Preferential Origin of Goods
The United Kingdom submitted on 29 March 2017 the notification of its intention to withdraw from the Union pursuant to Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union.
This means that, unless a ratified withdrawal agreement [footnote] Negotiations are ongoing with the United Kingdom with a view to reaching a withdrawal agreement. [/footnote] establishes another date, all Union primary and secondary law will cease to apply to the United Kingdom from 30 March 2019, 00:00h (CET) (‘the withdrawal date’). [footnote] Furthermore, in accordance with Article 50(3) of the Treaty on European Union, the European Council, in agreement with the United Kingdom, may unanimously decide that the Treaties cease to apply at a later date.[/footnote] The United Kingdom will then become a ‘third country’. [footnote] A third country is a country not member of the EU.[/footnote]
Preparing for the withdrawal is not just a matter for EU and national authorities but also for economic operators.
Economic operators are reminded [footnote] This notice complements the information on rules of origin in the “Notice to stakeholders – withdrawal of the United Kingdom and EU rules in the field of customs and indirect taxation” of 30 January 2018 (https://ec.europa.eu/info/brexit/brexit-preparedness_en).[/footnote] of the legal repercussions concerning rules of origin for preferential treatment of goods, which need to be considered when the United Kingdom becomes a third country. [footnote] For certain movements of goods that have started before and end on or after the withdrawal date, the EU aims at agreeing solutions with the United Kingdom in the withdrawal agreement on the basis of the EU’s position on Customs related matters needed for an orderly withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the Union (https://ec.europa.eu/commission/publications/position-paper-customs-related-matters-needed-orderly-withdrawal-uk-union_en). The position paper also addresses administrative cooperation procedures on or after the withdrawal date between the EU-27 and the United Kingdom related to facts that have occurred prior to the withdrawal date (for example, mutual assistance related to the verification of proofs of origin). These arrangements will, however, only apply if a withdrawal agreement is signed and ratified by the EU and the UK before the withdrawal date.[/footnote]
In particular, as of the withdrawal date, the EU preferential trade arrangements with third countries in the field of the common commercial policy and customs no longer apply to the United Kingdom. [footnote] In case an agreement is reached on transitional arrangements in a possible withdrawal agreement, the Union will notify the other parties to the international agreements (including agreements that provide for preferential tariff treatment) concluded by the Union, or by Member States on its behalf or by the Union and its Member States acting jointly that, during the transition period, the United Kingdom is to be treated as a Member State for the purposes of these agreements.[/footnote]