The duty to pay when entering the EU will depend on three elements – the type of goods, the country the goods are being exported to and where they are judged to have ‘originated’ from. This page clarifies the origin of the goods. The first step is to check the rule of origin applying to your good. It is not enough that your products is “from” Botswana – you have to prove it. You need to prove the EU ‘origin’ of your goods.
Each trade agreement has its own rules of origin. Example: if you want to benefit from the GSP duty rate, you must follow the GSP rules of origin. If you want to benefit from the EPA duty rate, you must follow the EPA rules of origin.
Defining the Origin
There are two main categories of rules of origin:
• goods wholly obtained or produced in a single country
• goods whose production involved materials from more than one country
This first category applies usually to plants (planted in one country and sent to Europe in a raw phase). Besides, if a product is manufactured entirely in Botswana from materials from Botswana and is exported to the EU, the first category applies.
This second category is the more complex as there are several criteria to consider – eg. the origins of the materials, the country in which the final substantial production phase took place and the value the working and processing in each country has added. Example: if to manufacture your product you use materials from South Africa or part of the value change is assembled in Zimbabwe, the second category applies. Then the duty will depend on the arrangements between the country in which the product was assembled and the EU.
Other key issues involving the rules of origin are:
• Minimal operations
• Tolerance or de minimis
• Direct transport or non-manipulation rule
• Duty drawback