Rules of origin and preferential treatment

The correct calculation of customs preferences can bring your company considerable financial savings. Under rules of origin and the law on preferential treatment, imports may be partly or wholly exempt from import duties. Preferential treatment serves to reduce the customs rates normally charged by third countries. Customs preferences can be granted on importation if there is a corresponding treaty between the country of import and export (i.e. preferential agreement). The law on preferences is also of critical importance when exporting goods. Customers in a contracting state can import preferential goods at favourable rates. Therefore, preferences can offer advantages when entering a market.  

Rules of origin and preferential treatment are among the most difficult fields of customs law. Companies often lose money simply because they do not know the ins-and-outs (or because they fail to recognise benefits of applying for simplifications such as approved exporter). Nowadays, many states enjoy privileged status and further agreements are negotiated. Companies must keep up with developments in preferences in order to fully exploit the opportunities they offer.


  • Review and improvement of existing movements in the light of applicable preferential agreements
  • Calculation of preferences
  • Support with the administration of suppliers' declarations and preferential certificates
  • Application of simplifications (approved exporter)
  • Production and check of working and organisational instructions concerning preferences
  • Support in setting up the position of a person responsible for rules of origin / generally responsible for preferences
  • Support in preference audits: preparation, communication with the competent authorities, support during the actual preference audit