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Streamlining of Arab British Certificates of Origin

Comment 30th July 2010

We are a small trading company exporting primarily to Middle East. Nearly all customers require a Certificate of Origin from the UK Chamber of Commerce and legalised by an Arabic Embassy.

In some European countiies this is quick and easy eg Malta or Italy (and probably many others). But in UK the local Chambers insist on letters from the manufacturer stating orgin of goods (Imagine, as a small trader,  trying to get that from say, ABB or Phillips etc etc!) In other countries the chambers accept the word of the trading company regardiong the origin of the goods. I appreciate the information should be correct – but the current implication is that the traders cannot be trusted…. When it should be that they can be trusted and that occasional checks should be made. At presentl, we are effectivel guilty until proven innocent!

To add insult to injury, if we pay substantially more and deal through a specialist Consular documentation company (eg Blair consular) – then we do NOT need to provide this evidence.

Why do the local chambers (in my case, Sussex Enterprise) need this info when others do not?? Why should I pay more to a private company when I pay taxes to support Sussex enterprise?

The whole system should be reviewed and it should be remembered that we pay for these C of O's – so we should be able to determine their format and composition (within reason). There is much too much beaurocracy and 'Gold plating' of the regulations, at the moment, the tail is wagging the dog!

Why does this matter?

If these regulations were freed up – WITH sufficient checks and controls retained, it would allow exporters to operate more competitively and quickly (at the moment getting these documents can take 3 weeks!).

Many more companies would be prepared to export and we would operate on a slightly more level playing field compared to our European neighbours.

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