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Document 31999Y0331(01)

Notes concerning Protocol No 4 to the Europe Agreements

OJ C 90, 31.3.1999, p. 6–15 (ES, DA, DE, EL, EN, FR, IT, NL, PT, FI, SV)

In force


Notes concerning Protocol No 4 to the Europe Agreements

Official Journal C 090 , 31/03/1999 P. 0006 - 0015


Article 1 (f) - 'Ex-works price`

The ex-works of a product shall include:

- the value of all supplied materials used in manufacture,

- all costs (material costs as well as other costs) effectively incurred by the manufacturer. For example, the ex-works price of recorded video cassettes, records, discs, media-carrying computer software and other such products comprising an element of intellectual property rights shall as far as possible include all costs with regard to the use of intellectual property rights for the manufacture of the goods, paid for by the manufacturer, whether or not the holder of such rights has his seat or residence in the country of production.

No account shall be taken of commercial price reductions (e.g. for early payment, or large quantity deliveries).

Article 3 and 4 - Cumulation

In general, the origin of the final product will be determined through the 'last working or processing` carried out provided that the operations carried out go beyond those referred to in Article 7.

If, in the country of final manufacture, the originating materials from one or more countries are not subject to working or processing going beyond minimal operations, the origin of the final product shall be allocated to the country contributing the highest value. For this purpose, the value added in the country of final manufacture is compared with the value of the materials originating in each one of the other countries.

If no working or processing is carried out in the country of export, the materials or products simply retain their origin if they are exported to one of the countries concerned.

The following examples explain how to determine origin according to the three paragraphs of Articles 3 and 4:


1. Example for allocation of origin through the last working or processing carried out (paragraph 1)

Fabrics (HS 5112; obtained from lambs' wool not combed or carded) originating in the Community are imported into the Czech Republic; lining, made of man-made staple fibre (HS 5513) is originating in Hungary.

In the Czech Republic, suits (HS 6203) are made up.

The last working or processing is carried out in the Czech Republic; the working or processing (in this case, making-up suits) goes beyond operations referred to in Article 7. Therefore, the suits obtain Czech origin.

2. Example for allocation of origin if the last working or processing does not go beyond minimal operations; recourse has to be taken to the highest value of the materials used in the manufacture (paragraph 2)

The different parts of an ensemble, originating in two countries, are packed in Slovenia. The trousers and a skirt, originating in Poland, have a value of EUR 180; the jacket, originating in the Community, has a value of EUR 100. The minimal operation (packing) carried out in Slovenia costs EUR 2. The operator uses plastic bags from Ukraine, of a value of EUR 0,5. The ex-works price of the final product is EUR 330.

As the operation in Slovenia is a minimal one the value added there has to be compared with the customs values of the other materials used in order to allocate origin:

Value added in Slovenia (which includes EUR 2 for the operation and EUR 0,5 for the bag) = EUR 330 (ex-works price) (minus) EUR 280 (180 + 100)= EUR 50 = Slovenia 'added value`.

The Polish value (180) is higher than the value added in Slovenia (50) and the values of all other originating materials used (100). Therefore, the final product will have Polish origin.

3. Example for products that are exported without undergoing further working or processing (paragraph 3)

A carpet, originating in the Community, is exported to Slovak Republic and is, without undergoing further operations, imported into Poland after two years. The carpet does not change origin and still has Community origin upon importation into Poland.

Article 10 - Origin rule for sets

The origin rule for sets applies only to sets within the meaning of General Rule 3 for the interpretation of the Harmonised System.

According to this provision each product of which the set is composed, with the exception of products the value of which does not exceed 15 per cent of the total value of the set, must fulfil the origin criteria for the heading under which the product would have been classified if it were a separate product and not included in a set regardless of the heading under which the whole set is classified in accordance with the text of the General Rule referred to above.

These provisions remain applicable even if the 15 per cent tolerance is used for that product which under the text of the General Rule referred to above determines the classification of the whole set.

Article 15 - Drawback in cases of errors

Drawback or remission of duty can only be given in the case that evidence of origin has been wrongly issued or made out if the following three conditions have been met:

(a) the wrongly issued or made out evidence of origin is returned to the authorities in the country of export, or, as an alternative, a written statement is made by the authorities in the importing country that no preference has been or will be granted;

(b) the products used in the manufacture would have been entitled to drawback or remission of duties under the provisions in force if an evidence of origin had not been used to claim preference;

(c) the period allowed for repayment has not been exceeded and the conditions laid down in the national law of the country concerned governing repayment are met.

