EU: What are the Overseas Countries and Territories (OCTs)?

Updated: Jan 2

The Overseas Countries and Territories (OCTs) depend constitutionally on three of the EU Member States: Denmark, France and the Netherlands (the UK's Overseas Territories are no longer considered part of the EU as of 1 February 2020 - for former OCTs see below). Although all OCT nationals are in principle European citizens, these countries do not form part of the EU territory.


This means they are not directly subject to EU law, but they benefit from 'associate' status given to them by the Lisbon Treaty. The aim of this association is to contribute to their economic and social development.


Aruba (NL)

Curação (NL)


Greenland (DK)


Aruba (NL)

Sint Maarten (NL)

Bonaire, Sint Eustatius, Saba (NL)

Curação (NL)

French Polynesia (FR)

St. Pierre and Miquelon (FR)

Wallis and Futuna Islands (FR)

French Southern and Antarctic Territories (FR)

New Caledonia and Dependencies (FR)

Saint Barthelemy (FR)


OTC's until 31/01/2020

Anguilla (UK)

Bermuda (UK)

British Antarctic Territory (UK)

British Indian Ocean Territory (UK)

British Virgin Islands (UK)

Falkland Islands (UK)

South Georgia and South Sandwich Islands (UK)

Montserrat (UK)

Turks and Caicos Islands (UK)

Cayman Islands (UK)

Pitcairn (UK)

Saint Helena, Ascension Island, Tristan da Cunha (UK)

Rules of Origin for OCTs

Since January 2014 Council Decision 2013/755/EU of 25 November 2013 on the association of the overseas countries and territories with the European Union (Overseas Association Decision) applies. The EU´s Generalised System of Preferences (GSP) forms the basis of this Decision. The GSP rules of origin are the EU´s most modern preferential rules of origin as they simplify or relax the product-specific rules. The rules of origin proposed for the OCTs go beyond the GSP rules by:

REX and the Overseas Territories

Annex VI to Council Decision 2013/755/EU (1) defines the concept of ‘originating products’ and methods of administrative cooperation between the Union and the overseas countries and territories (‘OCTs’). It sets out provisions for the deployment of the Registered Exporters (REX) system to OCTs for the purpose of origin certification. Article 58 of Annex VI to Decision 2013/755/EU provides for the establishment of a database of registered exporters, and Article 63 of that Annex allows for a derogation from the REX system. Pursuant to Article 63(2) of Annex VI to Decision 2013/755/EU, all OCTs have applied for a three‐year derogation from the application of the REX system. Consequently, the Commission postponed the date of application of the REX system by the OCTs to 1 January 2020 by means of Commission Implementing Decision (EU) 2016/2093. Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2015/2447 (3), which lays down all general rules for the implementation of Regulation (EU) No 952/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council (4), incorporated the amended provisions of the REX system laid down by Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2015/428 (5) into the Generalised System of Preferences (‘GSP’). Since most of the general rules for the implementation of the Union Customs Code concern the REX system, it is necessary to make the appropriate modifications in Annex VI to Decision 2013/755/EU. That Annex should therefore be replaced in order to align its provisions on the REX system to the provisions of the REX system laid down by Regulation (EU) 2015/2447,

The law has been amended on 29/12/2019 here.


Association of the Overseas Countries and Territories of the European Union

http://www.octassociation.org/


Legislation

Council Decision 2013/755/EU of 25 November 2013 on the association of the overseas countries and territories with the European Union ( ‘Overseas Association Decision’ )

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