Exporters urged to be mindful of fake Certificate of Origin

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Exporters must be mindful of the originality of Certificates of Origin (COO) that accompany their exports since some unscrupulous freight forwarders are generating fake ones.
Mr Daniel Osei Torgbor, Greater Accra Regional Head of the Ghana National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GNCCI) who made the call, said the issuance of fake certificates to accompany export goods, could mar the image of the country globally and affect bilateral agreements meant to extend some privileges to Ghanaian exporters.
Speaking to Ghana News Agency in an interview in Kumasi, he said COO was an important international trade document that certified that goods in a particular export shipment were wholly obtained, produced, manufactured and processed in a particular country.
It also facilitates international trade and proves authenticity of the product, while providing documentary evidence of origin of the goods exported and other varieties of documentation such as packing lists, commercial invoices and proforma invoices.
Mr. Torgbor said goods that were flagged went through checks which caused delays and the exporter was mandated to pay the full exporting cost in the instance, where the certificate of origin was confirmed to be fake.
Therefore, he said exporters must be vigilant and entreat their freight forwarders to do the right thing since it could result in serious consequences for the nation.
He stressed that immediate attention and action was needed to address the issues considering the role of the certificate of origin in the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA), since it was the primary document that was being used to facilitate trade.
According to him, under AfCFTA, the rules of origin which was born out of certificate of origin would be key, and stringent measures must be taken to prevent exporters from taking advantage of products that were not properly certified across the continent in the name of AfCFTA.
He advised exporters to provide commercial invoice packing list, customs declaration form, bill of lading, among others, to the Ghana Chamber of Commerce to help process their certificates.
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