FAQ of the Week: Plain Paper UK Certificates Of Origin

Date: 14/02/2023
Author: Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce
Company: Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce

In our last edition we informed customers of our certification services that as of 1st April 2023, Greater Manchester Chamber will be switching to plain paper UK Certificates of Origin as part of the government wider digital ambition for a paperless border by 2025! 

Since then, we have received some questions from customers regarding this change, which we thought could help other traders.

Q1.  When will the new watermarked paper be available for us to order?  We will need to have ordered some to hold in readiness for the change over on 01.04.2023 when the new certificates become valid. 

A. There will be no watermarked paper if you submit as an express application, you print out the whole certificate on a blank sheet of white paper from ecert once processed - the printout will include the watermark 

Q2.  If as stated, the old UK Certificates are no longer valid after the 01.04.23 will they still be accepted in the destination countries and if not will the chamber be issuing replacement certificates free of charge to cover those already in transit during the change over period? 

A. If the Certificates are dated before 01.04.23 they should still be accepted 

Q3.  Will we be credited for the old UK certificates which we have in stock and if so when should we return these to the Chamber?   

A. For the blank Certificates of origin, we only charge you £1.50 each for the form itself, and therefore we are unable to offer a credit to your account.   

Q4.  What does the Chamber recommend us to use for the remaining 60% of the world which are not using plain paper certificates or for countries which will not accept electronic signatures? 

A. All countries should accept the Certificates of Origin that have been digitally signed that you submit as express applications.  If they want a copy which has the Chambers original stamp and signature, then you would need to submit via ecert as a standard application, and we will print this for you.  Most of the time it is your customers who are insisting on original stamps and signatures; however, we highly recommend you ask your customer to provide you with an official statement or evidence from their customs authorities clearly stating that digital signatures will not be accepted.   We can then feedback this to our governing body to bring this up with the authorities in that country. 

Q5.  Please advise how much the new plain paper certificates will cost so that we can plan our pricing structures in advance.  

A. There is no stationery to purchase anymore, so all you need is to use plain white paper and a colour printer. Make sure though to use a good quality paper.