A questionnaire on Rules of origin and test version of an online tool
The European Commission is assessing the feasibility of creating an online tool that could guide the economic operators to better understand the criteria that need to be met in order to benefit from preferential tariff treatment.
An analysis of the preference utilisation rates of EU Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) has indeed shown that there is room for improvement regarding the use of reduced duty (or duty-free) treatment that exporters can benefit from when the European Union concludes an FTA with a partner country. In order to qualify for this preferential treatment, the product must meet the rules of origin criteria set by that particular FTA, but often companies do not benefit from the preferential treatment because of a lack of information and knowledge.
As the Commission is committed to ensure effective implementation of Free Trade Agreements concluded by the EU and to facilitate that EU economic operators, in particular SMEs, take advantage of the benefits gained under EU FTAs, it is now analysing what could be the reasons behind this gap.
To that effect, a questionnaire has been prepared to gather more detailed information about possible issues having an impact on the preference utilisation rate in EU FTAs, related to rules of origin.
The questionnaire and the test version of the online tool are accessible on the website of the European Commission and they will be available until 31 July 2018.
The European Commission expects the following from individual operators:
- To complete the questionnaire; and
- To comment on whether the on-line tool would be helpful for their understanding of the applicable rules of origin and to receive comments on how the tool could be improved.