Various preferential arrangements between the European Union and certain third countries allow to benefit from tariff concessions (duty relief) when importing goods.
- an EUR.1 or EUR MED movement certificate for the goods;
- or a certificate of origin Form A.
Imports from Turkey may also benefit from tariff concessions upon presentation of:
- either an A.TR certificate (industrial products);
- or a EUR.1 certificate (agricultural products and ECSC products).
EUR.1 certificates, form A and A.TR. (also called 'preferential origin certificates') are not to be mistaken with the European Community certificate of origin (non-preferential origin).
Who is concerned
An importer can only benefit from tariff concessions if the exporter has provided the certificates as foreseen by the preferential arrangement.
To benefit from tariff concessions, the importer must provide:
- the mandatory certificates;
- and also prove the direct transport of goods from the country issuing the certificate, which guarantees that the goods have not been modified during transport.
Direct transport can be certified by:
- a single transport document covering the passage of the goods through the country of transit;
- or by a 'non-manipulation certificate' issued by the authorities of said country.
How to proceed
Tariff classification of goods
The importer can check whether the goods benefit from tariff concessions by determining the tariff classification of goods.
Proof of preferential origin
The importer must present the certificate of origin at the time of filing the import declaration.
Depending on the value of the goods (generally < EUR 6,000) and the arrangement in force, certificates may be replaced by an invoice declaration.
EUR.1 certificates (or EUR MED) are namely used for goods originating from:
- certain pan-euro-mediterranean countries;
- certain Western Balkan countries;
- certain South American countries;
- certain Asian countries (the Republic of Corea);
- and the countries in Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific (ACP) who signed the partnership agreement in Cotonou with the European Union;
- Overseas countries and territories (OCT).
Form A certificates are used for goods originating from countries benefitting from the generalised system of preferences (GSP).
A.TR. certificates are used for industrial products released into free circulation in Turkey.
Absence or rejection of the preferential certificate of origin
If the importer is unable to present the preferential certificates of origin at the time of the import declaration, or if the customs authorities have doubts as to their authenticity, the Luxembourg Customs and Excise Agency can:
- request a security deposit corresponding to the customs duties applicable to goods of non-preferential origin;
- grant the importer a 4-months deadline to provide the missing certificates.