Recently the EC has published an update to its “Guidance on non-preferential rules of origin” (available here). The prior version dates back to December 2018.

Except where preferred tariff measures are involved, the non-preferential rules of origin apply to products declared for release for free circulation in the EU for the purposes of implementing the Common Customs Tariff. They are also used to implement additional anti-dumping and origin-marking procedures (i.e. “made in…”-marking) created by Union legislation controlling specific domains of commodities trade, such as anti-dumping measures.

The update mainly provides further clarification of the various assessments that have to be made to verify whether a product falls in scope of the non-preferential rules of origin:

  • That packing materials and packing containers are only to be taken into account if the (non-preferential) origin assessment is based on an added value percentage and not for the residual rule, being the so-called “major portion rule”;
  • It provides an example on how the principles referred to as “absorption” or “roll up” principle have to be understood;
  • Further guidance on the determination of origin for products which are not included in the Annex 22-01 UCC-DA.

The aim of this (non-binding) guidance document published by the EU Commission is to provide assistance for economic operators and customs authorities in understanding and applying the rules on the determination of non- preferential origin of goods in the EU and hence is very important and useful for businesses.