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Exporter's Checklist for claiming UK origin of goods

Updated: May 17, 2023

When exporting across the world, companies need to understand what regulations apply to both, goods and services, being exported from the UK and the importing country

If you are claiming your product to be of UK origin, it is important that you as the trader understand if your goods meet the Rules of Origin - whether under a Free Trade Agreement or under WTO rules.

Checklist for Exporters:

1. Check if there is a FTA in place between the UK and the country where you wish to export. You can use the UK Government Export tool to start off with.

2. Check the goods you intend to export and the specific rules of origin that apply to them in order for you to claim UK origin. There are several ways in which you can claim origin, if you want to know more, visit our Rules Of origin section in our Trade Hub for further guidance.

3. If you meet the criteria for claiming UK origin, the next step is to understand what customs related paperwork you require for doing your export. Since Brexit, the UK has signed a number of Trade Agreements and in those the proof of origin required by importing country may vary. Find out more here about the trade agreements with EU and Non-EU countries. Its very import that you read carefully the agreement which apply to you. The government has a this tool which can be used to ask further questions.

The proof to claim preference on the origin depends on the type of product, and where they are imported from. You can use this trade tariff tool to verify per country if you can claim preference or not. If you are in doubt about your goods meeting the RoO criteria, you can tap into HMRC's Advance Origin Ruling service.

Depending on the FTA, you may find that in some instances exporters may require an UK EUR1 for preferential access which enables you to claim nil or preferential import duty. EUR1s are issued by local chambers of commerce like GM chamber.

Alternatively, in other cases, FTAs may allow for exporters to use an ‘invoice declaration’ or ‘statement on origin’ on a commercial document, which can be:

  • An invoice

  • Pack list

  • A delivery note

However, it is worth to note that is very important exporters use the right 'wording' for the declaration statement.

On the other hand, other way to provide proof of origin may be via importers knowledge, where an importer can claim preference using importer knowledge, and basically relay on the importer knowledge about the origin of the goods. You would need to have supporting documents to claim such as:

  • Commodity code

  • Brief description of the good

  • If the origin was based on ‘wholly obtained’

  • If the origin was based on ‘sufficiently worked or processed’

  • If the goods have been altered or transformed

  • Any additional information that will help verify the origin of the goods, if HMRC asks for it

If HMRC carries out a verification you will need supporting evidence that you were correct when making out a proof of origin. If you want to find out more, please click here

If your goods do not meet the criteria to claim UK origin, you may still need to meet other regulations and paperwork to enable your customer to import your goods in the country. It may be they need a non-preferential document such as a UK Certificate of Origin. For more information about UK CoOs, please click here

Sources: HMRC

How can we help?  

  • Need to improve your knowledge of Rules of Origin in a post-Brexit world? we strongly recommend you consider enrolling in our upcoming Rules of the origin: Preferential and non-Preferential accredited course which is taking place on the 16th May (Half Day and online). Member get up to 25% off in most of our courses, and if you enrol in at least six of our accredited courses, you not only get an additional 10% off but you can achieve a Foundation Award on International Trade.

  • Are you unsure if you have robust evidence to prove the origin of your goods? If you are a regular exporter, you may benefit from utilising our Proof of origin documentation review service. Email us at to find out more.

  • Got a question about RoO or Proof of origin? Our in-house team works with a network of expert associates and we offer hourly bespoke advice or full on consultancy packages. Members get preferential rates. Just email us.

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