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Taxation and Customs Union

The Countries of Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific (ACP)

This website provides information on the rules of origin applicable to the African, Caribbean and Pacific States having concluded Economic Partnership Agreements with the EU.

For general information on trade and development issues in relation to the ACP States you may consult the websites of DG International Partnerships  – INTPA or DG Trade.

Exporters in developing countries may also be interested to visit the Access2Markets website and “My Trade Assistant” which includes ROSA - Rules of Origin Self-Assessment tool.

Economic Partnership Agreements in force

  • CARIFORUM-EC Economic Partnership Agreement
  • Southern African Development Community-EU Economic Partnership Agreement
  • Interim Economic Partnership Agreements:
    • Eastern and Southern Africa-EU interim Economic Partnership Agreement
    • Pacific-EU interim Partnership Agreement
    • Central Africa-EU Economic Partnership Agreement (Cameroon)
    • Cote d’Ivoire-EU stepping-stone Economic Partnership Agreement
    • Ghana-EU stepping-stone Economic Partnership Agreement

Overview of the valid proofs of origin to be used for imports and exports within the framework of Economic Partnership Agreements with ACP countries.

Valid proofs of origin under the different Economic Partnership Agreements between the EU and the Africa, Caribbean and Pacific countries (Version 10 November 2021)
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CARIFORUM-EC Economic Partnership Agreement

As outlined in the notice OJ L 352 (p. 62) of 31.12.2008 concerning the provisional application of the CARIFORUM-EC EPA, as of 29 December 2008 the rules of origin laid down in Protocol I of the EPA superseded those contained in Annex II of the Market Access Regulation (MAR) regarding exportations from the 14 EPA signatories: Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Dominica, the Dominican Republic, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, Saint Christopher and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago.

  • Bilateral cumulation can currently be applied in the framework of this agreement.
  • Cumulation with neighbouring developing countries can only be decided in the future by the Special Committee on Customs Cooperation and Trade Facilitation upon request from CARIFORUM States.
  • There are time limited exclusions from cumulation for rice, sugar and products with high sugar content.

The specific changes in the list rules are in the following chapters: Ex1806, 2007, 2009, 2106, 2202, 2402, chapters 50 to 59, and 8415. Operators may find the text of the CARIFORUM-EC EPA together with the Protocol on rules of origin here: CARIFORUM-EC EPA.

Cumulation

  • As from 22 February 2019, the EU may apply the cumulation provided for under Article 3 of Protocol I on rules of origin, subject to the fulfilment of the requirements indicated in paragraph 3(b) of Article 3 of Protocol I, with certain ACP states and with the overseas countries and territories of the EU (see OJ C 69, 22.2.2019, p. 2)

SADC-EU Economic Partnership Agreement

The full EPA with the SADC EPA States started to be provisionally applied as of 10 October 2016 between the EU and five Southern African Development Community (SADC) states: Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia, South Africa and Eswatini. Mozambique ratified the EPA and joined it in February 2018, making the agreement the first regional EPA in Africa to be fully implemented.

Mozambique and Lesotho remain beneficiaries of the ‘Everything But Arms’ scheme under the Generalised System of Preferences of the EU.
Guide on the application of Protocol 1 of the SADC-EU EPA.

Cumulation

  • As from 1 October 2018, EU economic operators may apply the cumulation provided for under paragraphs 3 and 7 of Article 4 of Protocol 1 on rules of origin with other ACP EPA States and with the overseas countries and territories of the European Union. This cumulation is also applicable with Ghana as from 1 April 2022 (OJ C 131, 24.3.2022, p.2)
  • Cumulation in the EU provided for by paragraph 3 of Article 4 of Protocol 1 can not be applied with the materials originating in other ACP EPA States and in the EU’s OCTs listed in notice 2022/C 211/07 of 30 May 2022 (OJ C 211, 30.5.2022, p. 8-95).

  • The European Commission published on 12 November 2018, the list of materials of originating in South Africa and which cannot be imported into the EU duty-free quota-free, to which the cumulation provided for under paragraph 2 of Article 4 of Protocol 1 on rules of origin shall not apply (OJ C 407, 12.11.2018, p.5).

