The Importance of Understanding Rules of Origin in Facilitating AANZFTA Trade

(Photo: AANZFTA Support Unit)
(Photo: AANZFTA Support Unit)

AANZFTA’s preferential tariff commitments apply to those goods exported from an AANZFTA Party and subsequently imported into another AANZFTA Party that comply with the origin requirements under the AANZFTA.

AANZFTA rules of origin establish the criteria that will determine whether goods will be given preferential tariff treatment under the AANFTA. Clear criteria for preferential tariff eligibility help businesses plan their production and importation strategies and encourages trade in the AANZFTA region, fostering broader regional economic integration.

A claim that goods are eligible for preferential tariff treatment must be supported by a Certificate of Origin. Customs and frontline authorities issuing, receiving, and processing the Certificates of Origin who are aware of and have a sufficient understanding of the rules of origin under AANZFTA would be able to quickly assess the goods and correctly apply AANZFTA preferential tariff, therefore eliminating delays in processing shipments.

The AANZFTA Economic Cooperation Support Program has been supporting a project on the development of training modules and training-for-trainer programs on AANZFTA rules of origin to enhance the knowledge, understanding, and skills of relevant government agencies directly implementing the provisions of the AANZFTA rules of origin. The project has implemented planned steps to ensure sustained improvements in the capacities of each AANZFTA Party to conduct training in rules of origin using their own staff. It successfully delivered the following:

  • Developed AANZFTA rules of origin training modules and, thereafter, translated these modules into Indonesian, Lao, Thai, and Vietnamese languages. Translation into Khmer and Myanmar languages is ongoing.
  • Conducted a regional training-for-trainers workshop for government officials from ASEAN Member States. Following this workshop, trainers were able to use the AANZFTA rules of origin training modules to run in-country training in their respective countries.
  • New trainers conducted in-country training to about 400 frontline actors and end-users, including exporters and chambers of commerce, in Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Thailand, and Viet Nam (2014 to 2015), with the project providing mentoring and support for the trainers.

Selected outcomes from the ROO training include:

  • Thailand and Malaysia are using the rules of origin training modules in their respective in-house training programs for customs officials. Training on rules of origin has been rolled-out to provinces and for customs officials in Cambodia. In Myanmar, an internal workshop for 50 participants was conducted immediately after the trainees attended the regional training-for-trainers workshop.
  • Trainees improved their understanding and confidence in using rules of origin in their work. Knowledge and skills learned from the Rules of Origin training allowed Indonesian and Cambodian trainees to contribute in developing their country positions during trade negotiations.
  • In Thailand, the participation of both government and private sector representatives during the in-country training helped establish a common understanding on rules of origin, enabling a smoother working relationship between government and the private sectors, and expedited resolution of rules of origin issues.

To download a copy of the detailed report, please visit our FACTSHEETS page.

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