Article 16 - Documentary evidence for used goods

Evidences of origin may be issued also for used or any other goods where, because of a considerable time lapse between the date of production or importation on the one hand and the date of exportation on the other hand, the usual supporting documents are no longer available, provided that:

(a) the date of production or importation of the goods lies beyond that period of time during which, according to the respective legislation in the country of exportation, records must be kept by traders;

(b) the goods can be deemed to be originating on the grounds of other evidences, like declarations of the producer or any other trader, an expert's opinion, by marks on the goods or descriptions of them, etc.;

(c) there is no indication that the goods do not comply with the requirements of the origin rules.

Article 16 (and 24) - Submission of proof of origin in case of electronic transmission of the import declaration

In cases where import declarations are transmitted electronically to the customs authorities of the importing State, it rests with these authorities to decide, within the framework and according to the provisions of the customs legislation applicable in the importing State, when and to what extent the documents constituting evidence of originating status shall actually be submitted.

Article 17 - Description of goods on movement certificate EUR.1

Cases of goods originating in two or more countries or territories

If the products covered by the movement certificate originate in more than one country or territory:

- box 4 (country, group of countries or territory in which the products are considered as originating) should bear the mention 'see box 8`; and,

- box 8 (Item number; marks and numbers; number and kind of package; description of the goods): the name or official abbreviation of every country (1) concerned shall be indicated for each item in this box.

Cases of large consignments

When the box, on the movement certificate EUR.1, provided for the description of the goods is insufficient to permit specification of the necessary particulars for identifying the goods, particularly in the case of large consignments, the exporter may specify the goods to which the certificate relates on attached invoices of the goods and, if necessary, additional commercial documents on condition that:

(a) the invoices numbers are shown in Box 10 of the movement certificate EUR.1,

(b) the invoices and, where relevant, additional commercial documents are firmly attached to the certificate prior to presentation to customs, and

(c) the customs authorities have stamped the invoice and additional commercial documents, officially attaching them to the certificates.

Where applicable, the names or official abbreviations of the countries of origin as outlined in the previous note concerning Box 8 shall be indicated on the invoices and if relevant, any additional commercial document.

Article 17 - Goods exported by a customs clearance agent

A customs clearance agent may be allowed to act as the authorised representative of the person who is owner of the goods or has a similar right of disposal over them, even in cases where the person is not situated in the exporting country, as long as the agent is in a position to prove the originating status of the goods.

Article 18 - Technical reasons

A movement certificate EUR.1 may be rejected for 'technical reasons` because it was not made out in the prescribed manner. These are the cases which may give rise to subsequent presentation of a retrospectively-endorsed certificate and they include, by way of example, the following:

- the movement certificate EUR.1 has been made out on a form other than the prescribed one (e.g. no guilloche background, differs significantly from the model in size or colour, no serial number, not printed in one of the officially-prescribed languages),

- one of the mandatory boxes (e.g. Box 4 on the EUR.1) has not been filled in,

- the movement certificate EUR.1 has not been stamped and signed (i.e. in Box 11),

- the movement certificate EUR.1 is endorsed by a non-authorised authority,

- the stamp used is a new one which has not yet been notified,

- the movement certificate EUR.1 presented is a copy or photocopy rather than the original,

- the entry in Box 2 or 5 refers to a country that does not belong to the Agreement (e.g. Israel or Cuba).

Action to be taken

The document should be marked 'Document not accepted`, stating the reason(s), and then returned to the importer in order to enable him to get a new document issued retrospectively. The customs authorities, however, may keep a photocopy of the rejected document for the purposes of post-clearance verification or if they have grounds for suspecting fraud.

Article 21 - Practical application of the provisions concerning invoice declaration

The following guidelines shall apply:

(a) the wording of the invoice declaration shall be in conformity with the wording set out in Annex IV to the Protocol.

If the products covered by the invoice declaration originate in more than one country or territory, an indication of the names or official abbreviations of all the countries concerned (2) or a reference to a specific indication in the invoice, must be entered in the wording of the invoice declaration.

