Agreement on Rules of Origin

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Agreement on Rules of Origin

During the Uruguay Round, participating countries recognized the need to provide transparency to regulations and practices regarding Rules of Origin.

The main purpose was to prevent unnecessary obstacles to the flow of international trade. The Agreement established a Harmonization Work Programme (HWP) to harmonize Non-Preferential Rules of Origin.

  • The main goal is to bring about further liberalization and expansion of world trade.
  • The other motivation is to impose very precise disciplines on the application of Rules of Origin both now (transition period) and after the harmonization of Non-Preferential Rules of Origin.
 Disciplines to Govern the Application of Rules of Origin

Under the Agreement, Members are obliged to adhere to the following disciplines:

  • Not to use Rules of Origin as instruments to pursue trade policy objectives.
  • Not to create restrictive, distorting or disruptive effects on international trade.
  • Not to discriminate against imports and exports or between Members.
  • To administer Rules of Origin in a consistent, uniform, impartial and reasonable manner.
  • To base Rules of Origin on a positive standard.
  • To publish laws, regulations, judicial decisions and administrative rulings relating to Rules of Origin.
  • To provide origin assessments upon request.
  • Not to apply changes in Rules of Origin retroactively.
  • To treat confidential information confidentially.