Origin Sub-Directorate

The Origin Sub-Directorate is the section in the Tariff and Trade Affairs Directorate of the World Customs Organization that deals with the non-preferential rules of origin under the World Trade Organization (WTO) Agreement on Rules of Origin including the harmonization of non-preferential rules of origin as well as work related to preferential rules of origin tailored for the needs of WCO Member Customs Administrations.

The Origin Sub-Directorate and the Technical Committee on Rules of Origin contribute to resolving the technical aspects of the WTO Agreement on Rules of Origin. Particularly in the recent years, they examine the transposition of the draft consolidated text on non-preferential rules of origin into a newer version of the Harmonized System Nomenclature.

The main instruments in this domain are:

  • Revised Kyoto Convention, Specific Annex K (does not distinguish between non-preferential and preferential origin)
  • WTO Agreement on Rules of Origin
  • Draft Consolidated text of Non-Preferential Rules of Origin under the Harmonization Work Programme

The Origin Sub-Directorate is committed to assisting Members in a robust implementation of preferential rules of origin in Free Trade Agreements which is one of the key tasks for the WCO Member Customs Administrations in relation to ensuring a fair, effective and efficient revenue collection.

In order to accomplish this task, the Sub-Directorate works very closely with WCO Members in order to develop guidance material and other tools aimed at assisting Member Customs Administrations in improving the understanding and proper application of rules of origin and to provide concrete ideas for the effective and efficient management of rules of origin.

The Sub-Directorate has developed various tools for WCO Members, such as:

  • Comparative Study on Preferential Rules of Origin
  • Study on World Trends in Preferential Origin Certification and Verification
  • Database of Preferential Trade Agreements and Related Rules of Origin
  • Guidelines on Preferential Origin Verification
  • Guidelines on Binding Origin Information

The WCO has developed comprehensive technical assistance and training programmes in the area of both non-preferential and preferential rules of origin. Given the recent proliferation of preferential arrangements and the challenges facing Customs and trade in applying the rules, the WCO has a proactive approach in order to ensure that the organization is seen as a global leader in the provision of technical expertise in the field of origin. WCO Members and the private sector can request and receive targeted training in all rules of origin related matters. The training structure framework incorporates all areas, from substantive rules to management and compliance.