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Rules of Origin – End of 12-month delay on supplier declarations explained: 3 things you need to know

·4-min read

Promotional feature from HM Government

On 1 January 2022, the next phase of Brexit rules began, and businesses across the UK are already making preparations to get ahead.

One of the key changes is the end of the 12-month delay on supplier declarations.

What are the rules of origin?

Rules of origin are one of the most important trading requirements if a business buys or sells goods internationally. They are the criteria needed to determine the national source of a product.

The UK’s deal with the EU, called the Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA), means that goods being imported or exported may benefit from a zero rate of Customs Duty, also called a preferential tariff.

For goods to benefit from the preferential tariffs under the TCA, goods must meet the UK-EU preferential product specific rules of origin and have proof that the goods:

● Imported from the EU originate in the EU

● Exported to the EU originate in the UK

Here is what you need to know:

Preferential tariffs

From 1 January 2022, if you import or export goods to and from the EU, you must be able to prove they meet the rules of origin to use preferential tariffs.

A preferential tariff is a tariff schedule under which one or more nations are given lower rates or other advantages over others.

If goods and products are exported to the EU, or imported from the EU into the UK, and they meet the rules of origin and proof of origin requirements in the TCA, you will be able to use its preferential tariffs.

If you are an exporter and make out a proof of origin, it will be in the form of a ‘Statement on Origin’ on a document that identifies the goods. Typically, it is on the commercial invoice. You must be able to prove the origin of your goods and you may need to obtain evidence from your UK suppliers, known as ‘supplier declarations’ in support. If you cannot prove the origin of your products, your EU customer could become liable to pay the full rate of customs duty and you could face a penalty.

These documents are not relevant if your business does not want to claim preferential treatment on the goods you import from the EU, or export to the EU.


By ‘originate’ we mean where the goods (or the materials, parts or ingredients used to make them) have been produced or manufactured. There are two ways a product can be considered originating: wholly obtained, or substantially worked or processed.

Wholly obtained goods are ones that have been exclusively obtained or produced in the territory of one country, without using materials from any other country.

The products must not have been manipulated or changed in another country, apart from certain minimal processes to keep them in good condition. Examples include minerals extracted from the soil of a single country, live animals born and raised in a single country, or goods produced in a single country from materials sourced exclusively from there.


Substantially worked or processed goods have been substantially worked or processed in line with the relevant product-specific rule. There are three basic rules used to decide if goods are sufficiently transformed, worked or processed:

- the ‘value added’ rule,

- the change of commodity code used to classify your goods,

- or manufacture from certain products or specific processes.

Supplier declaration

Some goods will need supplier declarations to confirm their origin is the UK or EU.

Throughout 2021, traders were allowed to export goods under the TCA using tariff preference If they were confident their goods met the rules of origin. They could source supplier declarations afterwards, to give them more time. But from 1 January 2022, traders must have supplier declarations, where required, at the time the goods are being moved.

The EU has also published a regulation that places additional obligations on EU exporters.

If you export goods to the EU and you provide the EU importer with a statement on origin, you may also need to have a supplier declaration in place. These are needed to confirm the origin of the goods you’re exporting when the manufacturer alone is not enough to meet the product specific rules of origin.

If you cannot provide a supplier declaration to confirm the UK origin of goods you exported to the EU between 1 January and 31 December 2021, you must let your customer know. If EU customs authorities ask you to verify the origin of your goods and you can’t provide supporting evidence, your EU customer will be liable to pay the full rate of Customs Duty and you may also be charged a penalty.

Note: If you’re moving goods between Great Britain and Northern Ireland, rules of origin work differently. Contact the Trader Support Service for up-to-date guidance and support. The information in this article was correct at the time of publication

Read more in our Post Brexit Trade section on Yahoo Finance

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