What Does Rules Of Origin Mean in International Trade | Best Guide

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Rules of origin are laws and regulations issued in national and regional markets around the world to monitor the place of production and trade proof of a product. You can view the definition here

In order to implement preferential or differential treatment of tariffs, quantitative restrictions or other trade-related measures, customs must determine the country of origin of the imported goods based on the criteria of the rules of origin, and grant the corresponding customs treatment.


Rules of Origin


Role of Rules of Origin

1. Protecting businesses

Rules of origin are designed to prevent malicious businesses from promoting false or confusing characteristics, which effectively protects the intellectual property rights of small businesses and governments, while reducing the market share of competitors elsewhere.

2. Consumer protection

Rules of origin improve consumer safety. Consumers can determine the quality of goods through origin marking and prevent the purchase of low-quality counterfeit goods. In addition, origin marking can help consumers identify counterfeit, mixed and deformed products, thus effectively curbing the prevalence of shoddy products.

3. Promoting economic development

Rules of origin help protect local enterprises and help promote their competitiveness in the international market. By improving product quality and upgrading technology, local enterprises can allow the government’s development to proceed positively, thus promoting the country’s economic development.

Difference between certificate of origin and rules of origin

Certificate of origin is used to prove the origin of goods in international trade to prove the source of the instrument, it is the origin of goods “passport” and “nationality” certificate.


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As it is often used by the importing country to implement differential tariff treatment and the implementation of country-specific trade policy management is an important basis, therefore, it has a specific legal effect and economic utility.

Common certificate of origin

(1) general certificate of origin

The exporting country in accordance with certain rules of origin issued by the certificate of origin of goods;

(2) Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) certificate of origin

Issued by the beneficiary country according to the rules of origin in the preference-giving program to prove that the origin of the goods for the beneficiary country, can enjoy preferential tariff treatment of the supporting documents;

(3) Textile quota certificate of origin

Textiles set quantitative restrictions on the country for the quota management and require the exporting country to issue a certificate of origin;

(4) Certificate of origin between member countries of regional economic blocs

Certificates of origin issued by countries in the regional context (customs union, free trade zone, etc.) for the purpose of enjoying reciprocal tariff reductions and exemptions;

(5) Certificate of origin for handmade products

A processing certificate that proves that the processing and manufacturing of the goods is fully manual rather than mechanically produced;


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(6) Certificate of origin of endangered animals and plants

A certificate proving that the animals or plants from which the goods are processed are from endangered animals and plants that are bred rather than wild (or within quantity limits).

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