The abbreviation of COO can get a bit confusing when communicating with suppliers regarding shipping documentation for apparel shipments.  For example, who would be correct if a buyer was asking for a COO for a shipment going to Costa Rica, and an exporter was trying to explain it was not needed?   It is possible that they were talking about two completely different things.  One may have been asking for information about the "Country of Origin" and the other person may have thought they were talking about a formal "Certificate of Origin".  Similar but different.

A Certificate of Origin (often abbreviated to C/O or CO or COO) is a document used in international trade.  It is a printed form, completed by the exporter or its agent and certified by an issuing body, attesting that the goods in a particular export shipment have been wholly produced, manufactured or processed in a particular country.  In other words, a Certificate of Origin is an official document which is used for certification that the products exported are wholly obtained, produced or manufactured in a particular Country.  It is generally an integral part of export documents.

Country of origin (COO), is the country of manufacture, production, or growth where an article or product comes from. There are differing rules of origin under various national laws and international treaties.   The country of origin is relevant to export documents as well as garment labels.  Learn more about Country of Origin labeling for apparel.

Products covered by the Textile and Wool Acts must be labeled to show the country of origin.

Imported products must identify the country where the products were processed or manufactured.

Products made entirely in the U.S. of materials also made in the U.S. must be labeled "Made in U.S.A." or an equivalent phrase.

Products made in the U.S. of imported materials must be labeled to show the processing or manufacturing that takes place in the U.S., as well as the imported component.

Products manufactured partly in the U.S. and partly abroad must identify both aspects.

Products covered by the Textile and Wool Acts must be labeled to show the country of origin.

Imported products must identify the country where the products were processed or manufactured.

Products made entirely in the U.S. of materials also made in the U.S. must be labeled "Made in U.S.A." or an equivalent phrase.

Products made in the U.S. of imported materials must be labeled to show the processing or manufacturing that takes place in the U.S., as well as the imported component.

Products manufactured partly in the U.S. and partly abroad must identify both aspects.

Note on FTC Rules and Customs Regulations: U.S. Customs and Border Protection has country of origin labeling requirements separate from those in the Textile and Wool Acts and Rules. For example, FTC Rules do not require labeling until a textile product is in its finished state for sale to the consumer. Textile products imported in an intermediate stage may be accompanied by an invoice with the required information in place of being labeled. However, Customs may require that an unfinished product be marked with the country of origin. Manufacturers and importers must comply with both FTC and Customs requirements.  Learn more about garment labeling at https://www.ftc.gov/tips-advice/business-center/guidance/threading-your-way-through-labeling-requirements-under-textile

Important Note: rules and regulations change.  It is critical to check with the appropriate agency to determine the most current rules and regulations.  Do NOT rely on the information that you view on our website.

Learn about care labeling requirements and information.

Yes, I understand that a COO is also a Chief Operating Officer.