Talking about EU Preferential Origin, we usually mean a typical goods status that determine a preferential tariff treatment, that is a duty exemption due to the Free Trade Agreements undersigned between the Exporting Country and the Receiving Country. Those Agreements describe all the features that regulate the origin’s preferential status as well as the goods’ processing allowed for the goods to be considered of preferential origin.

So, which are the significant features to keep always in mind?
Has the EU undersigned Preferential Trading Agreements with the Country where the goods is supposed to be delivered or from where the goods is shipped?
Which are the origin’s rules expected by the Agreement with the Country involved in the trade?
What kind of documentation shall the Company archive in order to prove the preferential origin? What kind of documentation shall be issued if an inspection is made?

We have several Preferential Origin’s Agreements: Bi-Lateral Trades, Unilateral Trades and the so-called Customs Union Agreements. Regarding the Bi-Lateral Trades, the preferential tariffs are carried out in a reciprocal way while there is no reciprocity in the Unilateral Trades, where the preferential tariffs are applied only by the EU. Finally, the Customs Union Agreements allow the total abolition of the customs tariffs in the trades among countries belonging to the Customs Union. Sometimes those Agreements has Preserving Clauses for some kind of commodities such as agricultural, steel and textile products. In order to obtain detailed information about the preferential origin it is necessary to check its own HS CODE with the specific Agreement concerned.

The Free Trade Agreements are published in the GUUE.

In order to benefit from the preferential tariffs, the Importer has to present a Document certifying that the goods shipped are satisfying all the conditions required by the Agreement. The Documents in question are:

This Certificate is issued by the Customs Authority upon the specific request made by the Exporter.

This Certificate can be issued directly by the Exporter without the Customs Stamp. It is supposed to confirm the origin of the goods. It is currently issued only for posting shipments to Cyprus, Malta, Egypt and Syria.

The ATR Certificate is requested in the Agreement between the EU and Turkey. It is issued, upon request, by the Exporter to certify the goods’ origin only in the trades between the EU and Turkey. It is Bi-Lateral and it can be issued even when the goods has been already shipped.

The FORM A is used for the importation in the EU from the Developing Countries, certifying the local production of the goods. This allows the Importer to have a total or partial exemption from the duty.

Invoice Declaration – Authorized Exporter
In addition to the Certificates of Origin, the Exporter can certify its Product’s Preferential Origin writing it on the Commercial Invoice. This declaration can be done by every Company for shipments having a goods’ value less than € 6.000,00 and by the Authorized Exporters for amount over € 6.000,00.