Rules of Origin – Singapore

Rules of origin are set out in Protocol 1, the Protocol on Rules of Origin of the EU – Singapore Free Trade Agreement.


Products originating in the EU or Singapore

In the EU-Singapore Free Trade Agreement, a product is considered originating in the EU or in Singapore, if it is:

  • wholly obtained in the EU or Singapore; or
  • produced using non-originating materials provided it fulfils the product specific rules set out in Annex B "List of working or processing required to be carried out on non-originating materials in order that the product manufactured can obtain originating status”. See also Annex A "Introductory notes to the list in Annex B”. Furthermore, Annex B (a) “Addendum to Annex B” provides for alternative product specific rules for certain products originating in Singapore, limited by an annual quota.

The products also need to fulfil all other applicable requirements specified in the Protocol on Rules of Origin (e.g. insufficient working or processing, non-alteration rule). The Protocol foresees some flexibilities helping to comply with product specific rules, such as tolerances or cumulation.

Tolerance

In the EU-Singapore Free Trade Agreement, the tolerance rule allows the producer to use non-originating materials that are normally prohibited by the product specific rule as long as their net weight or value does not exceed:

  •   10% of the weight of the product for products falling within Chapters 2 and 4 to 24 of the Harmonized System, other than processed fishery products of Chapter 16; 
  •    10% of the ex-works price of the product for other products

This tolerance cannot be used to exceed any threshold of maximum non-originating materials expressed in weight or value listed in the product specific rules.

Specific tolerances apply to textiles and clothing classified in HS Chapters 50 to 63, which are included in Notes 6 and 7of Annex A "Introductory notes to the list in Annex B”.

Cumulation

The EU-Singapore Free Trade Agreement provides for bilateral cumulation between the EU and Singapore and for the possibility of cumulation with ASEAN countries, if certain requirements are met.

  • Bilateral cumulation allows materials originating in Singapore to be considered as originating in the EU when further processed or incorporated in the EU and exported to Singapore (and vice and versa).
  • Cumulation with an ASEAN country which has a preferential agreement with the EU allows materials originating in such countries to be considered as originating in Singapore or in the EU when further processed or incorporated respectively in the EU or Singapore. The origin of these materials shall be determined according to the rules of origin applicable in the framework of the EU's preferential agreement with those countries. The relevant administrative requirements are listed in Article 3 of the Protocol on Rules of Origin. Please note that the materials listed in Annex C to the Protocol on Rules of Origin shall be excluded from this cumulation where, at the time of importation of the product,

(a) the tariff preference applicable to the materials in the EU or Singapore is not the same for all the countries involved in the cumulation; and

 (b) the materials concerned would benefit, through cumulation, from a tariff treatment more favorable than the one they would benefit from if directly exported to the EU or to Singapore.

  • Cumulation with an ASEAN country which has no preferential agreement with the EU: materials of these countries, when further processed or incorporated into one of the products listed in Annex D to the Protocol on Rules of Origin shall be considered as materials originating in the EU or in Singapore. The origin of these materials shall be determined according to the rules of origin applicable in the framework of the European Union's General System of Preferences (Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) 2015/2446). The relevant administrative requirements are listed in Article 3 of the Protocol on Rules of Origin.

Transport through a third country: non-alteration rule

In the EU-Singapore Free Trade Agreement, originating products must be transported from the EU to Singapore (and vice-versa) without being further processed in a third country. Some operations such as preserving products in good conditions, storage, splitting of consignments can be conducted in a third country if the products are kept under customs supervision.

Duty drawback

Refunding of duties previously paid on non-originating materials used to produce a product that is exported under a preferential tariff is not allowed under the EU-Singapore Free Trade Agreement.


Origin procedures

Origin procedures related to claim for a preferential tariff and verification by customs authorities are set out in Section B of the Protocol on Rules of Origin of the EU-Singapore Free Trade Agreement.

The claim for a preferential tariff

In the EU-Singapore Free Trade Agreement, importers can claim preferential tariff treatment based on an origin declaration provided by the exporter.

Origin declaration

Exporters can self-declare that their product originates in the EU or Singapore by providing an origin declaration.

(a) In the EU an origin declaration can be made out by an approved exporter, or by any exporter provided that the total value of the products does not exceed EUR 6,000.

b) in Singapore it can be made out by an exporter who is registered with the competent authority and who has received a Unique Entity Number; and complies with relevant regulatory provisions in Singapore pertaining to making out origin declarations.

  • To make an origin declaration you should type, stamp or print the declaration on the invoice, the delivery note or another commercial document. The text of the origin declaration can be found in Annex E of the Protocol on Rules of Origin.
  • It can be made out in any of the EU’s official languages.
  • It should be signed by the exporter. An approved exporter shall not be required to sign such declarations if he gives the customs authorities of the exporting Party a written undertaking that he accepts full responsibility for any origin declaration which identifies him as if it had been signed in manuscript by him.
  • It can be made out after exportation. It has to be presented to the customs authorities of the importing Party, in the case of the EU authorities no later than 2 years and in the case of Singapore authorities no later than one year after the entry of the goods into the territory.
  • When filling in an origin declaration, you should be prepared to submit documents proving the originating status of your products.
  • The origin declaration remains valid for 12 months from the date of issue by the exporter.

Verification of origin

The customs authorities may verify whether a product imported is indeed originating or fulfils other origin requirements. The EU-Singapore FTA is based on the following principles:

  • The verification is requested by the authorities of the importing Party and is carried out by the authorities of the exporting Party.
  • Verification is based on administrative cooperation between customs authorities of the importing and the exporting Party.
  • Checks on the origin of the products are done by local customs, visits of the importing Party to the exporter are not allowed.
  • Once the verification is concluded, the authorities of the exporting Party make the determination of origin and inform the authorities of the importing Party of the results.