Taxation and customs union

The Registered Exporter system (the REX system)

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General information

The Registered Exporter system (the REX system) is the system of certification of origin of goods that applies in the Generalised System of Preference (GSP) of the European Union since 1 January 2017. It is based on a principle of self-certification by economic operators who will make out themselves so-called statements on origin. To be entitled to make out a statement on origin, an economic operator will have to be registered in a database by his competent authorities. The economic operator will become a "registered exporter".

The REX system was introduced in the GSP rules of origin by the amending Regulation (EU) No 1063/2010 in the context of the reform of the GSP rules of origin in 2010. While the other elements of the reform have taken their effect as from 1 January 2011, the application of the REX system has been deferred to 1 January 2017, to give enough time to the GSP beneficiary countries to be ready.

The REX system will progressively and completely replace the current system of origin certification based on certificates of origin issued by governmental authorities and on invoice declarations made out under certain conditions by economic operators. This means as well that the REX system is used between GSP beneficiary countries applying regional cumulation.

The global transition period from the current system of origin certification to the REX system started on 1 January 2017 and will last until 30th June 2020 at the latest. More information concerning the transition period is provided below.

The REX system is the term used to designate the system of certification of origin as a whole, and not only the underlying IT system which is used for the registration of exporters.

Since 1 May 2016 and the entry into application of the Union Customs Code (UCC), the rules of the REX system are laid down in Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) No 2015/2447 (the UCC IA, for "Implementing Act").

Progressively, the REX system will also be applied in the context of bilateral trade agreements between the EU and the partner countries. CETA, the free-trade agreement between the EU and Canada will be the first such agreement.

Functionalities of the REX IT system

The supporting IT system, which is called the REX system, is made available by the European Commission. It takes the form of an application accessed with a username and a password as a website through Internet. It is important to insist that the GSP beneficiary countries don't have to develop the system themselves. The only technical requirement is then that a beneficiary country has minimum one device connected to Internet to be able to use the REX system.

The main functionalities of the REX system are:

  • Registration of exporters: Exporters apply to become registered exporters by filling in an application form and by returning it to their competent authorities. The competent authorities register exporters who submit complete and correct application forms.

    Please refer mainly to Article 80, Article 86 and Annex 22-06 (the application form) of the UCC IA for more information concerning the registration of exporters.

    In the REX system, the following types of traders/exporters are registered:

  • Exporters in GSP beneficiary countries

  • European Union operators exporting to GSP beneficiary countries for the purpose of bilateral cumulation of origin

  • European Union operators exporting to third countries with which the EU has an FTA where the REX system is applied
  • European Union operators replacing proofs of origin initially made out in GSP beneficiary countries

  • Modification of registration data: once registered, a registered exporter has the obligation to communicate to his competent authorities all changes on his registered data. The competent authorities then perform the modifications in the REX system for the registered exporter.

    Please refer mainly to Article 80 and Article 89 of the UCC IA for more information concerning the modification of the registered data.

  • Revocation of exporters: in some cases, a registered exporter will be revoked from the REX system. This can happen for instance if the company ceases to exist or if the registered exporter commits fraud. Depending on the reason, the revocation is done either on request of the registered exporter or on the initiative of the competent authorities. Please refer mainly to Article 89 of the UCC IA for more information concerning the revocation of registered exporters.

With those three functionalities of registration of exporters, modification of registered data, and revocation of exporters, it is the responsibility of the competent authorities in GSP beneficiary countries to keep at all-time an accurate repository of registered exporters.

Publication of registered exporter's data

The data of the REX system is published and maybe searched online on this website

Thanks to this information, economic operators using statements on origin (either an importer claiming GSP tariff preference in the EU, or a registered exporter established in a GSP beneficiary country applying regional cumulation and using statements on origin of other registered exporters established in other GSP beneficiary countries) are able to verify the validity of the registrations of the registered exporters who submit those statements on origin.

Through his registration data (specifically, box 6 of Annex 22-06 of the UCC IA), a registered exporter may decide if he wants all his registration data to be published or not. If he doesn't consent for the publication of all his registered data, an anonymous subset of the registered data (the REX number of the registered exporter, the date from which the registration is valid and the date of revocation if applicable) are anyway published to allow operators to verify the validity of those registrations as well.

Certification of origin of goods with statements on origin

It is important to note that the rules for determining the origin of goods in the GSP scheme of the European Union remain unchanged with the application of the REX system. Only the method to certify the origin of goods is changed.

To be entitled to make out a statement on origin, an economic operator needs to be registered in the REX system and to have a valid registration, i.e. a registration which is not revoked. It is however allowed that unregistered exporters make out statements on origin for consignments of originating goods having a value which is below 6 000 EUR.

