The Generalised Scheme of Preferences and its Rules of Origin

The EU´s current Generalised System of Preferences (GSP) (Regulation (EU) 978/2012) has applied since 1 January 2014.  

The three arrangements of the scheme, the general GSP scheme, the GSP+ incentive scheme, and the Everything but Arms scheme (EBA) are reinforced, by re-adjusting the preferences and ensuring they have a higher impact.

GSP eligible countries are listed in Annex I of the GSP Regulation. Countries which benefit from the new GSP preferences are listed in Annex II. Beneficiaries of Everything but Arms are listed in Annex IV.

There are some products/sectors which do not benefit from preferences during the period 2017-2019.

How to apply for the special incentive arrangement for sustainable development and good governance, GSP+, is defined in Regulation (EU) No 978/2012 and Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) No 155/2013.

Note that there are basic differences in the GSP schemes offered by different donor countries. Goods complying with the conditions of the USA GSP rules of origin, for example, will not necessarily comply with the EU GSP rules of origin.

Not all countries listed as beneficiaries may qualify. If in doubt, contact your customs authorities.


Tolerance

Tolerance are expressed:

  • in price of the final products for fishery and industrial products
  • in weight of the final products for agricultural products

Tolerances included in the GSP are more lenient than regular tolerances. They amount to 15% in ex-work price of the final product instead of 10%.
Specific tolerances also apply to textiles and clothing and are described in the introductory notes of Annex 13a.

See also: General rule of Tolerance or De Minimis

Cumulation

The following types of cumulation operate in trade under the EU GSP:

  • bilateral
  • regional
  • extended
  • cumulation with Norway, Switzerland and Turkey

Bilateral cumulation: Materials originating from the EU can be integrated in the products manufactured in a GSP country and then considered as originating in this GSP country, as long as the processing done in the GSP country goes beyond minimal levels.

Regional cumulation

There are 4 regional groupings in the GSP within which regional cumulation is laid down
 

Group I Group II Group III Group IV
Brunei-Darussalam Bolivia* Bangladesh* Argentina
Cambodia* Colombia Bhutan* Brazil
Indonesia* Costa Rica India* Paraguay*
Laos* El Salvador Nepal* Uruguay
Malaysia Guatemala Pakistan*  
Myanmar* Honduras Sri Lanka*  
Philippines* Nicaragua    
Vietnam* Panama    
  Peru    
  Venezuela    

 

Using components between countries from the same group is allowed (e.g. India can use ingredients from Pakistan because they are both in Group III), though some important rules need to be remembered:

  1. Regional cumulation between countries within the same group applies only where the countries involved in the cumulation are, at the time of exportation of the product to the European Union, beneficiary countries and not simply eligible countries.
  2. If goods originating in one beneficiary country is further processed in another member country of that group, then the good may be considered as originating in the latter country (as long as processing goes beyond minimal operations).
  3. To determine the origin of the input (when the input from one member of the group is sent to another member of the group), the correct rule of origin is the one which would apply to direct exports from the supplier country to the EU.
  4. Cumulation is also possible between individual beneficiary countries of cumulation Group I and Group III. This is only upon request and under certain conditions.

Please note that some products are excluded from cumulation, when there are differences between the status of the GSP countries of the same group (GSP/GSP+/EBA). The list of the products concerned is included in Annex 13b.

Extended cumulation 

GSP countries can, under certain conditions, ask the EU for authorisation to cumulate with countries with which the EU has a Free Trade Agreement.

This possibility is open only for industrial products and processed agricultural products. When the input from a third country with which the EU has an FTA is sent to a GSP country, the correct rule of origin is the one which would apply to direct exports from the supplier country to the EU.

Cumulation with goods originating in Norway, Switzerland and Turkey

Beneficiary countries may cumulate origin with goods of Chapters 25 to 97 of the Harmonised System originating in Norway, Switzerland and Turkey.

Materials originating in Norway, Switzerland or Turkey which undergo more than a minimal operation in a beneficiary country, are considered to originate in that beneficiary country and may be exported to the EU, to Norway, to Switzerland or to Turkey.

The above rule does not apply to agricultural products or products covered by a derogation.

For this type of cumulation to apply, the EU, Norway, Switzerland and Turkey need to grant the same preferential treatment to products originating in GSP countries.

See also: General rule of Cumulation

Non-manipulation

The provision on direct transport in the GSP Rules of Origin has been replaced by a non-manipulation clause (Article 74 of Commission Regulation n°1063/2010).

The main difference compared to the direct transport provision is that importers in the EU won't be required to give proof of their compliance with the conditions. However, the Customs Administration of an EU Member State could request such proof if they have reason to believe that the conditions are not met.

*Countries are currently GSP beneficiary countries

See also: Basicrules of Rules of Origin

Duty drawback

Duty drawback is authorised.

See also: General rule of Duty drawback

Vessels conditions

In order for a fishing vessel to be considered as originating in a beneficiary country, which would imply that the fish caught by this vessel beyond the territorial waters is also originating, criteria applicable refer to the country of registration and of the flag of the vessel, but also to its ownership. Please note that, under GSP Rules of Origin, there is no specific requirement on the nationality of the crew or officers.

Minimal operations

There are two sets of so-called 'minimal' operations which are never enough to confer origin: the ones mentioned in Article 76 and the ones, applicable only to textile products and only for the sake of regional cumulation, included in Annex 16.

See also: General rule of Minimal Operations

Product Specific Rules

List of processing which should be carried out on materials to gain the originating status is included in Annex 13a of the same Regulation.
The list includes two columns: one applicable to Least Developed GSP beneficiary countries, one applicable to all other GSP beneficiary countries.

