From 01.01.2017 the status of registered exporter (REX) can be applied for. The REX may issue effective proof of preferential treatment by declarations of the origin of a product. Some preferential arrangements now provide for the declaration of origin by a Registered Exporter as the only permissible proof of preferential origin. Affected companies must therefore apply for REX status.

Registered exporter (REX) under the Generalised System of Preferences (GSP)

Unilateral tariff preferences under the European Union’s Generalised System of Preferences (GSP) for Least Developed Countries require formal or informal proof of preferential treatment (e.g. Form A, EUR. 1, invoice declaration).

In future, the declaration of origin of a registered exporter will be the only preference document permitted in the GSP. The terms “invoice declaration” (old law) and “declaration of origin” (REX system) must be distinguished. Explanations on the invoice do not replace explanations of the origin.

Registration as REX in GSP beneficiary countries

Registration of registered exporters in GSP beneficiary countries is in principle possible from 01.01.2017. If a beneficiary country is unable to do so, the European Union may postpone its start. Registration must be completed in the beneficiary countries by 30.06.2020 at the latest. The use of old preference documents, such as Form A, can only be permitted if the beneficiary country concerned does not yet apply the REX system.

EU importing companies should therefore encourage their suppliers in beneficiary countries to apply for REX status as soon as possible.

REX status for European companies

In some cases, companies established in the European Union must also apply for REX status. As the GSP is a unilateral EU tariff preference for beneficiary countries, REX status for European companies can be considered in particular in the following cases:

  • Bilateral cumulation with EU originating products
  • Reshipment of originating goods by a reshipper in the EU

Under the GSP, it is permissible to export materials originating in the EU to beneficiary countries. There the European raw materials are then processed into preferential originating products, which are then imported back into the EU under preferential conditions (bilateral cumulation). For consignments of primary materials with a value of more than € 6,000.00, a declaration of origin by a REX will be required in future.

In the case of goods benefiting from GSP which have not yet been released for free circulation, it may be necessary to split the consignment. The partial shipments could be sent to various locations in the EU, Switzerland or Norway. In order for the individual partial shipments to benefit from tariff preferences, a substitute preference certificate is required. This replaces the original proof of preferential treatment from the GSP beneficiary country of origin.

If the value of the original consignment from the preferential country exceeds € 6,000.00, it is possible for a registered reshipper (also abbreviated as”REX”) to issue a replacement declaration of origin. It is irrelevant whether the proof of origin to be replaced is a declaration of origin, a declaration on the invoice or a form A.

Explanations of origin without REX status

If part of a consignment originating in a GSP beneficiary country is to be forwarded within the territory of the Union, a declaration of origin by a reshipper is possible without registration.

A copy of the original declaration of origin of the part consignment made out in the beneficiary country must accompany the consignment. However, forwarding to Switzerland or Norway or registration is not possible.

Within the framework of bilateral cumulation and substitute preference certificates, only the declaration of origin by a REX is permitted in the EU as of 01.01.2018. Shipments of originating goods with a value of not more than € 6,000.00 may be made out by[bold] any exporter.

Registered exporters (REX) under the CETA Free Trade Agreement

Unlike the GSP, free trade agreements such as the Compre-hensive Economic And Trade Agreement (CETA) between Canada and the EU are reciprocal preferential arrangements. Nevertheless, even under CETA, only the Declaration of Origin of a Registered Exporter (REX) is envisaged as a permissible proof of preference in future.

EU-based companies with trade relations with Canadian partners should therefore also apply for REX status. Please also read this article.

Application of the registered exporter (REX) and formalities

In Germany, the status of registered exporter is possible in writing from 01.01.2017 using the official form provided for this purpose. The REX is not a status requiring approval as, for example, the Authorized Exporter. Basically, a registration in the REX system alone is sufficient.

For declarations on origin under the GSP, the wording of the declaration is formally defined by Annex 22-07 to UZK-IA.

Registered exporters must master the right of origin of goods and the right of preference

The right of origin of goods and the right of preference are among the more complex regulations of customs law. Registered exporters (REX) who make a declaration of origin must have even better control of the matter than before. On the one hand, there is no need for customs control, which could still take place when applying for formal proof of preferential treatment. Secondly, the system of protection of confidence[/bold] of the Customs Code (CC) has not been adopted in the new Union Customs Code (UCC). The possibility of relying on an incorrectly issued official proof of preference is therefore no longer available today.

The importer bears the risk that the REX has issued an appropriate declaration of origin. He must therefore take security measures in advance.

Declarations concerning the origin of a REX that have been issued negligently or even deliberately erroneously lead to unjustified customs concessions. The risk of customs or even criminal sanctions is correspondingly high.

Our trademark and preference lawyers will assist you in applying for REX status.

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Dieser Artikel wurde am 9. August 2018 erstellt. Er wurde am 30. September 2023 aktualisiert. Die fachliche Zweitprüfung hat Rechtsanwalt Dr. Tristan Wegner durchgeführt.

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