Proof of preference – what you need to know

Proof of preference – what you need to know

Which document do I need and when? And which declaration of origin wording applies to which country? REX or EA? AEB has a quick fix for you.

Proof of origin at a glance

Whether within the EU, a customs union, or a free trade agreement - you must always be able to provide the appropriate proof of free trade status or origin.

In the EU: (long-term) supplier's declarations

Supplier's declarations are generally used for goods movements within the European Union. The supplier and recipient are both based in the EU. The wording of supplier's declarations is fixed and customs authorities often provide an overview.

While an individual supplier's declaration is only valid for a single delivery of goods, long-term supplier's declarations (LLE) can be issued for a period of up to two years.

Note: With supplier's declarations, the original document was always be signed. According to Art. 63 para. 3 UCC-IA, the signature may be omitted if the supplier's declaration was created by means of data processing and the issuer accepts responsibility for the contents of the declaration either by electronic authentication or by declaration of assumption of liability.

Turkey: movement certificate A.TR

For the movement of goods with Turkey, the A.TR movement certificate is required for so-called customs union goods. This confirms that the delivered goods originate from free circulation in the EU or Turkey. By way of derogation, agricultural products and ECSC goods (goods covered by the European Coal and Steel Community Agreement with Turkey) are subject to a preference of origin with other proofs of preference.

The A.TR. is stamped by a customs office. Authorized exporters may issue A.TR. movement certificates themselves within the scope of their authorization.

Note: The A.TR. must be completed in an official language of the European Union and can also be completed in Turkish if necessary. The indication of the country name "Türkiye" is recommended for Turkey.

Outside the EU: EUR.1, EUR-MED and declaration of origin

A movement certificate EUR.1 is used as formal proof of preference outside the EU. It is issued by the customs offices upon application and submission of a completed form. 

A EUR-MED can or must be used under certain circumstances as part of the Pan-Euro-Mediterranean (PEM) preferences. However, for the PEM preferential rules of origin applicable from 2025, only the EUR.1 is provided as formal proof of preference. There is a possibility of presenting these electronically.

As an alternative to EUR.1, a declaration of origin can also be submitted. The wording of this is defined in the individual free trade agreements. As with the EUR-MED movement certificate, there is also the EUR-MED declaration of origin for PEM preferences.

Note: In most agreements, up to the value threshold of EUR 6,000, all companies can submit a declaration of origin; above this value threshold, only companies with an Approved Exporter (AE) authorization can submit a declaration of origin.

In more recent agreements, the registered exporter REX takes the place of the approved exporter. The advantage of this is that the REX does not require an authorization, but simply needs to be registered in the REX database via the responsible customs office.

Find the right preference text with AEB

As the wording of declarations of origin is not determined centrally by an EU regulation, as is the case with (long-term) supplier's declarations, but is defined in the free trade agreements between the EU and the respective agreement partner, it is not standardized. Great care must therefore be taken when completing the declaration so that the importer is not denied the customs benefit due to formal errors.

How AEB can help: With the free online tool Get the right preference text, you can look up the applicable origin declaration texts for the country of departure and destination with just a few clicks. Many agreements also require a REX or Approved Exporter depending on the value - you can find this and much more in the application.

In addition to the EU's free trade agreements, the application also covers those of Switzerland and the United Kingdom. On request, the determination of the preference text can also be integrated into existing solutions via API.

Seize the full potential of free trade

The software Origin & Preferences from AEB helps you to tap the benefits and realize the opportunities of free trade agreements.