Rules of origin for imported and exported goods

Proving goods of preferential origin

Guide

If the goods you're exporting have preferential origin, they are likely to attract reduced or nil rates of duty when they enter your customer's country. As an exporter, it is your responsibility to ensure that the rules of preferential origin have been followed correctly.

If you're exporting, you should check with the customs authorities in the country you are selling to and find out what preferences are available. 

If you're importing goods of preferential origin, you are likely to pay duty on the goods at a reduced or nil rate. However you must be sure that the paperwork has been correctly processed. You can be liable for unpaid or incorrectly paid duty for up to three years.

You'll need to prove to Customs that you are entitled to claim preference for the goods that are being exported or imported. The type of proof needed depends on the type of goods and the country to which they're being exported.

In particular, you should check if the preference scheme is autonomous or reciprocal - that is, whether it applies to imports only or to both imports and exports. This will determine which type of certification you will require. Read more about managing certification for preferential origin.

If you're regularly exporting or importing, you could consider applying for Binding Origin Information (BOI). This is a legally binding document from customs that clarifies the origin of your goods and can save time and money for regular exporters and importers. It is recognised and legally valid across the European Union.