Derogations from the rules of origin that are currently in force:

  • Prepared or preserved Albacore tuna of HS heading 1604, manufactured from non-originating Albacore tuna (Thunnus alalunga) of HS Headings 0302 or 0303, granted to Namibia within an annual quota of 800 metric tons. Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2017/882 of 23 May 2017 (OJ L 135, 24.5.2017, p. 15)

Interim Economic Partnership Agreements

ESA (Comoros, Madagascar, Mauritius, Seychelles, Zimbabwe)

Following the submission of the instruments of ratification to the Council Secretariat, the interim EPA with Eastern and Southern Africa started to be provisionally applied as of 14 May 2012 between the EU and Mauritius, Madagascar, Seychelles and Zimbabwe. From the same day, the rules of origin set out in Protocol 1 to that agreement replaced those laid down in Annex II to the Market Access Regulation (MAR). The interim agreement has been published in the Official Journal of the EU No L 111 of 24 April 2012 . Comoros has ratified the interim ESA EPA and it is provisionally applying it since 7 February 2019. Although Zambia initialled the interim ESA EPA, it has neither signed nor ratified it yet and therefore its exports to the EU are governed by the Generalised System of Preferences (GSP).

On 14 January 2020, the EPA Committee adopted Decision No 1/2020 amending certain provisions of Protocol 1 (OJ L 93, 27 March 2020, p. 1-194). The amended Protocol 1 enters into force on 31 March 2020 and replaces in its entirety the current text.

The revised Protocol 1 updates the existing protocol by introducing modern provisions, which reflect current trade and economic realities. The main modifications are the introduction of a new rule on ‘accounting segregation’; the replacement of the provision on ‘direct transport’ by a new rule on ‘non-alteration’; the possibility to use, upon notification to the other Party, exclusively invoice declaration by registered exporters as proof of origin. The list of overseas countries and territories contained in Annex IX has also been updated.

As from 1 September 2020, EU exports to the ESA States shall benefit from the preferential tariff treatment provided for in the interim EPA, exclusively, upon submission of invoice declarations made out by exporters registered in the EU’s REX system or by any exporter for any consignment whose total value does not exceed EUR 6 000. See Notice 2020/C 176/03.

As from 1 July 2021imports into the EU of products originating in Zimbabwe shall benefit from the preferential tariff treatment provided for in the interim EPA, exclusively, upon submission of invoice declarations made out by Zimbabwean exporters registered in the EU’s REX system or by any exporter for any consignment whose total value does not exceed EUR 6 000. See Notice 2021/C 390/03.

Cumulation

  • As from 12 November 2018, Mauritius may apply the cumulation provided for under Article 4 of Protocol 1 on rules of origin, subject to the fulfilment of the requirements indicated in paragraph 6(b) of Article 4 of Protocol 1, with 12 ACP countries and with the overseas countries and territories of the Kingdom of the Netherlands (OJ C 407. 12.11.2018, p.4)
  • As from 22 February 2019, the EU may apply the cumulation provided for under Article 3 of Protocol 1 on rules of origin, subject to the fulfilment of the requirements indicated in paragraph 6(b) of Article 3 of Protocol 1, with certain ACP states and with the overseas countries and territories of the EU (see OJ C 69, 22.2.2019, p. 2)

Derogations from the rules of origin that are currently in force:

  • Preserved tuna and tuna loins from the Eastern and Southern African States (OJ L 271, 20.10.2017, p. 44) valid until 31.12.2022
  • Salted snoek from Mauritius valid until 6.8.2022(OJ L 287, 10.8.2021, p.13)

PACIFIC (Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands)

The Economic Partnership Agreement is applied provisionally between the EU and Papua New Guinea as from 20 December 2009, and between the EU and Fiji as from 28 July 2014. Samoa has approved provisional application as from 31 December 2018 and Solomon Islands has approved provisional application as from 17 May 2020.

The rules of origin applicable are those laid down in Protocol II of the Economic Partnership Agreement between the EC and the Pacific States. These rules superseded those contained in Annex II of the Market Access Regulation regarding exports from Papua New Guinea, Fiji, Samoa and Solomon Islands. The text of the agreement including the applicable rules of origin.

