of origin will also be necessary.

Properly crafting the evidence of origin for inclusion in the certificate of origin is to the benefit of both the buyer and the seller. If the level of detail is acceptable at the port of origin, this means the shipment will leave the port without delays. In addition, if the information included as evidence of origin meets the criteria established by the destination port, the process for receiving the goods into the country can proceed without any type of delays, allowing the buyer to gain possession of those goods and begin to use them for whatever activity he or she has in mind.

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