Since 1st January, 2020, UK & EU companies have been trading under the Trade Cooperation Agreement (TCA) for UK -EU trade.
Effectively, a Supplier Declaration supports the Exporter Declaration. By this we mean that there has been a grace period for companies exporting and claiming preferential tariffs from needing to hold a Supplier Declaration before making the Exporter Origin Statement to enable their customers to claim zero duty at import. (Remember this is a legal statement that a company must be able to support with evidence from the Supplier when asked.)
To explain further what is meant by a Supplier Declaration if you have imported the gods you intend to re-export and have used the supplier invoice or exporter origin statement to claim zero duty at import, you will not be advised to continue to do this without confirming they hold a Supplier Declaration that the goods sold meet the rules of origin that allow for preferential treatment. This may lead the importers at risk of duty demands if the exporter hasn’t declared correctly.
Some of the terminology contains in Free Trade Agreements may sound strange and this grace period may sound confusing but if you do not make the goods you export, you can’t know whether they qualify or not. You cannot know what materials were used, product information or the exact valuation that has been set and agreed for the goods to the level that the HMRC or any other customs authority might require so it makes sense to check and with the supplier and they in turn to check with the manufacturer. This offers you an audit trail for any HMRC visit. It also means that importers may be at risk of duty demands if they cannot evidence to support their claims.
So, the grace period was for an exporter (UK or EU) who export goods they don’t make which legally requires a supplier declaration to confirm goods qualify under the TCA before the UK/EU exporter makes the exporter preference origin statement on their invoices with the shipment or on an annual origin statement sent to their customers. They are needed for all relevant exports under free trade agreement and under the EU-UK TCA you must have these declarations from 1st Jan 2022.
The easement did not apply to importers claiming preference on arrival needing to have a declaration made by the exporter. If you have claimed preference on arrival from the EU into the UK (or into EU from UK) you needed an exporter origin statement at the time if claiming import duty preference either, as an individual statement accompanying the goods, or annual exporter origin statement. If you claimed preference without these exporter origin statements, you will be assumed to have used ‘importers knowledge’ which means you hold the evidence that the goods qualify for preference and do not need anything from an exporter or supplier to support that claim.
The UK is developing new independent trade arrangements. Understanding the difference between a supplier declaration and an exporter statement of origin will be vital.
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