March 06, 2021
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Importer's knowledge (preferential origin)

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Importer's knowledge for claiming preferential treatment

‘Importer’s knowledge’ allows the importer to claim preferential tariff treatment based on evidence they have obtained about the originating status of imported products. This evidence must be in the importer’s possession, be in form of supporting documents or records which may be provided by the exporter or producer and provide evidence that the product qualifies as originating. 

No specific document proving origin is required. In the EU, the following information shall be included in the customs declaration under Data Element 2/3 (Documents produced, certificates and authorisations, additional references): the code “U112”.

The possibility of claiming preferential treatment based on importers' knowledge is set out in the EU-Japan and EU-UK free trade agreements.

The evidence of the originating status of imported goods

The evidence that might be requested by customs for the purpose of origin verification:

  1. the tariff classification number of the product under the Harmonized System and origin criteria used;
  2. a brief description of the production process;
  3. if the origin criterion was based on a specific production process, a specific description of that process;
  4. if applicable, a description of the originating and non-originating materials used in the production process;
  5. if the origin criterion was "wholly obtained", the applicable category (such as harvesting, mining, fishing and place of production);
  6. if the origin criterion was based on a value method, the value of the product as well as the value of all the non-originating or, as appropriate to establish compliance with the value requirement, originating materials used in the production;
  7. if the origin criterion was based on weight, the weight of the product as well as the weight of the relevant non-originating or, as appropriate to establish compliance with the weight requirement, originating materials used in the product;
  8. if the origin criterion was based on a change in tariff classification, a list of all the non-originating materials including their tariff classification number under the Harmonized System (in two-, four- or six-digit format depending on the origin criteria); or
  9. the information relating to the compliance with the provision on non-alteration referred to.

When providing the requested information, the importer may add any other information that he or she considers relevant for the purpose of verification. 

Learn more

Article Using importer’s knowledge to claim preferential treatment: a gift or a trap? by Jessica Yang, Customs Compliance & Risk Management Journal

Sources

EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement
EU-Japan EPA Guidance Claim, Verification and Denial of Preference (2019)