Rules of Origin

The Free Trade Agreement provides that there will be no tariffs or quotas on goods originating in the UK or the EU.  However, goods may not be classed as “originating” in the UK or the EU, and so may attract tariffs, if more than a certain percentage of the constituent parts are not from the EU or the UK.  The implications of the Rules of Origin for the UK as a “distribution hub” are currently receiving a fair amount of negative press.

Businesses will need to establish what rules of origin apply for their particular products.  See here. Exporters will need to determine and certify the applicable rules for their products and document this.  Traders can however:

  • account not only for the origin of materials used but for the value or processing if this took place in the EU or UK – known as “full bilateral cumulation”;
  • self-certify the origin of their goods (which is aimed to make it easier for importers to prove the origin of their products);
  • benefit from some flexibility in proving origin for the first year; and
  • have up to 3 years from the date of importation to claim preferential tariff treatment.

UK exporters don’t need to be Registered Exporters (REX) or Approved Exporters, although they must hold a GE EORI number.  Find more practical guidance here.