Frequently asked questions

I can’t login. How do I proceed?  

First, try changing your password by clicking “Forgot password” link and follow the instructions sent to your email address. If you don’t receive the necessary code to change your password by email, please also check your junk folder to see if it ended up there.  If this is not the case, please contact your own Chamber of Commerce. 

How the origin of goods will be proved? 

There  are 4 different options in order to prove the origin of goods. Proving the origin of goods:  

  1. Exporter’s invoice should be presented with the application. A proforma invoice will be exceptionally accepted, if the exporter’s invoice is not available. 
  2. If the goods are not company’s own production, a supplier’s invoice or a Certificate of Origin issued in the country where the goods were purchased, is needed. 
  3.  Instead of a supplier’s invoice, a supply chain declaration can be used to prove the origin of goods, when the company has several items (product names) or suppliers for its goods. The company assures, with this declaration, that the given information is correct and commits to provide the Chamber of Commerce with a new declaration, if changes take place in the given information. The company provides information on goods (product name), suppliers and countries of origin in this declaration or attaches an extract including the same information to it.  For more information please contact your own Chamber of Commerce.
  4. If the company cannot provide the Chamber of Commerce with information in order to prove the origin of the goods in the ways mentioned above, the company should give a reason for that and provide the Chamber of Commerce with a written explanation of the origin.  This is to be used only in exceptional cases. 

The Chamber of Commerce issues the certificate of origin based on the documentation provided by the company. The company uses it’s signature as a binding guarantee to provide truthful information. The Chamber of Commerce has the right not to issue a Certificate of Origin, if the Chamber of Commerce states that the evidence of origin is insufficient. 

The issuing Chamber of Commerce has always the right to check and verify the documents and their validity. The issuing Chamber of Commerce has the right to check the documents proving the origin of goods and their truthfulness.  

What do I have to take into account, when printing the certificate of origin from the service?  

The certificates of origin are printed on non-numbered certificate of origin forms which can be obtained from your Chamber of Commerce. The certificate of origin form consists of a yellow-brown original piece with a wavy background pattern and a yellow form without pattern with the mark “copy”.  

The forms are available in two different language versions: English-French-Spanish or Arabic. You can order forms from your own Chamber of Commerce. The forms are free of charge. 

How can I use a previously issued certificate of origin as a template for a new certificate of origin?  

You can access the archive by clicking the “Search archive” field on the left of the “New certificate of origin” and “New certified document” buttons.  As a search word can be used the recipient’s or the contact person’s name, the document’s number (For example, the search “FI-E” shows the most recent certificates of origin documents), your own reference or a name of the certified document.  Open the Certificate of Origin you wish to use as a template and choose “Use as template” button from the upper right side in the ACTIONS section.  

What attachments do I need to attach to the certificate of origin application?  

To the certificate of origin application you need to attach a document, with which the issuing chamber of commerce can verify the origin of goods, like the commercial invoice. For more information on proving the origin of goods, please take a look on “How the origin of goods will be proved?”, and the Guide for European Union Certificates of Origin. 

I need a replacement Certificate of Origin. How do I indicate that in the Certificate of Origin application? 

In the application field 5. Remarks should be written “This is a Replacement Certificate of Origin to replace the original Certificate of Origin No (the number of the certificate of origin to be replaced) ...issued on (the date of the certificate of origin to be replaced) ....”Also, in the application  should be stated why a replacement certificate of origin is needed (eg. error on the weight, goods description etc.)   

Can the Certificate of Origin be removed from the system if there is a mistake in it?  

Once a mistake is noticed on the certificate of origin, the customer should contact the issuing Chamber of Commerce immediately.  The Chamber of Commerce’s official can invalidate the faulty Certificate of Origin from the service. If the Certificate of Origin is still in the possession of the customer, a replacement Certificate of Origin is not needed but a new one is. The customer must dispose the original Certificate of Origin. 

When is a supply chain declaration needed to be delivered to the Chamber of Commerce and what does it need to contain?  

When the company has several items (product names) and suppliers, the supply chain declaration can be used to prove the origin of goods instead of the supplier’s invoice. The company writes the items and their suppliers and their countries of origin in the supply chain declaration or delivers a citation with this information to the Chamber of Commerce. The supply chain declaration is to be renewed by the company any time changes are to be made to it. The supply chain declaration is a guarantee that the company has accurate information about the goods’ origin.  For more information please contact your own Chamber of Commerce. 

Our customer asks us to get a certificate of origin for his exporting purposes. They export goods produced by us. Should not the exporter  have to apply for the certificate of origin himself from the Chamber of Commerce? Can I apply for a certificate of origin for our goods without knowing who is the final recipient? 

If the exporter demands a Certificate of Origin from the supplier, in the consignor field should be written the full name and address of the supplier, followed by "on behalf of" and the exporter's name and address.  

It's worth understanding that the applicant of the CO is responsible for all the information provided, even though the application is done behalf of the exporter. 

If the recipient’s name and address abroad is unknown and the goods are delivered to the named harbor or airport according to the buyer’s guidelines, write in the recipient-field “To the order” and the destination country’s name. 

Our customer wants 3 original copies of the certificate of origin. How do I correctly do the original copies? 

There can be only one official printout of the Certificate of Origin: In  the order is included one original Certificate of Origin and one archiving copy. The copy that comes automatically with the original Certificate of Origin is only an archive copy of the applicant. If you need extra copies for exportation purposes, order them as additional copies by choosing the amount of extra copies in the certificate of origin application. There can be only one original piece of Certificate of Origin. 

Can you stamp the certificate of origin to the past? How about beforehand? 

Principally the Certificate of Origin is always dated on the current date. If the Certificate of Origin has to be dated retrospectively because of the export related reasons, the Chamber of Commerce has the right to date it to the past for a maximum of three weeks.  An exception can be the letter of credit (for example: the date has to be the same as in the Bill of Lading). In this case the Certificate of Origin can be dated retroactively for a maximum of three months.  In these situations, besides of the normal documents that are needed for the certificate of origin application, also a proof of the export (eg. Bill of Lading or Airway Bill) is needed to be attached to the application.  

The certificate of origin cannot be stamped beforehand. As a rule, the certificate of origin’s date of issuance is the current day, ie. the day when the application is confirmed. The Chambers of Commerce issue Certificates of Origin and certify other documents on weekdays from 8-16. 

How do I have to mark the weight of the goods in the Certificate of Origin? 

In the quantity field, primarily write the total weight of the goods in kilograms, using the form “kg net” for net weight and, “kg gross” for gross weight, or if needed both. 

If you cannot use weight as a measurement unit, you can also use another metric system unit like liters, meters or cubic dimensions.  

Unit quantity should only be used in special cases, when the other measurement units are not an option.  

The vientiasiakirjat.fi service doesn’t work properly, what can I do? 

The website can be accessed with most generally used browsers. The service doesn’t work on the Internet Explorer. Even though the website works on most browsers, it is recommended to update your browser to the latest version available.  

Opening and reading PDF-files requires a PDF-reader, for example Adobe-Reader. 

Can we apply for a Certificate of Origin from Finland for goods that are not shipped from Finland?  

If a multinational company’s export administration takes place in Finland, and the multinational company is fully responsible for the documents related to the export, the certificate of origin can be issued from Finland, even though the goods are shipped from somewhere else than Finland. In this case, the exporting company abroad should be marked as the consignor.