Declaring Origin

Author - Max Tweddle

Date published:

Different methods of declaring origin

This article aims to help you trade more effectively internationally by explaining the different possible methods of declaring the origin of your goods.

When conducting international trade, declaring the origin of a product is an important and necessary part of the process. Declaring origin is required because governments need to know where products were produced, manufactured, or processed. If the country of origin has a trade agreement with the UK, you might also be eligible for reduced/nil rates of duty by declaring origin.

Rules of Origin requirements are some of the most important requirements that your business needs to understand and meet. There are several ways of declaring origin, and the proof required will depend on the type of goods, and where they’re being imported from/exported to.

1. Certificate of Origin (CO)

This trade document certifies that goods are wholly obtained, produced, manufactured, or processed in a particular country. As such, you might see it as a sort of birth certificate which states the ‘nationality’ of a good. The two types of CO that can be issues are Preferential COs and Non-Preferential COs. Preferential COs certify that goods in a consignment are eligible for reduced tariffs or exemptions. Non-Preferential COs state that they are not. This is decided depending on the existence of a Free Trade Agreement between the UK and another country.

2. Origin Declaration/Invoice Declaration/Statement of Origin

It’s also possible to declare origin via a commercial document that contains enough detail in it to adequately identify the origin of the goods. This document may take the form of an invoice, a packing list, or a delivery note.

For this method, there’s a time limit. Origin declarations must be presented to HMRC within 2 years of the date your goods were imported.

3. Importer’s Knowledge

In some instances, an importer may claim preference based on the knowledge that they have about the origin of the goods they’re importing. This can be used instead of an origin declaration, but you will need supporting documentation and records. These should cover:

  • Commodity Codes
  • A brief description of the production process
  • Category of the goods
  • If the goods have been altered or transformed
  • Any additional information that would help verify the origin of the goods

4. Long-Term Supplier Origin

This is the final method of declaring origin. If your trade supplier regularly provides you with shipments of goods, and those goods are all expected to have the same country of origin, they might supply you with a single declaration which covers multiple consignments of those goods. This is a long-term supplier declaration.

If you want to acquire a Certificate of Origin, please contact the North East England Chamber of Commerce at [email protected]

More information on all the appropriate methods of declaring origin can be found on the website here.

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