27 May 2020
As business associations see an uptick in fake documentation to obscure the origin of counterfeit products due to the global health crisis, Swiss, Italian and French chambers of commerce are the latest members to enter the International Certificate of Origin (CO) Accreditation Chain managed by ICC’s World Chamber Federation (WCF).
The approval was made during an ICC WCF International CO Accreditation Committee meeting, which was held virtually on 19 May 2020.
With their newly established status as accredited members of the International CO Accreditation Chain, 70 French chambers, 18 Swiss chambers and the Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Handicraft and Agriculture of Mantua in Italy can now benefit from the use of ICC’s internationally-recognised CO label. This certified mark assures banks, businesses, customs administrations and traders that their COs have been issued according to the utmost stringent and harmonised certification standards, based on the ICC WCF International CO Guidelines.
Commenting on the affiliation of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Switzerland (SIHK), Chamber President Luca Albertoni said:
“We are very proud to be part of the ICC WCF CO Chain. This means global recognition of the quality of the work done by the Swiss Chambers of Commerce and Industry to support international trade.”
SIHK represents cantonal and regional chambers of commerce in Switzerland and applied on their behalf. The decision to apply and join the CO Chain was taken unanimously by the chamber group, who are organised as private law associations with a voluntary membership.
Vincent Subilia, Director General of the Geneva Chamber of Commerce and Industry said:
“As major CO issuers, Swiss chambers are delighted to join such a valuable network and thus continue to play an instrumental role as business support organisations – especially in today’s disrupted economic environment – for the benefit of our member companies.”
The announced additions to the CO Chain come as welcome news, as the World Health Organization issues warnings over the growth in fake products, such as medicines, linked to the on-going COVID-19 pandemic. With an increase in counterfeit goods and the business concern regarding the purchase of such goods as the crisis continues, chambers who are part of the CO Chain can assure their stakeholders with certainty that regulations are being met.
Created by the ICC WCF in 2012, the CO Chain today includes 665 chambers from 25 countries. Through the creation of the Chain, ICC WCF aids chamber leaders in promoting the use of universal certification standards and processes, to better serve the global trading community as a whole.