In the invoice or equivalent, the name or official abbreviation of every country shall be indicated for each item on the invoice;

(b) the indication of non-originating products and therefore products which are not covered by the invoice declaration should not be made on the declaration itself. However, this indication should appear on the invoice in a precise way so as to avoid any misunderstandings;

(c) declarations made on photocopied invoices are acceptable provided such declarations bear the signature of the exporter under the same conditions as the original. Approved exporters who are authorised not to sign invoice declarations are not required to sign invoice declarations made on photocopied invoices;

(d) an invoice declaration on the reverse of the invoice is acceptable;

(e) the invoice declaration may be made on a separate sheet of the invoice provided that the sheet is obviously part of the invoice. A complementary form may not be used;

(f) an invoice declaration made out on a label which is subsequently attached to the invoice is acceptable provided there is no doubt that the label has been affixed by the exporter. For example, the exporter's stamp or signature should cover both the label and the invoice.

Article 21 - Value basis for the issue and acceptance of invoice declarations made out by any exporter

The ex-works price may be used as the value basis for deciding when an invoice declaration can be used instead of a movement certificate EUR.1 in reference to the value limit laid down in Article 21(1)(b). If the ex-works price is used as the value basis, the importing country shall accept invoice declarations made out by reference to that.

In cases where there is no ex-works price owing to the fact that the consignment is supplied free of charge, the customs value established by the authorities of the country of importation shall be considered as the basis for the value limit.

Article 22 - Approved exporter

The term 'exporter` may refer to persons or undertakings, regardless of whether they are producers or traders, as long as they comply with all the other provisions of this Protocol. Customs clearance agents may not be granted approved exporter status within the meaning of this Protocol.

The status of approved exporter may be granted only after an exporter has submitted a written application. When examining this, the customs authorities should give particular consideration to the following points:

- whether the exporter exports regularly: here, rather than focusing on a given number of consignments or a particular sum, the customs authorities should look into how regularly the operator carries out such operations,

- whether the exporter is at all times in a position to supply evidence of origin for the goods to be exported. In this connection it is necessary to consider whether the exporter knows the current rules of origin and is in possession of all the documents proving origin. In the case of producers, the authorities must make sure that the undertaking's stock accounts allow identification of the origin of goods and, in the case of new undertakings, that the system they have installed will permit such identification. For operators who are traders only, examination should focus more specifically on their usual trade flows,

- whether, in the light of his past exporting record, the exporter offers sufficient guarantees concerning the originating status of the goods and the ability to meet all resulting obligations.

Once an authorisation has been issued, exporters must:

- undertake to issue invoice declarations only for goods for which they hold all the necessary proof or accounting elements at the time of issue,

- assume full responsibility for the way the authorisation is used, particularly for incorrect origin statements or other misuse of the authorisation,

- assume responsibility for ensuring the person in the undertaking responsible for completing invoice declarations knows and understands the rules of origin,

- undertake to keep all documentary proofs of origin for a period of at least three years from the date that the declaration was made,

- undertake to produce proof of origin to the customs authorities at any time, and allow inspections by those authorities at any time.

The customs authorities must carry out regular controls on authorised exporters. These controls must ensure the continued compliance of the use of the authorisation and may be carried out at intervals determined, if possible, on the basis of risk analysis criteria.

The customs authorities must notify the Commission of the European Communities of the national numbering system used for designating authorised exporters. The Commission of the European Communities will then pass on the information to the customs authorities of the other countries.

Article 25 - Importation by instalments

An importer wishing to take advantage of the provisions of this article must inform the exporter before the first instalment is exported that a single proof of origin for the complete product is required.

It is possible that each instalment is made up only of originating products. Where such instalments are accompanied by proofs of origin those separate proofs of origin shall be accepted by the customs authorities of the importing country for the instalments concerned, instead of a single proof of origin issued for the complete product.

Article 32 - Refusal of preferential treatment without verification

This covers cases in which the proof of origin is considered inapplicable, inter alia, for the following reasons:

- the goods to which the movement certificate EUR.1 refers are not eligible for preferential treatment,

- the goods description box (Box 8 on EUR.1) is not filled in or refers to goods other than those presented,

- the proof of origin has been issued by a country which does not belong to the preferential system even if the goods originate in a country belonging to the system (e.g. EUR.1 issued in Israel for products originating in Poland),

- one of the mandatory boxes on the movement certificate EUR.1 bears traces of non-authenticated erasures or alternations (e.g. the boxes describing the goods or stating the number of packages, the country of destination or the country of origin),

- the time-limit on the movement certificate EUR.1 has expired for reasons other than those covered by the regulations (e.g. exceptional circumstances), except where the goods were presented before expiry of the time-limit,

- the proof of origin is produced subsequently for goods that were initially imported fraudulently,

- Box 4 on the movement certificate EUR.1 names a country not party to the agreement under which preferential treatment is being sought.

