Rules of Origin

Rules of origin are the criteria needed to determine the national source of a product. Their importance is derived from the fact that duties and restrictions in several cases depend upon the source of imports. There is wide variation in the practice of governments with regard to the rules of origin. While the requirement of substantial transformation is universally recognized, some governments apply the criterion of change of tariff classification, others the ad valorem percentage criterion and yet others the criterion of manufacturing or processing operation. In a globalizing world it has become even more important that a degree of harmonization is achieved in these practices of Members in implementing such a requirement.
Rules of origin are used:
• To implement measures and instruments of commercial policy such as anti-dumping duties and safeguard measures.
• To determine whether imported products shall receive most-favored-nation (MFN) treatment or preferential treatment.
• For the purpose of trade statistics.
• For the application of labeling and marking requirements; and for government procurement.
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