Everything you need to know about Rules of Origin
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The UK leaving the EU single market entails a whole new game on trade, as the origin of goods must be proved in order to avoid ‘most favoured nation treatment’. As a result, rules of origin are often seen in Free Trade Agreements as the result of balance in a difficult negotiation. This can impact market access opportunities and disrupt supply chains and so traders must understand rules of origin in order to benefit from the EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement.
To understand rules of origin, it is very important to understand the harmonised system. You need to find your product in this universe of goods developed by the World Customs Organisation. This comprises more than 5,000 commodity groups which act as a basis for rules of origin and trade commitments.
How this plays out under the Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA) between the EU and UK, is that any originating products could apply for the preferential tariff treatment if they fall under three criteria to check if a good complies with the rule of origin:
• Wholly obtained
• Products produced exclusively from originating materials
• Produced using non-originating materials provided they comply with requirements
Regarding all non-originating materials, these are classified in different headings than that of the final good.
However, the rules are not written in stone.
Exporters must therefore assess their situation to identify potential improvements in FTAs for current agreements and future negotiations.
For more information this tool published by the Commission will help to determine the origin of your goods: https://trade.ec.europa.eu/access-to-markets/en/content/rules-origin-access2markets