Get proof of origin for your goods

Guide

Last updated 4 January 2022

If you’re importing or exporting goods with a country that has a preferential arrangement, the goods are likely to have a reduced or nil rate of duty based on the origin of those goods.

Unless the trade agreement says you do not need a proof of origin because the goods have been sent in a small consignment, you’ll need to:

    • prove to HMRC that you can claim preference for goods you are importing
    • give the person receiving your goods evidence of the origin if they are not using importer’s knowledge, so they can claim preference for them

    Check what type of proof you need

    The type of proof you need depends on:

    • the type of goods
    • where they’re being imported from, or exported to

    You can use the trade tariff tool to check which of the different types of proof of origin you need.

    For developing nations, you can check the Generalised Scheme of Preference to make sure you provide the right type of evidence.

    This can be:

    • EUR1 or EUR-MED movement certificate
    • origin declaration
    • importers knowledge
    • Generalised Scheme of Preferences form A

    The length of time a proof of origin will be valid for depends on the agreement and the type of proof.

    You need to note your proof of origin on your declaration into free circulation (and a custom special procedure if you use one). If you use customs warehousing the subsequent release to free circulation must be within 2 years to claim preference.

    If HMRC conducts a verification you will need supporting evidence that you were correct when making out a proof of origin. This evidence could be production records, invoices, accounting details and suppliers’ declarations.

    EUR1 or EUR-MED movement certificate

    Green paper certificates
    To get a green paper copy of a EUR1 or EUR-MED movement certificate, contact either your local:

      • Chambers of Commerce
      • office of the Institute of Chartered Shipbrokers

      They may charge you a fee for this service.

      Due to coronavirus (COVID-19), HMRC can only issue original green paper EUR1 or EUR-MED movement certificates in cases where the customs authority in the country of destination:

      • requires a wet stamped certificate
      • does not accept PDF copies or digital versions

      Where easements are in place in the country you’re exporting to allow for PDF copy and digital certificates, complete the following online forms and email them to HMRC:

      • to claim preferential duty rates on goods exported to countries that have a preferential trading agreement with the EU — complete EUR1 (C1299)
      • to record preferential trade in goods between the UK and participating countries — complete EUR-MED (C1300)

      1. Download and fill in the form — remember to include your company’s email address.
      2. Attach it to an email.
      3. In the email subject line use:

      • ‘EUR1 endorsement’ if you’re sending a EUR1 (C1299)
      • ‘EUR-MED endorsement’ if you’re sending a EUR-MED (C1300)

      4. Send your email to NCH.Movements.Digital@hmrc.gov.uk.

      HMRC will check and verify your application. If appropriate, we will issue a plain PDF version back to your company’s email address within 48 hours.

      Once COVID-19 restrictions are lifted, your customer may ask you to send them an original certificate. HMRC can issue one to you, but you must give us evidence that the customs authority in the country of destination has specifically asked for it. You will need to email your request and evidence to: NCH.Movements.Digital@hmrc.gov.uk.

      If the customer you’re exporting goods to cannot accept a PDF copy of the certificate and no other easements are being put in place by the customs authority in the country of destination, you can request a paper C1299 by using one of HMRC services. You must send the completed form to:

      HM Revenue and Customs
      NCH MICS Team (EUR1s)
      Ralli Quays
      3 Stanley Street
      Salford
      M60 9HL

      You can also send the completed paper form to your local:

      • Chambers of Commerce
      • office of the Institute of Chartered Shipbrokers

      You may be charged a fee for the certificate.

      Retrospective certificates
      You can ask for EUR1 or EUR-MED movement certificate retrospectively if the certificate was:

      • not issued at the time of exportation due to an error, oversight or special circumstance (such as a preferential rate of duty becoming available for the products from a retrospective date)
      • issued at the time of exportation, but could not be accepted at the time of importation for technical reasons (for example, it did not contain all necessary information)

      To request a certificate, contact the National Clearance Hub or your local:

      • Chambers of Commerce
      • office of the Institute of Chartered Shipbrokers

      You may be charged a fee for the certificate.

      If the certificate is lost, destroyed or stolen
      You can ask for a duplicate certificate from HMRC. You will need to declare in writing that you do not have the original but will surrender it immediately to us if it becomes available later. To request a certificate, contact the National Clearance Hub or your local:

      • Chambers of Commerce
      • office of the Institute of Chartered Shipbrokers

      You may be charged a fee for the certificate.

