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Following the signing of the new UK and EU Trade and Cooperation Agreement, the UK Government has issued guidance on the changes for businesses and citizens rules. Of particular importance to ASFP members which export to the EU are the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) guidance on rules of origin.

In order to avoid paying tariffs on the vast majority of goods moving from UK to EU, all traders must – from 1 January 2021 – ‘claim preference’ by way of meeting the relevant rules of origin (RoO) for their products and making a declaration to that effect.

Businesses should ensure that the following actions are carried out as soon as possible so that they are ready to use the Agreement:

  • Check the rules that are applicable to their products to ensure that the products are originating in either the UK or EU and can therefore be traded on preferential terms. The general rules are found in Chapter 2 of the Trade and Cooperation Agreement and the ‘Product Specific Rules of Origin’ are contained in Annex ORIG-2;
  • Consult accompanying GOV.UK guidance (link below);
  • Make sure they and their EU suppliers/customers have agreed whether a claim will be based on an exporter’s declaration or on the importer’s knowledge, informing customs agents as appropriate; and
  • Get ready to make the appropriate statement on the commercial and customs documentation for all consignments being traded on and after 1 January.

Businesses must follow the relevant GOV.UK guidance on claiming preference and use the correct customs codes.