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Origin of goods and preferences - meaning and application
Importance of the origin of a commodity
In international trade, determining the origin of a good is of great importance. The collection of customs duties or the application of trade policy measures depend on the origin of the goods. In the practice of cross-border trade in goods, a distinction is made between non-preferential and preferential origin. Both the rules of origin and the forms of proof of origin are fundamentally different.
The regulations on the non-preferential origin, often also called general or commercial origin, are anchored in the customs law of the European Union. The EU Customs Code and its implementing provisions, including its appendices 9 - 11, form the basis for determining the originating status of goods and define the requirements for documentary evidence. The form of this proof is the certificate of origin, which is usually issued by the chambers of industry and commerce.
Purpose of the non-preferential origin
The determination of the non-preferential origin and its proof by the certificate of origin are essentially justified under foreign trade law or trade policy. Often the admissibility of the import in the receiving country depends on the presentation of such a certificate of origin. But the certificate of origin is also required as an instrument for the quantitative regulation of the flow of goods within the scope of customs clearance in the receiving countries. In quite a few cases, the levying of so-called punitive tariffs (anti-dumping or anti-subsidy tariffs) depends on the submission of the certificate of origin. The requirement for a certificate of origin is therefore fundamentally linked to the import regulations of the country of destination of the goods.
In addition, certificates of origin are also used to fulfill contractual agreements, often as a prerequisite for payment guarantees such as "payment against letter of credit". Although not provided as a rule, the certificate of origin can lead to tariff advantages in the receiving country in individual cases.
In contrast to the non-preferential origin, the preferential origin generally leads to a tariff reduction or even duty-free in the respective receiving country. The basis for this are the preferential and free trade agreements concluded between the EU and many non-EU countries.
The purpose of this agreement is a preferential tariff treatment, also called "preference", for goods originating in certain contracting states. Tariff preferences are granted unilaterally or reciprocally, depending on the agreement. As a rule, they apply to commercial products import, in many cases even on duty exemption.
Specific rules of origin
In order to obtain preferential origin, the goods must be treated or processed in a certain way, as described in the agreement.
For the fulfillment of preferential origin status, the rules stipulate on the one hand the complete production of the goods in the area of origin, e.g. B. complete production within the EU only with EU originating goods. On the other hand, they describe working or processing operations that must be observed when using raw materials without preferential origin status in order to be able to confirm the preferential origin. In all agreements, each type of goods is therefore assigned an explicit rule of origin.
scope of application
Since preference rules only apply in relation to the respective agreement partner, it must first be checked whether an agreement exists. The European Union has such free trade agreements with a number of states and associations of states.
A precise and up-to-date overview of the preferential regulations of the European Union is available online.
Only goods that are covered by the respective preference regulation and meet the requirements specified therein (rules of origin) are eligible for preference.
Determination of origin
The origin of a product is to be determined on the basis of the relevant preferential arrangements. It is important that the sales products (goods) are correctly classified in the customs tariff, i. H. the customs tariff number of the goods (HS code) must be known.
The individual rules of origin in the preferential law can be queried for each agreement or for several countries in a direct comparison via the "preference portal WuP online". There, select the heading "Comparison of the processing lists" and then enter the HS position (the first four digits the customs number). Then select the agreement countries (all or individual countries) that you want to check.
The preferential origin of goods traffic with the partner countries is proven by the preference documents EUR.1, EUR-MED or declarations of origin on the exporter's invoice as agreed in the agreement.
The EUR.1 or EUR-MED preference certificates are issued by customs as part of the export declaration. The company issues the preferential declaration of origin on the invoice at its own responsibility.
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