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HMRC internal manual

Import preference guidance notes

General principles: preference certificates and certifying authorities

  • GSP Form A (certificate of origin) - where Generalised System of Preferences (GSP) treatment is claimed.
  • EUR1/EUR-MED (movement certificate) - for all other preferences.

These documents are completed by the overseas supplier/manufacturer and presented to an approved government office (known as the certifying authority) which must stamp and endorse the certificate before it can be forwarded to the EU customer.

The Tariff Preference UoE hold a compendium of all valid overseas stamps used for authenticating preference certificates. Officers unable to resolve a stamp query locally must contact the Tariff Preference UoE for advice.

If a country has not provided details of their certifying authority to the EC Commission they are not entitled to claim preference. These countries are listed in Volume 1 Part 7 of the Tariff.

Some countries are beneficiaries of more than one preference scheme, eg GSP and Overseas Countries and Territories (OCT). In these cases, the type of certificate presented determines which preference may be claimed, eg if a Form A is presented only GSP can be claimed.