Overseas countries and territories (OCTs)
Does your company import products from the European Union's overseas countries and territories (OCTs)? This section helps you understand rules of origin for OCTs.
At a glance
The Overseas Countries and Territories (OCTs) depend constitutionally on three EU Member States: Denmark, France and the Netherlands.
- OCT nationals are European citizens but OCTs are not part of the EU's territory
- the OCTs are not directly subject to EU law but they benefit from 'associate' status under the Lisbon Treaty
- 'associate' status helps their economic and social development
List of the Overseas Countries and Territories
- Aruba (Netherlands)
- Curação (Netherlands)
- French Polynesia (France)
- Greenland (Denmark)
- New Caledonia (France)
- Saint Barthélemy (France)
- Sint Maarten (Netherlands)
- Saint Pierre and Miquelon (France)
- Wallis and Futuna (France)
- Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba (Netherlands)
- French Southern and Antarctic Lands (France)
Rules of origin
The rules of origin proposed for the OCTs go beyond the rules of the General Scheme of Preference by
- simplifying origin certification for small consignments under €10,000
- granting the possibility of extended cumulation with other EU trade partners
Cumulation is also possible with
- countries with an Economic Partnership Agreement or a free-trade agreement with the EU
- countries which benefit from the Generalised System of Preferences
- allowing OCTs to derogate from rules of origin.
Tolerance is fixed at
- 15% of the weight of the product for products falling within HS chapter 2 and chapters 4 to 24, other than processed fishery products in chapter 16 and
- 15% of ex-works price of the product for other products, except for products falling within chapters 50 to 63. (Article 6 of Annex II of the Decision)
Origin can be cumulated in the following ways
- cumulation with the Member States of the European Union (Article 7 of Annex II of the Decision)
- cumulation with EPA countries (Article 8 of Annex II)
- cumulation with other countries benefiting from duty-free quota-free access to the market of the European Union under the GSP (Article 9 of Annex II)
- cumulation with the Union’s FTA partner countries (Article 10 of Annex II)
Product specific rules of origin
The list of products and working or processing operations which confer originating status can be found in Appendix I of Council Decision 2021/1764/EU of 5 October 2021.
Upon the initiative of the European Commission or in response to a request from an EU Member State or an OCT, an OCT may be granted a temporary derogation from the provisions of Annex II.
Proof of origin
To qualify for preferential duty rates at the EU border, products originating in the OCTs must be accompanied by either
- a Movement Certificate EUR.1 - issued by the customs authorities of the exporting country — the exporter (or authorised representative) applying for a certificate must be prepared to submit documents proving the originating status of the products concerned on request, and fulfil the other requirements of the rules of origin Annex
- an origin declaration – issued by any exporter, for consignments valued €10,000 or less, or by approved exporters, for consignments of any value
When filling in an origin declaration, you should be prepared to submit documents proving the originating status of your products, and fulfil the other requirements of the Annex on rules of origin.
To make an origin declaration, you should type, stamp or print the following declaration (in the appropriate language) 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."
You can find the different language versions together with explanatory notes in the model of origin declaration (pages 103 and 104 of Council Decision 2013/755/EU). If you issue the declaration by hand, you must do so in ink using printed characters.
- you must sign your invoice declaration by hand. If you are an approved exporter, you are exempt from this requirement provided you give your customs authorities a written undertaking that you accept full responsibility for any origin declaration identifying you.
- to become an approved exporter, you must be able to satisfy your customs authorities that you are able to prove the originating status of your products, as well as any other requirements they may impose. The customs authorities can withdraw your approved exporter status if you abuse it in any way. To find out more about the procedures, contact your customs authorities.
Proof of origin remains valid for 10 months.
When cumulation provisions are used
- the proof of the originating status of the inputs coming from other OCTs or from the EU should be shown by a movement certificate EUR.1, an origin declaration or by a supplier's declaration (full cumulation)
- in the case of cumulation with an EPA country or a country with which the EU has signed a free trade agreement the evidence of originating status should be given in accordance with the provisions of the relevant agreement
- in cases of cumulation with a beneficiary of the Generalised Scheme of Preferences, the evidence of originating status should be given in accordance with Regulation (EEC) No. 2454/93