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FAQ: Using Importer's Knowledge to access preferential duty rates

When it comes to proving the origin of goods, traders have different alternatives in terms of evidence they can provide to gain preferential or non-preferential access. Traders are encouraged to check first whether there is or not a trade agreement in place, and specially take a look to the rules of origin impacting their goods.  Each Trade Agreement will have a specific Annex outlining the product-specific rules of origin as well as what kind of evidence is acceptable to prove their origin.

To prove the origin of your goods can include:

  • EUR1 EUR-MED Movement Certificates

  • An Origin declaration

  • Importers’ Knowledge

  • A form A

What is importer's knowledge?

Importer’s declaration is a statement made by the importer or their agent about the origin of the goods in order to claim preferential duty and can be used instead of an origin declaration.    In order to use Importer’s Knowledge, the trader must.

  • The Harmonised System (HS) code of the product and the origin criteria used.

  • A brief description of the production process.

  • If the origin criterion was based on a specific production process, a specific description of that process.

  • If applicable, a description of the originating and non-originating materials used in the production process.

How does HMRC verify importer's knowledge?

HMRC may not only request the above but asked for additional information which may include liaising with the export authority to ask for support to verify the origin of the goods being imported into the UK.  

If you can not use Importers’ Knowledge, you can still opt for Origin declaration for example.  

What happens if I cannot provide the necessary information?

You may still be able to claim preference if you can provide a statement on origin from the exporter. However, HMRC may request further verification from the exporting authority. 

Check our Blog focused on whether a supplier’s declaration is sufficient on its own to  prove the origin of goods.

What are the Benefits of understanding importer's knowledge?

Understanding importer's knowledge can help you to:

●       Claim preferential duty rates on imported goods

●       Avoid delays at the border

●       Reduce the risk of penalties

Where can I find more information?

HMRC provides a wide range of information, and the Chamber has taken the time to compile all relevant links related to Rules of Origin and proof of origin here

How can I ensure I have the necessary knowledge?

  • Master the complexities of rules of origin and confidently navigate importer's knowledge requirements with our accredited training course: Rules of Origin - Preferential and non-Preferential. This half-day program, held on June 12th, will provide you with a comprehensive understanding of the topic.  Click here to learn more and register today! 

  • Attend our next Trade Forum on the 19th June focus on FTAs and rules of origin. Email us at to express interest in attending.

  • Are you unsure if you ‘proof of origin’ evidence you have in record is robust should HMRC request further information from you? If you need peace of mind, use our Proof of Origin health check service, just email us at or call 0161 393 4314.

  • Need an EUR1 or EUR-MED? Our Documentation team can help, click here for more information or email us at



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