Rules of Origin for trading with the EU: A short explainer
key Global update from John Bridge OBE DL

The understanding regarding Rules of Origin has been the most frequent issue that has been raised with us over the new trading relationship with the EU and so below is a short explainer with links to help you with this challenging issue.

To understand why Rules of Origin are putting a spanner in the works read here.

What are Rules of Origin?
Rules of Origin determine the economic nationality of a good under a Free Trade Agreement (FTA). Businesses need to know about them because the UK-EU Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA) means they can trade with the EU without paying tariffs - but only if their product meets the relevant Rules of Origin.

How do Rules of Origin impact my business?
To export tariff-free into the EU, traders must check their goods meet the Rules of Origin requirements set out in the UK-EU Trade and Cooperation Agreement and have the right documentation. If your goods do not meet the Rules of Origin, they may face a tariff upon export to the EU.

What action do I need to take?
Watch the new on demand video which summarise Rules of Origin processes for businesses. 

Then, if you are a UK exporter and your EU importer wants to claim zero tariffs on your goods, there are three key steps to work out whether your goods comply with rules of origin:

1. Classify your goods - every good has a commodity code and a list is available on

2. Understand whether your good meets the applicable rule of origin from the TCA (Chapter 2 as well as Annexes ORIG-1 to ORIG-4 will be most useful). You can also use the export checker tool to find out what rule of origin applies to your exports.

3. Understand how to demonstrate origin to the customs authorities.

For help in working out whether your goods comply and how to demonstrate this to customs authorities, read the Rules of Origin Guidance on trading with the EU.
You may choose to use a customs agent to help you with Rules of Origin and there is guidance available here on how to find one.

To view the full short explainer document, click here. 

Guidance on the application of preferential treatment and rules of origin

To assist EU businesses importing from and exporting to the UK, the Commission has developed detailed guidance on preferential treatment, origin and customs procedures within the framework of the new relationship with the UK.

Moving goods

NEW: Update on Inland Border Facilities (IBF) guidance: Following feedback from industry, HMRC have thoroughly reviewed all guidance pages related to Inland Border Facilities, including: making it clear what documentation is required at sites; which sites are available across the country; as well as encouragement to utilise alternative sites to Waterbrook. In addition, HMRC have included information on site specific guidance on the functions available at each site. Further information can be found here

NEW: New restrictions on food and drink that you can take in your personal baggage into the EU: Drivers travelling to the EU should be aware of additional restrictions to personal imports. If you are carrying prohibited items in your luggage, vehicle or person, you need to use, consume, or dispose of them at or before the border. More information can be found here. 

UPDATED: Value Added Tax EU Exit Transitional Provisions: Guidance about the VAT treatment of transactions of movements of goods, which span the end of the transition period, has been updated with information about goods in a warehousing regime. For more information, click here. 

UPDATED: List of customs agents and fast parcel operators: The list of agents and operators who can help submit customs declarations has been updated. For more information, click here. 

Trading from 2021 - support for businesses

A reminder of some of support available from the UK government for businesses during this period of change including:
The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) has launched a series of new, on-demand videos to help businesses familiarise themselves with the new rules and the actions they should take. Businesses can find out more about 18 topics, including importing and exporting, trade, data, and audit and accounting.

Register now to immediately access the video content.

Contact the Chamber

01223 237414 •
Cambridgeshire Chamber of Commerce
Clifford House, 2 Station Yard, Oakington, Cambridge, CB24 3AH