Notice to importers
They have been issued by the EU, in order to inform operators about specific elements concerning specific countries, for example, concerning imports of textile products from Bangladesh into the European Union.

Derogations

A specific derogation may be granted, under specific conditions, in order to allow more relaxed Rules of Origin applicable to specific products originating in specific countries. Such a derogation has been granted to Cape Verde. Please see Cape Verde Derogation and the Rules of Origin applicable

 

Overview of the applying Rules of Origin for each country

 

Status as of 1st January 2017

RoO as of 2017

Afghanistan

EBA

GSP

Angola

EBA

GSP

Armenia

GSP+

GSP

Bangladesh

EBA

GSP

Benin

EBA

GSP

Bhutan

EBA

GSP

Bolivia

GSP+

GSP

Burkina Faso

EBA

GSP

Burma/Myanmar

EBA

GSP

Burundi

EBA

GSP

Cambodia

EBA

GSP

Cameroon

EPA Cam 

MAR

Cape Verde

GSP+

GSP

Central African Republic

EBA

GSP

Chad

EBA

GSP

Comoros Islands

EBA

GSP

Congo

GSP

GSP

Congo, Democratic Republic of

EBA

GSP

Cook Islands

GSP

GSP

Cote d’Ivoire

Cote d'Ivoire/GSP

MAR / GSP

Djibouti

EBA

GSP

East Timor

EBA

GSP

Equatorial Guinea

EBA

GSP

Eritrea

EBA

GSP

Ethiopia

EBA

GSP

Federal States of Micronesia

GSP

GSP

Gambia

EBA

GSP

Ghana

EPA Ghana / GSP

MAR / GSP

Guinea

EBA

GSP

Guinea-Bissau

EBA

GSP

Haiti

EBA

GSP

India *

GSP

GSP

Indonesia *

GSP

GSP

Kenya

MAR / GSP

MAR / GSP

Kiribati

EBA

GSP

Kyrgyzstan

GSP+

GSP

Laos

EBA

GSP

Lesotho

EPA SADC / EBA

EPA SADC / GSP

Liberia

EBA

GSP

Madagascar

EPA ESA / EBA

EPA / GSP

Malawi

EBA

GSP

Mali

EBA

GSP

Mauritania

EBA

GSP

Mongolia

GSP+

GSP

Mozambique

EPA SADC (tbc) / EBA

EPA (tbc) / GSP

Namibia

EPA SADC

EPA SADC

Nauru

GSP

GSP

Nepal

EBA

GSP

Niger

EBA

GSP

Nigeria *

GSP

GSP

Niue Island

GSP

GSP

Pakistan

GSP+

GSP

Paraguay

GSP+

GSP

Peru

FTA Peru

FTA Peru

Philippines

GSP+

GSP

Rwanda

EBA

GSP

Samoa

EBA (until 2019)

GSP

São Tomé & Principe

EBA

GSP

Senegal

EBA

GSP

Sierra Leone

EBA

GSP

Solomon Islands

EBA

GSP

Somalia

EBA

GSP

South Sudan

EBA

GSP

Sri Lanka

GSP

GSP

Sudan

EBA

GSP

Suriname

EPA Car

EPA

Swaziland

EPA SADC/GSP

EPA/GSP

Syria

GSP

GSP

Tajikistan

GSP

GSP

Tanzania

EBA

GSP

Togo

EBA

GSP

Tonga

GSP

GSP

Tuvalu

EBA

GSP

Uganda

EBA

GSP

Ukraine *

GSP (until 1/1/2018)

GSP

Uzbekistan

GSP

GSP

Vanuatu

EBA

GSP

Vietnam

GSP

GSP

Yemen

EBA

GSP

Zambia

EBA

GSP

* Please note that certain products coming from India, Indonesia, Nigeria and Ukraine do not benefit from preferential tariffs under GSP.

Please check also the notice to importers issued by the EU, informing operators about specific elements concerning  Bangladesh and Thailand.

Proofs of Origin GSP

To qualify for preferential duty rates, products originating in the beneficiary countries of the EU’s GSP must be accompanied by a proof of origin. This can be either:

  • a Certificate of Origin Form A - issued by the competent authorities in the beneficiary country. The exporter applying for the certificate should be prepared to submit documents proving the originating status of the products concerned. The certificate should be made available to the exporter as soon as the export has taken place (or is ensured). Nevertheless, exceptionally, a certificate can be made after exportation, under some conditions.
  • Or an invoice declaration drafted by the exporter - for consignments valued €6 000 or less. When filling out an invoice declaration, you should be prepared to submit documents proving the originating status of your products.

    To make an invoice declaration, you should type, stamp or print the following declaration (in English or French) on the invoice, delivery note or other commercial document: " The exporter of the products covered by this document (customs authorisation No ... ) declares that, except where otherwise clearly indicated, these products are of ... preferential origin according to the rules of origin of the Generalised Scheme of Preferences of the European Community".

    You must sign your invoice declaration by hand.

Any Proofs of origin remain valid for 10 months after issue.

These Rules follow the applicable provisions included in Articles 97k to 97v and in Annexes 17 and 18 of Regulation (EEC) 2454/93 implementing the Community Customs Code.

Rules applicable for certification of origin will change after the 01/01/2017. As of this date the Proof of origin will be brought by a statement on origin issued by exporters who will be registered in their country (cf. Articles 90 to 97i of Regulation (EEC) 2454/93 implementing the Community Customs Code).