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This fact was correct when it was updated on 24 Sep 2020

What are rules of origin?

These rules allow governments to determine where goods originate from (i.e. where they have been produced or manufactured rather than simply where they have been shipped from). The national source of a product is relevant when identifying which customs duties to apply to an imported product. Since governments reduce or remove tariffs for certain countries under free trade agreements (FTAs) and other arrangements, they need to make sure that this advantageous access applies only to imports from countries they have agreements with. These rules set out a minimum proportion of the value of a good that must come from a partner country to qualify for reduced or zero duties.

For more about how rules of origin may impact UK goods trade, read our report on Manufacturing and Brexit.

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