A statement on origin is a declaration of origin added by the registered exporter on the invoice or any other commercial document. The text of the statement on origin is given in Annex 22-07 of the UCC IA. For the rules concerning the statement on origin, please refer mainly to Article 92 and Article 93 of the UCC IA.

Application of the REX system by the GSP beneficiary countries

The REX system applies since 1 January 2017 for GSP beneficiary countries. However, all GSP beneficiary countries had the possibility until 30 June 2016 to notify the European Commission if they prefer to start the application of the REX system later, i.e. as from 1 January 2018 or as from 1 January 2019.

In addition to this, to effectively apply the REX system, a GSP beneficiary country has to satisfy two prerequisites:

- submitting to the Commission an Undertaking providing for administrative cooperation in the framework of the REX system (Article 70 of Implementing Regulation (EU) 2015/2447)

- communicating to the Commission the contact details of the competent authorities dealing with the registration of the exporters and administrative cooperation (Article 72 of Implementing Regulation (EU) 2015/2447).

The dates of application of the REX system by all GSP beneficiary countries are presented below.

The following GSP beneficiary countries are considered to apply the REX system as from 1 January 2017. But only the countries which comply with the 2 pre-requisites mentioned above effectively apply the REX system, as from the date indicated in the table below. The other countries will effectively apply the REX system when they comply with the 2 pre-requisites. The table is up to date.

Application of the REX system as from 1 January 2017

Angola, Burundi, Bhutan, Democratic Republic of Congo, Central African Republic, Comoros, Congo, Cook Islands, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Micronesia, Equatorial Guinea, Guinea Bissau, India, Kenya, Kiribati, Laos, Liberia, Mali, Nauru, Nepal, Niue Island, Pakistan, Solomon Islands, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Sudan, Sao Tomé & Principe, Chad, Togo, Tonga, Timor-Leste, Tuvalu, Yemen, Zambia.

GSP beneficiary countries

Effective application date of the REX system

End of the transition period

Bhutan

06/01/2017

31/12/2017

Comoros

06/01/2017

31/12/2017

Ethiopia

07/03/2017

31/12/2017

India

01/01/2017

31/12/2017

Kenya

01/01/2017

31/12/2017

Laos

01/01/2017

31/12/2017

Nepal

01/01/2017

31/12/2017
Niue 28/06/2017 31/12/2017

Pakistan

06/03/2017

31/12/2017

Zambia

01/01/2017

31/12/2017

The following GSP beneficiary countries have notified that they will apply the REX system later than 1 January 2017:

Application of the REX system as from 1 January 2018

Afghanistan, Armenia, Bolivia, Ivory Coast, Eritrea, Gambia, Guinea, Malawi, Mozambique, Myanmar, Niger, Rwanda, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Swaziland, Syria, Tanzania.

Application of the REX system as from 1 January 2019

Bangladesh, Benin, Burkina Faso, Cabo Verde, Cambodia, Haiti, Indonesia, Kyrgyz Republic, Lesotho, Madagascar, Mauritania, Mongolia, Nigeria, Paraguay, Philippines, Samoa, Senegal, Tajikistan, Uganda, Uzbekistan, Vanuatu, Vietnam.

How the transition period works

The transition period is illustrated below.

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The Registered Exporter system (the REX system) - Schema 01

The global transition of 3 years (BC means beneficiary countries)

Three dates for the application of the REX system are foreseen: 1 January 2017, 1 January 2018 or 1 January 2019. The first set of beneficiary countries contains all GSP beneficiary countries which didn't notify a postponement of the application of the REX system or which directly confirmed they will start applying the REX system from 2017. The second and third sets of beneficiary countries are given in the previous paragraph.

When a beneficiary country starts the application of the REX system, the system of origin certification with certificates of origin Form A continues to apply in parallel during 12 months. In case those 12 months are insufficient for the beneficiary country to abandon the system with certificates of origin Form A, an extension of 6 additional months is possible.

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The Registered Exporter system (the REX system) - Schema 02

Details of a one-year transition period for a GSP beneficiary country, illustrated for the application of the REX system since 1 January 2017

Since 1 January 2017, the competent authorities of a beneficiary country which effectively applies the REX system started registering in the REX system exporters who request it. Since 1 January 2017, their exporters entitled to make out statements on origin for consignments of origin goods having a value below 6 000 EUR.

Until 31 December 2017, the competent authorities should continue to issue certificates of origin Form A at the request of exporters who have not yet been registered in the REX system (green arrow). At the same time they should cease issuing certificates of origin Form A for exporters who have been registered in the system (yellow arrow). Should this transition period prove insufficient for a beneficiary country, it may request an extension by maximum six months (grey arrow), i.e. until 30 June 2018.

At the end of the transition period, consignments above 6 000 EUR will be entitled to GSP preferential tariff treatment in the EU only if accompanied by a statement on origin made out by a registered exporter.

Useful links and documents