Rules of Origin

Rules of origin are the criteria applied to determine the national source of a product. There are two types of rules of origin – non-preferential and preferential. Non-preferential rules are used for all kinds of commercial policy measures, like, for instance, anti-dumping duties and countervailing duties, trade embargoes, safeguard and retaliation measures, quantitative restrictions, but also for some tariff quotas, for trade statistics, for public tenders, for origin marking etc. There are no recognized international standards regarding non-preferential rules of origin. Criteria such as “wholly obtained”, “substantially transformed” and tariff shifts at the four-digit level have been variously employed to determine origin.

Preferential rules of origin are necessary in order to determine whether imports qualify for preferential treatment (no or reduced tariffs) under SADC and other trade agreements entered into by Mozambique. The SADC protocol sets forth specific rules of origin in article 12, and annex 1.  Mozambique also receives preferential treatment under the European Union’s Economic Partnership  Agreement with SADC, under the United States’ African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), and under bilateral agreements with Malawi and Zimbabwe.  Under various WTO decisions and schemes, Mozambique, as a Least Developed Country, also has preferential access to a number of markets, for specific tariff lines. For more informatoin on trade agreements and preferential treatment, see here.

Certificates of origin are used to document the origin of goods for the purposes of preferential tariff treatment and for other purposes. In Mozambique, Customs issue Certificates of Origin for SADC trade (see Process P17) , while other certificates are issued by the Mozambican Chamber of Commerce (See Process 18).