Action to be taken

The proof of origin should be marked 'Inapplicable` and retained by the customs authorities to which it was presented in order to prevent any further attempt to use it.

Where it is appropriate to do so, the Customs authorities of the importing country shall inform the Customs authorities of the country of exportation about the refusal without delay.

Article 32 - Time-limits for the verification of evidences of origin

No country shall be obliged to answer a request for subsequent verification, as provided for in Article 32, received more than three years after the date of issue of a movement certificate EUR.1 or the date of making out an invoice declaration.

Article 32 - Reasonable doubt

The following cases, by way of example, come into this category:

- the document has not been signed by the exporter (except for declarations on the basis of invoices or commercial documents drawn up by approved exporters where such a possibility is provided for),

- the movement certificate EUR.1 has not been signed or dated by the issuing authority,

- the markings on the goods or packaging or the other accompanying documents refer to an origin other than that given on the movement certificate EUR.1,

- the particulars entered on the movement certificate EUR.1 show that there has been insufficient working to confer origin,

- the stamp used to endorse the document does not match that which has been notified.

Action to be taken

The document is sent to the issuing authorities for post-clearance verification, with a statement of the reasons for the request for verification. Pending the results of this verification, all appropriate steps judged necessary by the customs authorities shall be taken to secure payment of any applicable duties.

Annex I - Introductory note 6, 6.1

The special rule for textile materials excludes linings and interlinings. The 'pocketing fabric` is a special woven fabric that is exclusively used for the production of pockets and can therefore not be considered as normal lining or interlining. The special rule applies therefore to 'pocketing fabric` (for trousers). The rule applies to woven fabrics in the piece as well as to finished pockets originating in third countries.

Expressions used in the different languages


Invoice declaration (Annex IV)

Catalan version (AD)

L'exportador dels productes inclosos en el present document (autorització duanera n° . . .) declara que, llevat s'indiqui el contrari, aquests productes gaudeixen d'un origen preferencial . . .

Bulgarian version (BG)


Czech version (CZ)

V´yvozce v´yrobk°u uveden´ych v tomto dokumentu ( Ocíslo povolení . . .) prohla Osuje, Oze krom Oe Ozreteln Oe ozna Ocen´ych, mají tyto v´yrobky preferen Ocní p°uvod v . . .

German version (DE)

Der Ausführer (Ermächtigter Ausführer; Bewilligungs-Nr. . . .), der Waren, auf die sich dieses Handelspapier bezieht, erklärt, daß diese Waren, soweit nicht anders angegeben, präferenzbegünstigte . . . Ursprungswaren sind.

Danish version (DK)

Eksportøren af varer, der er omfattet af nærværende dokument (toldmyndighedernes tilladelse nr. . . .), erklærer, at varerne, medmindre andet tydeligt er angivet, har præferenceoprindelse i . . .

Estonian version (EE)

Käesoleva dokumendiga hõlmatud toodete eksportija (tolliameti kinnitus Nr. . . .) deklareerib, et need tooted on . . . sooduspäritoluga, välja arvatud juhul kui on selgelt näidatud teisiti.

Spanish version (ES)

El exportador de los productos incluidos en el presente documento (autorización aduanera n° . . .) declara que, salvo indicación en sentido contrario, estos productos gozan de un origen preferencial . . .

Finnish version (FI)

Tässä asiakirjassa mainittujen tuotteiden viejä (tullin lupanumero . . .) ilmoittaa, että nämä tuotteet ovat, ellei toisin ole selvästi merkitty, etuuskohteluun oikeutettuja . . . alkuperätuotteita.

French version (FR)

L'exportateur des produits couverts par le présent document (autorisation douanière n° . . .), déclare que, sauf indication claire du contraire, ces produits ont l'origine préférentielle . . .

English version (GB)

The exporter of the products covered by this document (customs authorisation No . . .) declares that, except where otherwise clearly indicated, these products are of . . . preferential origin.

