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Posted 11th December 2020

Rules of Origin

After Brexit, where goods are made will affect how much duty is paid and whether extra documentation is needed.

-This post has been updated to reflect the EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement-


Rules of Origin are highly technical and you should seek advice from your local Chamber of Commerce to gain a definitive view. Unfortunately, the Trade and Cooperation agreement leaves many open questions about preferential treatment of non-UK goods being exported from the UK.


General principles are set out here but you should seek specific advice from the Chamber of Commerce. Details below.


Before shipping your goods to the European Union, you will need to know their origin because this will affect:

>> which certificate of origin is required (there are different types)

>> if any duty is payable under the Common Customs Tariff

>> whether any preferences or quotas apply

It’s the exporter’s responsibility to provide this information.


Their origin does not mean where the goods are shipped from. Instead, it’s where the goods – including any component parts – were made.


If the goods are of UK origin:

They will be tariff and quota free. A Certificate of Origin is needed. We can provide you with this.


If the goods are of non-UK origin:

The documentation required (specifically, whether a certificate of origin is needed), depends on the tariff code of the goods under the Union Customs Code, and the arrangements between their country of origin and the European Union. These documentation arrangements are in general the same as those which applied to imports into the UK prior to 31 December 2020, as the UK was a member of the EU’s Customs Union then.

EU origin: if imported goods are of European Union origin, they are tariff and quota free when entering the UK.


If the goods are of multiple origin:

Often, goods are multiple origin – such as a watch which has lots of different parts which are from many countries. There are complex rules to determine how multiple origin goods will be treated when arriving into the EU, or coming from the EU to the UK. The best place to go for advice on how to treat multiple origin goods is your local chamber of commerce.


Where preferential trade agreements exist:

If there is a free trade agreement between the origin country, and the European Union which provides preferential treatment for your goods, you will need to complete a UK EUR1 (a document which replaces the EUR1 with effect from 1 January 2021).


Generalised System of Preference certificates:

Where goods have been imported into the UK using a GSP certificate, it is worth noting that (from 1 January 2021) since those goods will not be in free circulation in the European Union, the related GSP cannot be used for a second time if the goods are exported onto the EU. This means the Common Customs Tariff will apply to those goods notwithstanding a GSP could have been used had the goods been exported directly to the EU.


ATRs: goods of Turkish origin:

An ATR is a goods movement certificate used for preferential treatment of goods moving between the EU and Turkey. These ceased to be effective between the UK and Turkey after 31 December 2020. Following the trade agreement between the UK and Turkey, a UK-EUR1 must be used to declare origin and gain preferences. This is for goods moving from the UK to Turkey, and from Turkey to the UK. It’s not clear whether Turkish goods moving from the UK to the EU or from the EU to the UK are eligible for preference. Baxter Freight has been given conflicting advice and is working to establish a clear outcome. This information will be updated as soon as possible.


To speak to our in-house Brexperts today, email or call 01159750400