Guide

Trade preference agreements

Eligibility for export preferences

If you export goods, you can benefit from reduced or nil rates of duty on products destined for countries that have a preferential arrangement with the European Union (EU).

The first step is to check the requirements of the country to which you want to export. Most countries with export preference arrangements are covered in HM Revenue & Customs' (HMRC) Notice 828. You can find out which countries are covered in Notice 828.

You need to prove the EU 'origin' of your goods. This enables you to obtain the paperwork to prove to customs authorities in your destination country that the goods can be imported there under preference. Read more about rules of origin.

If you're importing materials from within the EU - and EU origin needs to be confirmed - you should obtain Supplier Declarations and clarify in contracts that suppliers must notify you if any supplied goods lose their EU origin. This should protect you against unexpected duty charges when you export.

If you're unsure whether the origin of your goods qualifies you for preference, consider Binding Origin Information - an official and legally binding confirmation of origin.

Access the UK Trade Tariff.