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HMRC internal manual

Import preference guidance notes

HM Revenue & Customs
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Guide Notes: duplicate, replacement and retrospective preference certificates


EC regulations set down the following conditions which govern the issue of these certificates (further details can be found in Notice 826 Tariff Preferences: Imports).

Duplicate certificates

Duplicate certificates must:

  • be completed with the word ‘Duplicate’ in Box 4 of a GSP Form A or Box 7 of an EUR1/EUR-MED (this may be in another EU language), and
  • show the date (and for GSP and some Agreement preferences the serial number) of the original certificate. The period of validity of the duplicate shall take effect from the date of the original.

The preference certificates are printed in sets with the second and third sheets re-printed with the words ‘Duplicate’ or ‘Copy’. These are not acceptable. Neither are photocopies and carbon copies presented as duplicates.

Replacement certificates

Replacement certificates may be issued:

  • in another EU member state for goods which are covered by a valid preference certificate which is not being sent to the United Kingdom with the goods (eg because it also covered goods destined for other member states)
  • in Norway and Switzerland for goods consigned originally from a GSP country, which are re-exported to the EU under the conditions set out in IPGN5650 and
  • only if the goods have remained under customs control, have not been delivered for home use and have not undergone further processing.

A replacement may cover all or part of the original consignment and must fulfil the same conditions as an original certificate (with the exception of the signatures and/or stamps of the exporter and the approved authority in the country where the goods originated). Most preferences, including GSP, require that the date of issue and serial number of the original certificate be entered in either Box 4 of a GSP Form A or Box 7 of an EUR1. The original certificate is retained by Customs in the country of transhipment.

Detailed instructions regarding the completion of a replacement certificate can be found in EC Export Preference at ECEP02300.

Retrospective certificates (issued after exportation of the goods)

Retrospective certificates (issued after exportation of the goods) should be marked ‘Issued Retrospectively’ in Box 4 of a GSP Form A or Box 7 of an EUR1 / EUR-MED (this may be in another EU language).