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Rules of Origin

Updated: Nov 30, 2021

Rules of origin help you work out where your goods originate from, and which goods are covered in trade agreements.

You’ll need to understand the rules of origin to:

  • claim tariff preference when you’re importing

  • prove the origin of goods you’re exporting

The origin of the goods:

  • is where they have been grown, produced, or manufactured

  • may not be the country where they are shipped or bought from

This applies to all goods, whether they’re covered by the:

Preferential and non-preferential rules of origin may both apply. Where preferential rules do not apply you should you use the non-preferential rules.

Some products are subject to preferential and non-preferential tariff quotas that allow a certain amount of goods to be imported at a reduced or zero rate of duty. To benefit from the lower rate of duty you must claim a tariff quota when you import the goods. You can use the trade tariff tool to check if there is a tariff quota for the goods you’re importing and any additional documents you may need before you can make a quota claim. When a preferential or non-preferential quota is exhausted, imports will be subject to the full rate of duty.

Products made using materials originating from one country

Your goods are treated as ‘wholly obtained’ if they’re exclusively produced in a country covered in a trade agreement, without incorporating materials from any other country.

  • ‘Wholly obtained’ includes products such as:

  • mineral products extracted or taken from its soil or from its seabed

  • live animals born and raised there

  • products obtained by hunting or fishing conducted there

  • products produced only using materials from the country covered by the trade agreement and do not include materials from any other country

Products made or processed using materials from different countries

Your products are treated as ‘sufficiently worked or processed’ if they’ve been either:

  • produced using materials from a country different to the country they’re treated as originating from

  • ·were partially processed in a country different to the country they’re treated as originating from

If you’re importing goods from a country that the UK has a trade agreement any materials used in the production of the goods that did not originate from that country must have been ‘sufficiently worked or processed’ during the production process.

If you’re producing goods for export in the UK using materials from other countries those materials need to be ‘sufficiently worked or processed’ in the UK for the final product to be treated as originating in the UK.

If imported materials are not ‘sufficiently worked or processed’ in the UK, the origin of the goods will be the country or territory where they were last ‘sufficiently worked or processed’.

Each agreement will set out the rules that goods must comply with to be considered ‘sufficiently worked’ or processed’. This will include:

  • the product classification heading or chapter number

  • a detailed description of the goods

  • a description of how goods not treated as originating in that country must be worked or processed to be treated as originating in the UK

Please see more details here: Check your goods meet the rules of origin - GOV.UK (

Source: Check your goods meet the rules of origin - GOV.UK (

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