On the 28 June 2018, at the World Customs Organization (WCO) Council session in Brussels, the International Trade Centre (ITC) launched a new preferential origin tool developed jointly by the ITC and the WCO.
I had the pleasure to participate in the event as part of the ITC delegation and the team that has been working on developing the tool.
The Rules of Origin Facilitator enables instant access, review and comparison of origin provisions within a number of trade agreements across the world. It is the first origin tool of its kind.
This unique tool allows users to look up MFN rates and check the availability of any trade agreements between several countries of export and a selected country of import. If trade agreements are available users are able to simultaneously look up and compare rules of origin for their products.
The Rule of Origin Facilitator covers product-specific rules of origin as well as other origin provisions and requirements which an exporter needs to fulfil in order for the product to be considered eligible for preferential treatment under a trade agreement.
The tool is fully integrated with other ITC tools and databases, such as the tariff and trade agreements databases, which have been continuously maintained by ITC’s Market Access Map since 2006. This enables the tool to reflect the latest available MFN and preferential tariff rates.
The ITC database of trade agreements covers various types of trade treaties including free trade agreements, preferential unilateral arrangements and more. The Rules of Origin Facilitator currently contains data for over 70 trade agreements applied by 85 countries and non-preferential regimes of the EU, the USA and Switzerland.
The tool will continue to be expanded to include new treaties with the ultimate goal of covering all trade agreements in force (currently over 400).
The Rule of origin Facilitator was designed to support SMEs participation in global value chains by enabling them to take advantage of preferential rates under trade agreements. The tool can equally be used by policy-makers, trade negotiators, economists as well as any other users.
You can access the tool here.