WTO Initiates Rules of Origin New Searchable Database Tool

October 29, 2019 – The World Trade Organization is partnering with the International Trade Centre (ITC) and World Customs Organization (WCO) in an initiative which will enable firms to take fuller advantages of benefits under free trade agreements and preferential trade arrangements by helping them comply with product rules of origin requirements.

Presented to WTO members at a 17 October meeting of the Committee on Rules of Origin, the Rules of Origin Facilitator provides firms with free access to a unique searchable database on duty savings in trade agreements, and the corresponding rules of origin. Users can search the tool by product name or product code, and access original documentation, including certificates of origin.

Rules of Origin Facilitator is the first comprehensive global online resource on tariffs, trade agreements and rules of origin designed with SMEs in mind. The tool enables you in a few clicks to find out import duties in foreign markets applicable to your product, available duty savings, detailed rules of origin, and certification procedures.

The Rules of Origin Facilitator is a global public tool and is free to all users.

Availability of this information will help reduce transaction costs and make it easier for firms to claim reduced or zero duty rates under free trade agreements and preferential trade arrangements.  The information will be of particular benefit to small and medium-size firms by allowing them to access the information through an easy-to-navigate system.

Rules of origin are the criteria used to define where a product was made and are important for implementing other trade policy measures, including preferences in favour of developing countries or least developed countries (LDCs). Each preferential agreement has its own specific obligations regarding the certification and transportation of goods.

The Rules of Origin Facilitator is the most comprehensive tool of its kind available, covering product-specific rules of origin as well as provisions on origin certification in more than 300 agreements and applied by more than 190 countries. The goal is to expand coverage to include not only all preferential schemes currently in force worldwide, but also to cover non-preferential rules of origin requirements.

The Rules of Origin Facilitator has benefitted from WTO notifications regarding preference-granting members. Twenty-two WTO members with tariff preferences for LDCs have notified their programs to the WTO.  The detailed origin requirements and notifications can be found in the WTO’s Preferential Trade Arrangements Database.

Visit the World Trade Organization (WTO) website to learn more on who they are and what they do.