Last reviewed 11 October 2021

We reported recently that HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) had produced a series of guides relating to originating status of goods and preferential tariff treatment under the UK-EU Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA) (see HMRC sets out rules for moving goods between UK and EU).

One of these guides concerns how to prove the originating status of goods and how to check if it is possible to claim preferential tariff treatment.

Available at www.gov.uk/government/collections/rules-of-origin-for-goods-moving-between-the-uk-and-eu, this notes that the customs authority of the importing party will grant preferential tariff treatment, based on a claim made by the importer, to goods that originate in the other party and meet the TCA conditions.

While a claim for preference, and the “presentation” of the proof of origin, is normally included on the customs declaration to enter the goods into free circulation, it can also be made after importation as long as it is made within three years of the importation date and accompanied with a valid proof of origin.

As long as they are declared to the customs authorities as meeting the origin rules, some goods may be imported without the need for a formal proof of origin (a waiver).

For import into the EU, this waiver applies to goods valued under either €500 for products sent in small packages or €1200 for products forming part of a traveller’s personal luggage.

One option for claiming preference is for the importer to use a ‘statement on origin’ made out by the exporter.

A statement on origin is prescribed text which the exporter adds to the invoice or any other document, including a commercial document, that describes the originating product in enough detail to allow it to be identified.

The statement or document may be in an electronic format.

A statement on origin may be made out before, at the same time as, or after the products that it relates to are exported. For imports to the UK it will be valid for two years from the date it was made out; for exports to the EU it will be valid for 12 months.