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General aspects of preferential origin


Preferential origin is conferred on goods from particular countries, which have fulfilled certain criteria allowing preferential rates of duty to be claimed.

Common provisions

While the provisions of the individual arrangements may vary in certain details, most preferential origin arrangements have a number of common provisions

Legal framework(s) for preferential origin

Each individual arrangement has its own legal base.

List Rules

List of working or processing required to be carried out on non-originating materials in order that the product manufactured can obtain originating status.

New developments

Introduction to the Commission communication on the future of rules of origin in preferential trade arrangements and its follow-up.

List of preferential arrangements

Arrangements list

This list contains useful links to the various arrangements, their relevant origin provisions and provisions on cumulation.

Individual arrangements

Generalised System of Preferences

Facility granted unilaterally to developing countries including the 'Everything but arms initiative' for Least Developed Countries.

European Economic Area

The EEA (EC, Iceland , Norway and Liechtenstein) is considered as a single territory with a common EEA originating status.

System of Pan-Euro-Mediterranean cumulation

A system of Pan-Euro-Med cumulation of origin is an extension of a previous system of Pan-European cumulation. It therefore operates between the EC and the Member States of the European Free Trade Association (Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland) and Turkey and countries which signed the Barcelona Declaration, namely Algeria, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Syria, Tunisia and the Palestinian Authority of the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Faroe Islands have been added to the system as well.

Western Balkans

Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia and Kosovo (This designation is without prejudice to positions on status, and is in line with UNSCR 1244 and the ICJ Opinion on the Kosovo Declaration of Independence) benefit from preferential treatment as participants in the Stabilisation and Association process (SAP).

The Countries of Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific (ACP)

Trade preferences available to the African, Caribbean and Pacific States having concluded WTO-compatible agreements with the EU.

The Overseas Countries and Territories (OCT)

The EC grants unilateral trade preferences to the OCTs. These are constitutionally linked to four of the Member States (Denmark, France, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom).

South Africa

The bilateral Trade Development and Co-operation Agreement establishes a free trade area between the EC and South Africa.

Latin America

Agreements with Mexico and Chile.


Faroe Islands, Ceuta and Melilla.