End of Covid-related exemptions on certificates of origin.

Important update for EU imports: original certificates required from 1 May 2024 due to the withdrawal of Covid-related flexibilities.
End of Covid-related exemptions on certificates of origin.

Copies of certificates accepted during COVID-19

During the COVID-19 pandemic, EU Customs authorities introduced temporary measures to facilitate ongoing trade amidst global disruptions. Accepting digital copies, scans, and electronic variants of certificates of origin, such as EUR.1, EUR-MED, and A.TR, helped maintain preferential trade flows even when traditional certificate issuance was impacted.

This flexibility, found in Information note No 1 of the European Commission, will cease from 1 May 2024. This means that using a scan or copy will no longer qualify for preferential tariffs and the conventional rate will have to be paid.

Impact on businesses: What you need to know

  • Immediate Effect: There will be no grace period after 1 May 2024. Imports presented without original certificates of origin will be subject to standard import duties.
  • No Retrospective Refunds: Without an original certificate, businesses cannot request refunds for preferential tariff treatments retrospectively.
  • Customs Warehouse Releases: Original certificates are mandatory for releasing goods into free circulation from customs warehouses, when seeking to benefit from reduced preferential duty rates.

Exceptions for Morocco, Turkey, Norway and Israel

Electronic certificates can still be used for shipments from Morocco, Turkey, Norway and Israel. Thanks to specific agreements and conditions outlined in PEM Recommendations 1/2023 (2024/243), electronic certificates from these countries will remain valid post-deadline.

How Gaston Schul can assist you

At Gaston-Schul, we understand that keeping up with regulatory changes while focusing on your core business can be challenging. Our Consultancy & Advisory services are designed to simplify this transition for you. Whether you need assistance in obtaining the correct documentation or have questions about the new regulations, our team of Customs & Trade experts are here to support you.

More information

Click here for information on the covid measures and the suspension of Information note No 1.