The Government has now published guidance and explanatory materials on the FTA agreement with the EU on the .GOV website.
Please find below some essential information, relating to the new framework for rules of origin that businesses exporting goods to the EU will need to comply with from 1 January 2021.
With the signing of the UK-EU Trade and Cooperation Agreement, the vast majority of traders moving goods between the UK and EU will avoid paying tariffs on that trade. In order to avoid paying tariffs, all traders must – from 1 January – ‘claim preference’ by way of meeting the relevant rules of origin (RoO) for their products and making a declaration to that effect.
Businesses should ensure that the following actions are carried out as soon as possible so that they are ready to use the Agreement:
- Check the rules that are applicable to their products to ensure that the products are originating in either the UK or EU and can therefore be traded on preferential terms. The general rules are found in Chapter 2 of the Trade and Cooperation Agreement and the ‘Product Specific Rules of Origin’ are contained in Annex ORIG-2;
- Consult accompanying GOV.UK guidance (link below);
- Make sure they and their EU suppliers/customers have agreed whether a claim will be based on an exporter’s declaration or on the importer’s knowledge, informing customs agents as appropriate; and
- Get ready to make the appropriate statement on the commercial and customs documentation for all consignments being traded on and after 1 January.
The relevant GOV.UK guidance on claiming preference, including links to the Agreement itself and information about customs codes etc., can be found here. This will be supplemented with longer-form guidance on RoO in the agreement. This should be linked to from the same webpage as soon as it is published.
Every business should consult the Agreement itself and the official guidance linked to above before acting.
To benefit from preferential tariffs when importing into the UK from the EU (or importing into the EU from the UK), the importer will be required to declare they hold proof that the goods comply with the rules of origin.
Businesses will be entitled to claim the preferential rate of duty if they have either:
- a statement of origin made out by the exporter; or
- the importer’s knowledge that the product is compliant.
If businesses are delaying your declarations for goods imported into the UK from the EU they need only to declare a proof of origin when making a supplementary declaration.
A claim for preferential tariff treatment and the basis for that claim shall be included in the customs import declaration in accordance with the laws and regulations of the importing Party.
If using an exporter’s statement, that statement shall be made out using one of the language versions set out in ANNEX ORIG-4 of the Agreement, in an invoice or on any other commercial document that describes the originating product in sufficient detail to enable the identification of that product. The English language version is below.
The exporter shall be responsible for providing sufficient detail to allow the identification of the originating product. A statement on origin shall be valid for 12 months from the date it was made out or for such longer period as provided by the Party of import up to a maximum of 24 months. A statement on origin may apply to:
- a single shipment of one or more products imported into a Party; or
- multiple shipments of identical products imported into a Party within the period specified in the statement on origin, which shall not exceed 12 months.
(Period: from___________ to __________ )
The exporter of the products covered by this document (Exporter Reference No ... ) declares that, except where otherwise clearly indicated, these products are of UK/EU [please choose] preferential origin.
(Place and date)
(Name of the exporter)
[In the EU the Exporter Reference Number will be the exporters Registered Exporter (REX) number. These are allocated if the exporter is exporting consignments with a total value exceeding €6000. In the UK, the Exporter Reference Number will be the Economic Operator Registration and Identification (EORI) number. If the statement on origin is completed for multiple shipments of identical originating products within the meaning of point (b) of Article ORIG.19(4) [Statement on Origin] of the Agreement, indicate the period for which the statement on origin is to apply. That period shall not exceed 12 months. Importations of the product must occur within the period indicated. If a period is not applicable, the field may be left blank.]
If not seen already and members are keen to find out about other aspects of the Deal, the general clauses are summarised here.
There is also now some more extensive guidance available for business, which can be downloaded at: The longer-format GOV.UK guidance on rules of origin in the UK-EU deal has been published earlier than expected: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/rules-of-origin-for-goods-moving-between-the-uk-and-eu-from-1-january-2021.