      Pre-printed ‘duplicate’ or ‘copy’ certificates are sometimes issued at the same time as the original. You cannot use these to replace an original certificate.

      If you need to split a consignment
      You need to get a certificate for each part of the consignment you’ve split. This is known as a ‘replacement certificate’.

      It replaces all or part of the original certificate.

      To request a certificate, contact the National Clearance Hub or your local:

      • Chambers of Commerce
      • office of the Institute of Chartered Shipbrokers

      You may be charged a fee for the certificate.

      You can find more information about importing goods under split consignments.

      Also read about if the goods are split, combined or changed after they’ve left the exporting country.

      Origin declaration

      You can make an origin declaration (also known as an invoice declaration) by using a commercial document that has enough detail to identify the origin of the goods. This includes:

      • an invoice
      • packing list
      • delivery note

      If your commercial document does not have enough space to include all the information you can include it on a separate headed continuation paper. The commercial document must clearly identify this. A letter headed paper on its own is not an acceptable commercial document.

      You can claim preference for different goods on the same document. You’ll need to clearly identify the goods that are originating and non-originating. There is no fixed method for doing this - the only requirement is that those goods are clearly indicated.

      Origin declarations must be presented to HMRC within 2 years of the date your goods were imported.

      You should check how long an origin declaration will remain valid in the relevant trade agreement.

      If the preference agreement says you must be an ‘approved exporter’
      Depending on the trade agreement, you may only be able to use an origin declaration for consignments over £5,400 if you have applied and received approved exporter status.

      If you have approved exporter status you will not need to present the origin declaration to HMRC to be checked before exporting to:

        • customs
        • a Chamber of Commerce office
        • Institute of Chartered Shipbrokers office

        To apply, you must prove to HMRC that:

        • you export or intend to export on a regular basis
        • the goods to be exported satisfy the relevant origin rules to qualify for the issue of preference documents
        • you will correctly complete the documents and take proper care of them

        If you’re an approved exporter, you can complete an origin declaration without a signature if you confirm in writing that you accept full responsibility for the declaration. You must have been given approval by HMRC (known as a ‘signature waiver’) to do this as part of getting approved exporter status.

        If you do not have a signature waiver approval from HMRC, you must sign your origin declaration.

        If the trade agreement does not mention ‘approved exporter’
        You can make out an origin declaration for consignments of any value, but you must include your EORI number in the origin declaration.

        Importers knowledge

        In some agreements, as an importer, you can claim preference using knowledge you’ve obtained about the origin of the goods. This is known as ‘importers knowledge’. This can be used as an alternative to an origin declaration.

        You will need to hold supporting documents or records which should cover:

        • the commodity code
        • a brief description of the production process (including the origin of the goods used)
        • if the origin was based on ‘wholly obtained’ – give category for the goods
        • if the origin was based on ‘sufficiently worked or processed’ give one of the following:
          • the value of the product as well as the value of all the non-originating or, as appropriate to establish compliance with the value requirement, originating materials used in the production
          • the weight of the product as well as the weight of the relevant non-originating or, as appropriate to establish compliance with the weight requirement, originating materials used in the product
          • a list of all the non-originating materials including their commodity code (in two-, four- or six-digit format depending on the origin criteria)
        • whether the goods have been altered or transformed
        • if asked by HMRC, any additional information that will help verify the origin of the goods

        If you or person receiving your goods cannot give this information for commercial reasons you should use an origin declaration.

        Generalised Scheme of Preferences form A

        General System of Preferences Form A (PDF, 26.6K) is only used for goods being imported from countries covered by the Generalised Scheme of Preferences.

        Suppliers’ declarations

        Suppliers’ declarations are where your UK supplier provides you with the information needed to prove the origin of your goods for preferential trade between the UK and other countries.

        Find out how to use a suppliers’ declaration as proof of origin.

        Discrepancies and obvious errors

        If there is a small difference between an origin declaration and the documents submitted to the customs office for imported goods, the origin declaration will be accepted as long as it is clear that the information in it agrees with the goods that have been submitted.

        Obvious mistakes in origin declarations will be accepted, as long as the information in the declaration does not suggest that the statements in it are wrong.