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Taxation and Customs Union

Legal framework(s) for preferential origin


Each individual arrangement has its own legal base.

The Community has both unilateral (preference granted by the Community with no reciprocity) and conventional preferential arrangements (reciprocal agreements establishing free trade areas). These arrangements are based on the origin of the products benefiting from tariff preferences; therefore customs union agreements concluded by the Community with Turkey , Andorra and San Marino are excluded.

For each preferential arrangement (see the list) the first column gives the country or group of countries, legal framework and OJ publication references and the second column indicates the protocol number or regulation containing the rules of origin and furthermore indicates the type of cumulation of origin applicable.

Each arrangement has its own legal base in form of a preferential agreement or in the form of a special provision in Commission Regulation (EC) No 2454/93 of 2.7.1993 (IPC).

In the context of Community preferential arrangements, the originating status of products exported from the EC needs to be determined considering the Community as a whole, whatever be the different Member States involved in the manufacture of the products. Both Community exporters and the customs authorities therefore need complete information at the time of establishing the proof of origin as well as in the event of subsequent verification, showing the originating or non originating status and particulars of the materials used in the manufacture of the product whose origin has to be established. This is the purpose of the 'supplier's declaration', to be provided by the supplier to the exporter (see Council Regulation (EC) N° 1207/2001 of 11 June 2001). This may, at customs' request, be subject to controls on its accuracy or authenticity.

The origin mentioned on the suppliers’ declarations should be European Union (EU) and not the origin of an individual Member State (even if the goods were wholly obtained there). In this respect it is possible to indicate the European Union by using the acronyms listed in the attached document. The former abbreviations EEC or EC can be used when they correspond to the acronym applicable at the time of the conclusion of the respective preferential arrangement. However, for practical reasons the uniform and unique use of the code “EU”, which corresponds to the EN code of EUROSTAT’s geonomenclature for European Union, is recommended.