EU-Singapore trade deal to take effect this month

November 13, 2019

skyline singapore trade deal

On November 8, 2019 the EU Council approved the EU-Singapore Free Trade Agreement (EUSFTA), which will enter into force on November 21, 2019. Under the EUSFTA, Singapore will remove all remaining tariffs on EU products and the EU will eliminate its tariffs for the majority of goods from Singapore.

For some Singapore products, EU duties will be gradually reduced to zero over a 3- to 5-year period upon the EUSFTA entering into force. The EUSFTA also contains a number of non-tariff related measures aimed at facilitating trade between the parties, such as special provisions on car exports, pharmaceuticals, electronics, green technology, and sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) measures.

Rules of Origin (RoOs): How to Benefit from the EUSFTA

To benefit from preferential treatment under the EUSFTA, you must comply with the conditions and procedures for establishing the origin of goods. The RoOs are an integral and important part of the EUSFTA and are used as a means to determine whether the goods are eligible for preferential treatment. RoOs are product-specific, meaning that the criteria for determining whether a product qualifies for preferential tariff treatment differs from product to product. 

The EUSFTA also allows (subject to conditions) ASEAN cumulation for certain products, whereby materials sourced from ASEAN Member States and incorporated into certain final products are deemed as originating in Singapore for the purposes of determining the preferential origin. The EUSFTA also contains co-equal rules whereby exporters are given the option of meeting either a RVC (regional value content) or CTC (change in tariff classification) rule. The EUSFTA also introduces specific process rules for certain products. All these instruments will provide companies with greater flexibility in establishing origin and thus help them to further optimize their supply chain operations. 

How Meijburg & Co can help your business benefit from the EUSFTA and other preferential arrangements

Origin Management Program

We can help you setup, review or assess your Origin Management Program. Origin Management is an integrated method to manage origin-related matters and provides companies with a visible infrastructure. The infrastructure outlines the set of processes and procedures within the company and supply chain to assure adherence to the Rules of Origin in order to fully benefit from preferential treatment. The program will also help your business to obtain, sustain and evaluate its preferential treatment claim.

With regard to preferential treatment claims, the program will focus on aspects such as:

  • Management Visibility;
  • IT Function;
  • Documentation & Record keeping;
  • Risk Management;
  • Communication Management;
  • and Integration 

Applying for a Binding Origin Information (BOI) decision

Meijburg & Co can also help you apply for an EU Binding Origin Information (BOI) decision if you are unsure about or would like more certainty on the origin of your goods. BOI decisions are binding on the holder and on the EU customs authorities. BOIs are generally valid for three years. 

Impact assessment (Customs Data Analysis)

Meijburg & Co has developed an IT tool that can assess your customs operations and procedure. Using our advanced data analysis tool, we can produce a comprehensive and clear report setting out the key customs impacts of preferential trade arrangements based on your actual data from the last 12 months. We can discuss the results of the analysis with you to help you unlock the potential of the preferential agreements available to your company.

Should you require further information, please do not hesitate to reach out to your contact at Meijburg & Co.

Click here to download the memorandum in pdf format

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