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Proof of Origin: What is this and how to get it?

How to evidence the origin of your products the right way

A proof of origin is an international commerce document that validates that the items in a shipment are from a certain country or area. When presented to a customs authority, certificates of origin must accompany the customs import declaration (in the EU, for example, known as the Single Administrative Document, SAD).

The origin of the items may be shown by either

  • a non-preferential origin certificate. It verifies that the items' nation of origin does not qualify for preferential treatment; these certifications are often provided by chambers of commerce.

  • a certificate of preferred origin - it permits items to be imported with reduced or no charges from outside a country with whom a country has a preferential agreement.

These certifications must be provided by the exporting country's customs authority and delivered at the time of customs clearance.

Each preferential agreement specifies the kind of certificate to be used. For example, in the EU

  • Use Form A for the GSP regime,

  • EUR MED (for certain specific instances under the PEM system)

  • Certificate of Origin (for all other agreements)

Alternatively, exporters may produce an invoice declaration regardless of trade partner nation for consignments up to a certain low value, in the EU, for example, this is €6,000. In the EU, for consignments above €6,000, invoice declarations must be provided by an authorised exporter.


The REX system is an example of an invoice declaration:

The REX system is founded on the notion of self-certification by economic operators who issue "statements on origin" to themselves.

Statement of Origin

A statement of origin is a declaration of origin included to an invoice or other business document by the registered exporter. I n the EU, Annex 22-07 of the UCC IA contains the wording of the origin statement (Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2015/2447 (OJ L-343 29/12/2015)). (CELEX 32015R2447).

Economic operators must be registered in a database by the appropriate authorities of their country of origin in order to make a declaration of origin. Following registration, the economic operator will be referred to as a "registered exporter."

The data of the registered exporters is available on the EU's REX-specific websites. Companies may use this portal to check the authenticity of the registrations of registered exporters who provide statements of origin.

The REX System is being implemented gradually.

The REX system is gradually replacing the present system, which is based on certifications of origin provided by government agencies and invoice declarations completed by economic operators.

It was first and progressively implemented for the Generalised System of Preferences (GSP). See its current implementation status and a list of nations that use it here.

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