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GSP: How to complete the Generalised Scheme of Preferences Form A

(S,P) The Generalised Scheme of Preferences Form A is used to give proof of origin for goods being imported from GSP countries.


  1. Box 1

  2. Box 2: consignee

  3. Box 3: transport details

  4. Box 4: for official use

  5. Box 5: item number

  6. Box 6: marks and numbers

  7. Box 7: number and kind of packages, description of goods

  8. Box 8: origin criterion

  9. Box 9: gross weight or other quantity

  10. Box 10: number and date of invoice

  11. Box 11: certification

  12. Box 12: declaration by the exporter

  13. Supporting documents

To pay less Customs Duty on goods from a country with a UK trade agreement, you’ll normally need to have proof of origin for the goods.

If you’re importing goods covered by the UK Generalised Scheme of Preferences you need to use Generalised Scheme of Preferences Form A for proof of origin, which:

  • must show a serial number, printed or otherwise, or, where there is no serial number, a reference to the commercial invoice by which it can be identified

  • does not need to be stamped and signed by an authority designated by the beneficiary country, so does not need to be an original

Box 1 You’ll need to enter the exporter’s business name and address.

Box 2: consignee The completion of this box is optional, but you are recommended to enter the name and address of the consignee where this is known. For exports to exhibitions which are later sent on to the country of import, insert also the name and address of the exhibition.

Box 3: transport details You should complete this box on the basis of available information. If you do not have details of the transport arrangements, then leave this box blank.

Box 4: for official use This box is reserved for the use of the certifying authority. However, if the Form A has been made out after the goods have been shipped, you must stamp or write ‘Issued Retrospectively’.

Box 5: item number If different types of goods are shown separately on the invoice(s), you need to show each type separately on the Form A and itemise them, for example 1, 2, 3. The items can then be cross-checked to the invoice if necessary.

Box 6: marks and numbers You’ll need to enter the identifying marks and numbers that appear on the packages. If the packages are marked with the address of the consignee, you should state the address. If they are not marked in any way, put ‘No marks and numbers’. If both originating and non-originating goods are packed together, add ‘Part contents only’ at the end of each entry.

Box 7: number and kind of packages, description of goods

Bulk Goods You’ll need to identify the goods by giving a reasonably full commercial description for example ‘photocopiers’ or ‘typewriters’ rather than ‘office machinery’. However, if the invoices give full identifying details (which need not necessarily include details of the marks and numbers of the packages) only a general description is needed. For goods in bulk which are not individually packed, you need to insert ‘In bulk’. The quantity shown must be the same as, or relatable to, the quantity shown on the invoice for the goods (for example if the invoice shows 100 cartons and these are loaded on to 10 pallets, specify ‘100 cartons’ not ‘10 pallets’).

Mixed consignments For consignments containing both originating and non-originating goods, you only need to describe the originating goods on the Form A. You may be unable to avoid showing originating and non- originating goods on the same invoice.

In this case, mark the invoice (for example, with an asterisk) to show which goods are non-originating and put an appropriate statement in Box 7 immediately below the description of the goods, for example ‘Goods marked * on the invoice are non-originating and are not covered by this Form A’.

The same considerations will apply if you have a mixed consignment of goods qualifying by virtue of a derogation and others which are not covered by that derogation. Unused space

If you have unused space you’ll need to draw a horizontal line under the final item in this box and rule through the unused space with a ‘Z-shaped’ line. Box 8: origin criterion

This box signifies to customs which origin rule has been applied to the goods. As described in the note about it on the reverse of the Form A, you need to enter the codes:

  • ‘P’ for wholly obtained goods, which are exclusively produced in a country covered by the Generalised Scheme, without incorporating materials from any other country

  • ‘W’, followed by the heading, where the goods have been sufficiently processed

Example For wholly obtained goods of, say, heading 96.18, the indication should read: “P” and for sufficiently processed goods of the same heading, it should read: “W” 96.18. If you fail to complete this box correctly this could lead to the rejection of the Form A.

Box 9: gross weight or other quantity You’ll need to insert the quantity in metric units, for example kilograms or litres.

Box 10: number and date of invoice You’re recommended to enter the details of the commercial invoice as this makes sure the signatory has verified the ex-works price.

Box 11: certification You should leave this box blank.

Box 12: declaration by the exporter You’ll need to complete this box by inserting the name of the country in which the goods are considered to have originated. You should take into account that where the provisions for regional cumulation have been applied, that country may not be the same as the country of final processing or the country of exportation.

For the importing country you must put the country of import. If you put any other country it could lead to Form A not being accepted. Only the exporter, or a person authorised by the exporter, can sign this declaration. Forwarding agents acting simply in that capacity are not exporters and must not sign this box. By signing this form, you declare that the goods qualify under the national GSP rules. If the declaration is incorrect, you will have committed an offence that may incur penalties.

Supporting documents You may be asked to provide evidence that your goods meet the UK Generalised Scheme of Preference origin rules. You must keep these records for at least 4 years. The supporting documents may include documents relating to the following:

  • the processes carried out on the originating product or on materials used in the production of that product

  • the purchase of, the cost of, the value of, and the payment for the product

  • the originating status of, the purchase of, the cost of, the value of, and the payment for all materials, including, where relevant, indirect material used in the producing of the product and which have been relied on by the exporter in determining the regional value content of the product

  • in the cases referred to in paragraphs (a), (b), (c) and (d), Box 4 of the certificate Form A or the invoice or other commercial document in the case of an origin declaration must contain whichever of the following indications is applicable:

  • UK bilateral cumulation

  • OT bilateral cumulation

  • EU bilateral cumulation

  • Norway bilateral cumulation

  • Switzerland bilateral cumulation

  • intra-regional cumulation

  • inter-regional cumulation

  • ‘extended cumulation with country x’ where ‘x’ is the TA country

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