The electronic certificate of origin

Stempel auf Papier

The 5 most important questions on the electronic certificate of origin


What is a certificate of origin?

A certificate of origin (IP) is a document accompanying goods, which certifies the non-preferential origin of your goods/parts. It is used alongside other documents that contain information about your goods, such as the EUR.1, the A.TR etc. will be enclosed with your goods at the time of shipment.

How do I apply for a certificate of origin?

The application for a certificate of origin is made in Germany to the competent Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the respective company. This checks the data given in the application form and, if correct, provides the verified and stamped certificate of origin. An application for a certificate of origin can be made in two ways, both of which are recognized by the IHK:

  • Paper: You can submit a paper application to the IHK. To do so, you need the application form (consisting of the original, the application for issue and, if necessary, a carbon copy), in which you enter all relevant data and then submit it to the IHK by mail or in person.
  • Electronic: Since 2002 it has also been possible to submit your application directly to the IHK electronically. Since October 2019 this electronic application can be implemented even more easily via a web application.

There are two ways to enter your data into the electronic form:

  • Manually: Here you enter all the necessary data directly into the online form and then transmit your data directly to customs electronically.
  • XML import: Here you import your data from a previously generated XML document directly into the online form and only adjust any errors that may have occured or add missing information.
The application process for the certificate of origin graphically explained

What requirements do I have to meet to apply for an electronic certificate of origin?

In order for you to be able to apply for your certificate of origin electronically, it is essential for the IHK to be able to guarantee correct verification of your person/company. For this reason, you must inform the IHK of your interest in applying for a certificate of origin electronically and have your company checked with regard to the existing documentation of origin. If the IHK does not see any problems in this regard, you should name a contact person who will represent your company vis-à-vis the IHK and register this person. A form is available for this purpose on the IHK website. Once the contact person has been approved, he or she will receive a code for registering in the electronic registration portal. Within this portal, verification for the application is carried out in two ways:

  • Signature card + card reader: You can purchase a signature card and an associated card reader from the CCI, which you can use to verify yourself in the CCI application. This type of verification is advertised by the IHK as the more secure variant.
  • E-mail + user ID: Your contact details will be used together with your user ID to verify you. That’s only possible since the update in October 2019 and means that the additional costs of purchasing a signature card with card reader are no longer incurred.

What data do I have to provide in a certificate of origin?

In order to successfully apply for a certificate of origin, it is important to provide the required information without errors. The relevant information is entered in the 9 prescribed form fields and can be supplemented by additional information on the back of the document or additional documents. The following graphic shows which information you must enter in the appropriate fields.

Completion aid Certificate of origin application



What are the advantages of the electronic certificate of origin?

As described, the IHK recognises two types of application. The following advantages of the electronic application make it clear why the paper application didn’t remain the only type:

  • Independent of opening hours: The application for the certificate of origin can be submitted regardless of the opening hours of the IHK or the post office.
  • Time saving: The electronic certificate of origin can be printed directly from the application.
  • Flexible changes: The electronic portal makes communication with the IHK faster and easier, so changes can be discussed directly on screen and implemented in cooperation with the IHK.

We at BEX have also recognized the advantages of the electronic certificate of origin and will therefore offer a connection in our own applications from September 2020. The applications we optimize for you are AES FOR YOU! and FORMULAR ONE.

How can the electronic certificate of origin be transmitted to the IHK?

You can easily export the electronic certificate of origin from AES FOR YOU! and import it on the IHK website.

In the following video you can see how easy the data exchange is processed.




Glossar ATLAS Ausfuhranmeldung – FAQ

What is a customs office of export?

The customs office of export is the responsible customs office of the place where your goods are shipped.

What is a customs office of exit?

The customs office of exit is the customs office where your goods cross the EU border. It is often difficult to know exactly where your goods leave the EU. In some cases, it is therefore sufficient to indicate the intended customs office of exit.

What does MRN stand for?

The Movement Reference Number (MRN) is a unique registration number assigned by customs. It is the most important reference for the customs declaration and is used by Customs to allocate and process your transaction and to identify the associated consignmnts.

Export accompanying document (EAD)

The export accompanying document (EAD) is a document proving that your export is permissible. It must always accompany the corresponding consignment of goods, as it contains the MRN and a barcode and so replaces the export declaration in paper form for the checking customs office.

Export certificate document (AND)
ou will receive the export certificate document after your consignment has passed the customs office of exit. It is the confirmation from customs that the goods have been checked and have left the border legally.
If your goods have left the border and have not been registered by customs, you must prove by resubmitting (tracking) your own documents to customs that the goods have crossed the border.
Whats the differents between a main pack and enclosed goods?

Enclosed goods are goods which are going to be included in the package of another item position. Both item positions have to be declared in one and the same export declaration. Here you will find a more detailed description of this topic.

For what does the shortcuts CO, EFTA & EX stand?

CO goods are common goods which

  • were manufactured within the EU and were not supplemented with parts from third countries.
  • or supplemented or constructed with parts from a third country which is allowed to trade duty free with the EU.

EFTA goods are goods that are traded within countries belonging to the European Free Trade Association (EFTA). EX goods are goods that are sent to a third country without a free trade agreement. Here, customs duties are incurred for transfer.

What are Incoterms?

Incoterms are guidelines that are adapted every 10 years. These voluntary rules apply to your contract and delivery and can be incorporated into the commercial contract with the agreement of your trading partner. Here you can see which Incoterms exist and which will apply from 2020.

The exporting country or the country of destination

The export country of your shipment is the country in which your goods are produced and from where they are dispatched. The destination country is the country in which you want to send your goods. It is important to note that the destination country is the last country your goods will arrive. All countries that are passed in between are only relevant for your transport route.

Means of Transport

The means of Transport at the border indicates the transport vehicle with which your goods cross the EU border. This could be e.g. by air freight or sea freight.

What is the difference between gross mass, net mass and total mass?

In order to declare your consignment correctly, you must submit all relevant masses of your shipment to customs. These are:

  • the gross mass of your individual goods items, i.e. the weight of your goods including the weight of the packaging.
  • the net mass of your goods, means the actual weight of your respective goods items without their packaging.
  • the total mass, this indicates the total weight of all goods items of your shipment with their packaging
Goods accompanying documents and goods movement certificate

Goods accompanying documents are documents that accompany your goods on the way to the end customer. The most important ones are :

    • waybill
    • delivery note
    • consignment note

Movement certificates are certificates which, depending on their origin, certify that your goods are duty free or duty paid at a lower rate. The most frequently used are:

    • EUR1: This certificate is a proof of preferential treatment, it is attached to goods traded within bilateral and multilateral agreements of the EU. It is recognised as a certificate of origin in the foreign trade sense.
    • ATR: You enclose this certificate with goods that you trade directly between an EU member state and Turkey in free movement of goods.
    • UZ: The shortcut UZ stands for certificate of origin. The UZ is a document that certifies the actual origin of your goods.

Sebastian Baumgarten

Seit Juli 2019 bin ich bei der der BEX im Produktmanagement tätig. Dort bin ich verantwortlich für die Produkte rund um die Ausfuhranmeldung und die Sanktionslistenprüfung. Dabei stellen wir den Anwender in den Mittelpunkt und verbessern so kontinuierlich die User Experience. Bei Feedback, Anregungen oder Ideen können Sie sich gerne an mich wenden.