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HMRC internal manual

EC export preference

Introduction: background

The principal aim of the agreements is to develop economic relations between the EU and partner states through the expansion of bilateral (two-way) trade.

From an ‘export perspective’, the department’s main objective under the preference arrangements is to ensure that only originating goods are exported under preference from the UK/EU.

If goods do not qualify under the rules and improperly gain a preferential rate of duty, then they may displace qualifying goods from the export market.

Ensuring compliance with the origin rules is therefore not merely a matter of complying with the trading agreement between the EU and the preference giving country.

It is also a matter of protecting industry within the EU and the special tariff advantages available to EU manufactured goods that legitimately fulfil the origin requirements.