When exporting or importing goods it is important to ensure that any declarations you make with regard to Country of Origin are correct. This information, along with the value of the goods and the tariff classification, is used to determine the amount of import duty due. Origin also determines whether trade embargoes, quotas or anti-dumping duties are applied.
In this useful blog, Anne Murphy of Innovi Business Growth Limited explains: what you need to be aware of:
There are several things you need to be aware of with regard to origin. Firstly you need to understand the criteria that are used to determine the country of origin of goods. Goods can be considered to be of UK origin if they are wholly obtained in the UK or have undergone substantial or sufficient transformation after being imported into the UK. Some examples of wholly obtained goods include live animals born and raised in the UK, harvested crops and minerals. To qualify for UK origin under the substantial/sufficient transformation criterion, the finished product needs to have a different Commodity Code (HS classification) or its value needs to have increased by a specific amount in relation to the non-originating materials used.
Secondly you need to know if any preferential trade agreement exists between the exporting and importing countries which would allow the goods to be imported at a reduced or nil rate of duty. Trade agreements are established at EU level and details of all current agreements can be found on the EU website. In order to benefit from these preferential agreements your consignment may need to be accompanied by a document such as an EUR1 Form.
Some final points to remember: Country of origin is not the same as the last country the goods passed through and customs authorities can and will impose penalties for incorrect origin declarations.