Preferential Origin

Preferential Origin

A Preferential Certificate of Origin is a document that can help improve the competitive edge of your exports by enabling your buyers to claim preferential tariff treatment when importing your products under the EU Free Trade Agreements.


Countries with which the EU has signed Preferential Trade Arrangements are as follows:
Albania Algeria Andorra Bosnia-Herzegovina Ceuta Chile
Croatia Egypt Faroe Islands Iceland Israel Jordan
Macedonia (FYR) Melilla Mexico Morocco Norway Montenegro
Serbia South Africa Switzerland Syria Territories of the West Bank and Gaza Strip Tunisia


In order to benefit from zero of reduced tariffs in a preferential agreement such as an FTA or EU Association Agreement, goods must be either (1) be manufactured from the raw materials or components of the beneficiary country or (2) undergo a specified amount of working or processing as set out in “the list rules” in order to have “originating” status. In the case of the EU a change of tariff heading (using the harmonized system HS) is used to define origin in about 60 % of all products.

Preferential origin confers certain benefits on goods traded between particular countries, namely entry at a reduced or zero rate of duty.

In either case, an important element in determining the origin of goods is their tariff classification. Goods in trade are identified in the Community by a code number in the Combined Nomenclature (CN) and before trying to determine their origin it is essential that their CN code has been identified.

 A User’s Handbook to the Rules of Preferential Origin