Rules of origin for trade between the UK and EU

10 Dec 2021


The UK’s deal with the EU, called the Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA), means that the goods you import or export may benefit from a reduced rate of Customs Duty (tariff preference). To use this, you need proof that the goods you:

  • import from the EU originate there
  • export to the EU originate in the UK.

By ‘origin’ we mean where goods (or the materials, parts or ingredients used to make them) have been produced or manufactured. It is not where the goods have been shipped or bought from.

To benefit from preferential tariffs, the rules of origin requirements in the TCA must be met for:

  • goods imported into the UK from the EU
  • goods imported into the EU from the UK.

UK and EU importers will need to have one of the following proofs of origin:

  • a statement on origin that the product is originating, made out by the exporter
  • the importer’s knowledge that the product is originating

You can find more information about how to prove the origin of goods you trade between the UK and EU on GOV.UK.

New requirements for supplier declarations from 1 January 2022

For some goods, the exporter may also need to hold supplier declarations. Supplier declarations are documents that your supplier provides to you, that help you establish whether the goods you’re exporting meet the product-specific rules of origin. These are needed as supporting evidence to confirm the origin of the goods, when the manufacture alone is not enough to meet the product-specific rules of origin.

From 1 January 2022, if you issue statements on origin for goods you export to the EU, you must have supplier declarations (where required) at the time you export your goods. More information on when supplier declarations are needed is available on GOV.UK.

Between 1 January and 31 December 2021, you have been allowed to export goods to the EU using preferential tariffs without holding supplier declarations at the time you issued statements on origin, as long as you were confident that these goods met the rules of origin. This was to allow you more time to get your supplier declarations afterwards. This temporary easement will end on 31 December 2021 and you must hold supplier declarations for goods you’ve exported this year.

If you cannot provide a supplier declaration, or other suitable evidence, to confirm the UK origin of goods you’ve issued statements on origin for when exported to the EU between 1 January and 31 December 2021, you must let your EU customer know.

If you’re asked to verify the origin of your goods and you can’t provide this supporting evidence:

  • your EU customer will be liable to pay the full (non-preferential) rate of Customs Duty
  • you may be charged a penalty
  • you may be excluded from using preferential tariffs going forward.

You can find more information about using supplier declarations to support a proof of origin on GOV.UK.

434 to speak to an adviser.