On 13 March 2008, Papua New Guinea has made a notification to the European Commission in accordance with Article 6(6)(b) of Protocol II to the Agreement. The provisions of this paragraph shall be applicable to imports from Papua New Guinea from 14.5.2010 (see OJ C 125, 13.5.2010, p.8).

On 18 May 2020, Solomon Islands made a notification to the European Commission in accordance with Article 6(6)(b) of Protocol II to the Agreement. The provisions of this paragraph shall be applicable to imports from Solomon Islands from 18 September 2020 (see OJ C 308, 17.9.2020, p.2).

Cumulation

  • As from 22 February 2019, the EU may apply the cumulation provided for under Article 3 of Protocol II on rules of origin, subject to the fulfilment of the requirements indicated in paragraph 6(b) of Article 3 of Protocol II, with certain ACP states and with the overseas countries and territories of the EU (see OJ C 69, 22.2.2019, p. 2)

Central Africa (Cameroon)

As of 4 August 2014 Cameroon has started to provisionally apply the Economic Partnership Agreement between the EC and Central Africa. In the absence of a protocol on rules of origin in the Agreement, the applicable rules of origin regarding exportations from Cameroon to the EU are those contained in Annex II of the Market Access Regulation (Regulation (EU) 2016/1076). The applicable rules of origin for EU exports to Cameroon are those contained in the Decree No 2016/367 of 3 August 2016: FR.

Côte d'Ivoire

As of 3 September 2016 Côte d'Ivoire started to provisionally apply the stepping stone Economic Partnership Agreement between Côte d'Ivoire, of the one part, and the European Union and its Member States, of the other part. The Parties adopted on 2 December 2019 a common reciprocal Protocol governing the rules origin for exports between the Parties (Decision 2/2019 of the EPA Committee (OJ L 49, 21.2.2020, p. 1).

Exports from the EU to Côte d'Ivoire shall benefit from the preferential tariff treatment of the EPA upon presentation of an origin declaration made out by any exporter for consignments equal or below EUR 6 000, or by exporters registered in the EU’s REX system for consignments which value exceeds EUR 6 000.

Cumulation

As from 1 January 2022, EU economic operators may apply the cumulation provided for under paragraphs 1 and 2 of Article 7 of Protocol No 1 on rules of origin with other West African countries, other ACP States and with the overseas countries and territories of the European Union (OJ C 520, 27.12.2021, p.8).

Ghana

As of 15 December 2016 Ghana started to provisionally apply the stepping stone Economic Partnership Agreement between Ghana, of the one part, and the European Union and its Member States, of the other part. A common reciprocal Protocol governing the rules origin for exports between the Parties is in force since 20 August 2020 (Decision 1/2020 of the EPA Committee, OJ L 350, 21.10.2020, p.1).

Exports from the EU to Ghana shall benefit from the preferential tariff treatment of the EPA upon presentation of an origin declaration made out by any exporter for consignments equal or below EUR 6 000, or by exporters registered in the EU’s REX system for consignments which value exceeds EUR 6 000.

Cumulation

As from 1 February 2022, EU economic operators may apply the cumulation provided for under paragraphs 1 and 2 of Article 7 of Protocol No 1 on rules of origin with other West African countries, other ACP States and with the overseas countries and territories of the European Union (OJ C 35, 24.1.2022, p. 10)

Other interim EPAs that have been concluded but not applied yet

  • EAC (Burundi, Kenya, Ruanda, Tanzania, Uganda)
    Kenya concluded negotiations with the European Union on an Economic Partnership Agreement on 16 October 2014.  The Commission has adopted Delegated Regulation (EU) No 1387/2014 of 14 November 2014 to include Kenya in Annex I to Regulation (EC) No 1528/2007 (Market Access Regulation).
     

As of 28 July 2016 Regulation (EC) No 1528/2007 was repealed and replaced by Regulation (EU) 2016/1076 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 8 June 2016. The Regulation applies the arrangements for products originating in certain states, which are part of the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) Group of States provided for in agreements establishing, or leading to the establishment of, economic partnership agreements.
 

  • West Africa (Benin, Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Togo, ECOWAS and UEMOA)

The agreed Protocol 1 on rules of origin can be consulted here.