Within the framework of the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP), a new system for certification of the origin of goods—the Registered Exporter system (REX; Registered Exporter)—was implemented 1 January 2017.
Under this new system, exporters from a GSP beneficiary country are required to register with the appropriate authority in order to list a “certificate of origin” on their invoices. Within the scope of the GSP, the “FORM.A” certificate will consequently be withdrawn in the future. Implementation will take place in phases, with a target date of 30 July 2020 for the completion of the conversion. The REX system will in addition eventually have to be used when applying regional cumulation in GSP beneficiary countries.
In line with the IT trend prevailing in the recent Union Customs Code (UCC), the REX system will be highly automated. A digital database will, for example, be used by competent (GSP) authorities to register exporters wishing to export to the EU under the GSP system. In addition, GSP beneficiary countries will be granted access to a web application in order to facilitate the collection of the necessary data for the REX system. Importers will in future be able to consult this database to determine whether goods may receive preferential treatment.
Digitization and self-certification occupy center stage within the framework of the REX system. Exporters from GSP beneficiary countries are free to issue certificates of origin, thereby entailing a shift in responsibility. Monitoring by the authorities will mainly take place subsequently. In the event of irregularities, importers acting in good faith have little or no possibility to invoke an error by the competent authorities under the UCC. Trade and customs professionals note that market participants would be wise to take the necessary precautions—such procedural and contractual measures— in view of the risk of recovery of customs duties.
Read a January 2017 report prepared by the KPMG member firm in the Netherlands: Registered Exporter in the Generalized System of Preferences
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