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Origin as a basis for commercial policy measures

by Dr. Kai Henning Felderhoff

For a large part of the commercial policy measures adopted by the EU in relation to third countries (in particular anti-dumping duties), it is essential for their application to know the commercial ("non-preferential") origin of the product. This form of origin under customs law can also be important for determining when a product is actually "made in Germany". Worldwide, the criterion of "last substantial processing or working" is of decisive importance for determining commercial origin.

In the future, the importance of trade policy origin will increase. The European Commission intends to lay down specific rules for determining the commercial origin of each product within the framework of the Union Customs Code (UCC) by means of binding list rules. In addition, the Commission wants to enforce binding rules on the labelling of goods imported into the EU and manufactured in the EU, which are to be based on the trade policy origin.

The present paper compares the current legal situation and the reform proposals, identifies existing and imminent conflicts in the determination of trade policy origin and seeks to find practical solutions.

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