Certificate of preferential origin

Last update 30.06.2021

The certificate of preferential origin attests to the preferential origin of goods imported from a third country and allows these goods to benefit from reduced or zero customs duties.

These privileges are provided for:

  • in the preferential agreements that the European Union (EU) has concluded with a large number of third countries;
  • unilateral measures in favour of certain third countries.

Preferential agreements differ from country to country. It is advisable to consult them before importing or exporting any goods under the preferential arrangements scheme, so as to check whether the goods qualify for a preferential certificate of origin.

The certificate of preferential origin:

  • is issued by the customs authorities of the exporting country;
  • must be presented at the time of customs clearance.

How to proceed

Obtaining a certificate of preferential origin

The preferential origin certificate allows goods imported from a third country to benefit from reduced or zero customs duties.

The certificate is issued by the customs authorities of the exporting country and must be presented at the time of customs clearance.

In Luxembourg, the Customs and Excise Agency issues certificates of preferential origin.

If the exporter is not the manufacturer of the goods, they are obliged to request a supplier's declaration of origin from the supplier. This does not replace the certificate of origin but the competent authority may rely on the supplier's declaration of origin in order to issue the certificate.

The different certificates of preferential origin

The certificate of preferential origin allows the goods to benefit from zero or reduced rates of customs duty on import. The type of certificate to be produced is determined by each preferential agreement. There are several types of certificate of preferential origin. The main ones are the following:

  • the EUR.1 movement certificate, used for example for trade with Switzerland;
  • the EUR-MED certificate in the pan-Euro-Mediterranean zone, used for example for trade with Tunisia;
  • the certificate of origin used for trade under the Generalised System of Preferences (preferential agreements with developing countries).

The declaration of origin or invoice declaration

The certificate of preferential origin can sometimes be replaced by a declaration of origin (also referred to as invoice declaration). The latter can be used:

  • by all exporters, for goods with a value not exceeding EUR 6,000;
  • by an approved exporter, regardless of the value of the goods. Approved exporter status must be applied for at the Customs and Excise Agency.

Under the Generalised System of Preferences, since 1 January 2021 a declaration of origin based on the invoice issued by a registered exporter (REX system) must be issued.

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