Rules of Origin

What are Rules of Origin?

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Rules of Origin are the criteria that are used to define where a product was made. They are an essential part of international trade rules because of policies that “discriminate” between exporting countries.
 
The origin of a product is used to determine the import duty payable and whether it is subject to an antidumping or countervailing duty. It is also used for the compilation of trade statistics and for “Made in …” Labels.
 
In other words, the origin of a product is important because it will determine how it is treated at the border of an importing country and the origin may impact on the import duty payable and admissibility into the country.
 
In addition, Rules of Origin may also determine whether goods are entitled to the payment of less or no Import duties. For this reason, there is a distinction between non-preferential and preferential Rules of Origin.
 
The non-preferential rules are applied for “Most-favoured Nation” (MFN) trade purposes (i.e. where goods are subject to the general rates of duty) and the preferential rules of origin are applied in the case of Free Trade Agreements and other preferential duty schemes (e.g. agreements where countries have agreed to eliminate or reduce import duties on goods produced in each other’s territories).
 
South Africa has signed a number of trade agreements with its trading partners in the past few years, including the TDCA, SADC, EFTA, SADC EPA and SACU MERCUSOR trade agreements. More information on these and other trade agreements can be found under Trade Agreements and Schedule 10.

Apart from trade agreements, South Africa also benefits from other international instruments or agreements, such as the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) and the different Generalized Systems of Preferences (GSPs), of which you will find more information under Other International Agreements.

For additional information, email rulesoforigin@sars.gov.za.
Last Updated: 29/05/2018 11:22 AM     print this page
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 Top FAQs

Origin - Do all products have an origin?
It is a requirement of Section 39 that importers and exporters must submit a Customs declarations for goods imported or exported in the prescribed form and providing the particulars as indicated thereon.

Origin - What are the requirements for a product to qualify for the benefits of preferential treatment under a trade agreement?
Trade agreements are reciprocal in nature and provide for imports in the respective markets of the parties to benefit from the arrangement.

SADC - Do goods manufactured in Madagascar and sold to a company in Mauritius qualify for preferences when imported into South Africa?
The company in Mauritius sells the goods to a company in South Africa and issues a certificate of origin stating the goods to be of Madagascar origin.

TDCA - What’s included under the Ex-Works price?
Reference is made to the definition of ex-works price in Protocol 1 to the TDCA and in Annex V to the SACU-EFTA FTA. The ex-work price of a product must include the value of all materials used,

TDCA - Would goods originating in an EU member country qualify for preferential treatment if the invoice therefore were issued in a third country?
The response to this question lies in Article 15 of Protocol 1 which provides for the procedure for the issue of an EUR.1 movement certificate.