Greek version (GR)

Ï åîáãùãÝáò ôùí ðñïúüíôùí ðïõ êáëýðôïíôáé áðü ôï ðáñüí Ýããñáöï (Üäåéá ôåëùíåßïõ áñéè. . . .) äçëþíåé üôé, åêôüò åÜí äçëþíåôáé óáöþò Üëëùò, ôá ðñïúüíôá áõôÜ åßíáé ðñïôéìçóéáêÞò êáôáãùãÞò . . .

Hungarian version (HU)

A jelen okmányban szerepl Mo áruk export More (vámfelhatalmazási szám: . . .) kijelentem, hogy eltér Moö jelzés hiányában az áruk kedvezményes . . . származásúak.

Icelandic version (IS)

Útflytjan si framleidsluvara sem skjal KTetta tekur til (leyfi tollyfirvalda nr. . . .), l´ysir lví yfir ad vörurnar séu, ef annars er ekki greinilega getid, af . . . -fridindauppruna.

Italian version (IT)

L'esportatore delle merci contemplate nel presente documento (autorizzazione doganale n. . . .) dichiara che, salvo indicazione contraria, le merci sono di origine preferenziale . . .

Lithuanian version (LT)

OSiame dokumente i Osvardintu N prekiu N eksportuotojas (muitines liudijimo Nr . . .) deklaruoja, kad, jeigu kitaip nenurodyta, tai yra . . . preferencine Gs kilme Gs preke Gs.

Latvian version (LV)

Eksport Eet Eajs produktiem, kuri ietverti Os Eaj Ea dokument Ea (muitas pilnvara Nr. . . . deklar Ee, k Ea, iznemot tur, kur ir cit Eadi skaidri noteikts, Osiem produktiem ir priek Osrociibu izcelsme no . . .

Dutch version (NL)

De exporteur van de goederen waarop dit document van toepassing is (douanevergunning nr. . . .) verklaart dat, behoudens uitdrukkelijke andersluidende vermelding, deze goederen van preferentiële . . . oorsprong zijn.

Norwegian version (NO)

Eksportøren av produktene omfattet av dette dokument (tollmyndighetenes autorisasjonsnr. . . .) erklærer at disse produktene, unntatt hvor annet er tydelig angitt, har . . . preferanseopprinnelse.

Polish version (PL)

Eksporter produktów objetych tym dokumentem (upowa Gzenienie wladz celnych nr . . .) deklaruje, Gze z wyj Natkiem gdzie jest to wyra Gznie okreslone, produkty te maj Na . . . preferencyjne pochodzenie.

Portuguese version (PT)

O abaixo assinado, exportador dos produtos cobertos pelo presente documento (autorização aduaneira n.° . . .), declara que, salvo expressamente indicado em contrário, estes produtos são de origem preferencial . . .

Romanian version (RO)

Exportatorul produselor ce fac obiectul acestui document (autoriza Ktia vamal Fa nr. . . . ) declar Fa c Fa, exceptând cazul în care în mod expres este indicat altfel, aceste produse sunt de origine preferen Ktial Fa . . .

Swedish version (SE)

Exportören av de varor som omfattas av detta dokument (tullmyndighetens tillstånd nr . . .) försäkrar att dessa varor, om inte annat tydligt markerats, har förmånsberättigande . . . ursprung.

Slovenian version (SI)

Izvoznik blaga, zajetega s tem dokumentom (pooblastilo carinskih organov Ost . . .) izjavlja, da, razen Oce ni druga Oce jasno navedeno, ima to blago preferencialno . . . poreklo.

Slovak version (SK)

V´yvozca v´yrobkov uveden´ych v tomto dokumente ( Ocíslo povolenia . . .) vyhlasuje, Oze okrem zretel'ne ozna Ocen´ych, majú tieto v´yrobky preferen Ocn´y pôvod v . . .

Turkish version (TR)

Isbu belge (gümrük onay No: . . .) kapsamindaki maddelerin ihracatçisi aksi açikça belirtilmedikçe, bu maddelerin . . . menseli ve tercihli maddeler oldugunu beyan eder.


(1) The ISO-Alpha-2 and -3 codes for each one of the countries are the following:


No ISO-Alpha code exists for the Community but: EEC, EC, CEE or CE can be accepted.

(2) The Iso-Alpha-2 and -3 codes for each one of the countries are the following:


No ISO-Alpha code exists for the Community but: EEC, EC, CEE or CE can be accepted.