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Despite the sluggish South African economy, the Nelson Mandela Bay Business Chamber has seen a surge in the number of Certificates of Origin (COO) issued to Nelson Mandela Bay based companies during the last quarter of 2019.

A total of 3259 certificates were issued compared to last year’s 2625. Since 2011, the company has recorded a 30% increase at an average annual growth of 5.3%.

A certificate of origin is an important international trade document that certifies that goods in a particular export shipment are wholly obtained, produced, manufactured or processed in a particular country. The document also serves as a declaration by the exporter.

For decades, the Business Chamber has manually processed and issued certificates of origin to thousands of companies and recently, it introduced an additional option by offering Freight forwarders and Exporters electronic certificates.

This has been done to ensure the Chamber remains at the cutting edge of simplified economic development and trade practices. It has acquired the Electronic Certificate of Origin (ECOO) system that has been extensively tested with some of its members and thus far, has been widely accepted.

The advantage of using the new system is the fact that it is less time consuming to prepare the documentation as it is paperless, saves courier time and money.

NMBBC CEO Nomkhita Mona said the current trend augured well for the Eastern Cape as it showed business confidence in certain sectors.

“As the Chamber we continue to introduce simplified ways of doing business as it is our mission to create an environment where there is ease of doing business,” Mona said.