Network of 12,000 Chambers Working Toward Better Global Trade Documentation

International Council reviews policies for Certificates of Origin.

On November 16, 2016 in Rome, Italy, AWTCC President & CEO, Wendy Fichter, attended the International Certificate of Origin Council semi-annual meeting hosted by the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) World Chambers Federation (WCF). It was, in the words of one member, among the most productive the council has held in recent memory, including approval of the ICC Policy Statement on Rules of Origin in Preferential Trade Agreements.

WCF is a unique and truly global forum uniting the global network of 12,000 chambers and helping individual chambers to become more productive and strengthen links among them. From managing the ATA Carnet system, which allows for the duty-free and tax-free temporary import of goods, to the International Certificate of Origin Accreditation Chain, WCF offers a wide range of products and services to help chambers deliver the best possible service to their respective members.

“I’m honored to be considered an authority on this topic and consider the work done by this committee to be vitally important for the export community worldwide”, Fichter said. The International CO Council is chaired by Peter Bishop, the Deputy Chief Executive of the London Chamber of Commerce and Industry (England) and representatives from over 30 countries around the world are part of the council.  Following is an overview of the meeting’s major outcomes as reported by Fichter, the only chamber executive from the United States to be appointed to the council:

  • The International CO Accreditation Chain now has 17 participating countries.
  • Members of the electronic CO task force are working on defining policies and setting minimum standards to coincide with updated technology.
  • Work is beginning on updating the International CO Guidelines, which establishes international best practices for issuance procedures.
  • Members discussed various country relationships with customs and ways to resolve inconsistencies.
  • The secretariat gave a presentation on Global mapping results for issued Certificates of Origin.
  • Regional Coordinators gave updates on activities of chambers around the world.
  • The UN General Assembly has granted observer status to the ICC – the first time a business organization has been admitted.

Ms. Fichter is the first chamber executive in the United States to complete the International Chamber of Commerce Certificate of Origin Online Training and is working on the council to help bring standardization and best practices for export documentation to the United States.

ABOUT THE AMERICAN WORLD TRADE CHAMBER OF COMMERCE

The American World Trade Chamber of Commerce (AWTCC) is headquartered in New York City with an Operations Center strategically located near Washington D.C. and has branch offices around the country. The nonprofit organization is dedicated to providing international trade solutions for exporters through its online documentation certification program and by promoting international standards and best practices. In addition, AWTCC seeks to provide certification education to chambers throughout the US.  For more information, visit www.awtcc.org.