The Ministry of Economy held a media briefing on the issuance of the Implementing Regulation of Federal Law No. 11 of 2019 on Rules and Certificates of Origin in the UAE, pursuant to Cabinet Decision No. 43 of 2022.
He said that the regulation establishes the comprehensiveness and completeness of the UAE’s rules and certificates of origin legislation instead of its promulgation in separate legislation since 1983. The undersecretary explained that the past phase witnessed concerted efforts by task forces from the Ministry of Economy, Chambers of Commerce and Industry, and customs bodies and departments in all the emirates of the UAE to devise the best mechanisms for dealing with certificates of origin.
Transparency in business transactions
Al Saleh explained that the regulation takes into account the transparency in business transactions, as it clarifies the procedural and substantive rules relating to the determination of the origin of the product, the method of issuing non-preferential certificates of origin for national products, the UAE certification authorities, and their respective roles. It also establishes the mechanisms for dealing with certificates of origin for goods received by the country and the distribution of roles and competencies thereon, thereby giving investors, exporters, traders, and suppliers of goods a clear vision of the rules applicable with respect to their products in accordance with their certificate of origin.
Integrated mechanisms to ensure the application of exports’ rules of origin
Al Saleh reviewed the most prominent provisions and outputs of the regulation under both import and export categories, as they are the main focus of the regulation. It has set out integrated mechanisms to ensure proper application of the rules of origin at the export level, including:
• The clear and non-overlapping distribution of competencies for non-preferential certification of origin between the Ministry of Economy and Chambers of Commerce and Industry, depending on the type of certificate of origin for national and foreign re-exported products.
• Identifies a clear set of criteria by which a product is regarded as national or not, including required manufacturing processes, manufacturing inputs, and others. This has an important role in preserving and enhancing UAE products’ reputation globally, thereby supporting the industrial and manufacturing sectors of the country and promoting economic diversification.
• Identifies a clear set of procedures and data that the customer must submit and go through on his/her journey to have the certificate of origin issued, in which flexibility, speed, and service efficiency are considered.
• The regulation recognizes the need to include a QR Code in the country’s non-preferential certificate of origin, which is a digital reference that allows stakeholders in import countries to verify the authenticity of the certificate and the accuracy of its data. This will enhance confidence in the UAE exports and facilitate their access to global markets without administrative impediments.
• With regard to preferential certificates of origin issued under trade agreements to which UAE is a party and under which such goods receive preferential commercial treatment in import markets, the regulation establishes the rules of origin for such goods to the terms and provisions of those agreements. Therefore, the regulation is highly compatible with the outcomes of the free trade agreements and the comprehensive economic partnership agreements concluded by the UAE with many global partners.
An effective tool
The Undersecretary continued to review the most prominent outputs approved by the regulation with regard to import activities, and its pivotal role as a decisive legal tool in applying the rules of origin to goods imported into the country, ensuring the implementation of the commercial policies adopted in the country and the collection of import-related financial revenues with higher efficiency. Among the most prominent outputs decided by the regulation in this context are:
• Determine the mechanisms of coordination and cooperation between the Ministry of Economy and the customs departments in the various emirates of the country, concerning the governance of the rules of origin of imported products and mechanisms for verifying their authenticity and thus determining whether they are subject to customs duties or not.
• Clarify the methods to monitor the certificates of origin of imported goods, and ensure that these certificates are not tampered with, thus preventing any evasion from the payment of customs duties, cases of application of anti-dumping duties, support and prevention, and other measures to confront harmful practices to trade, procedures, restrictions and obligations associated with foreign trade, as well as strengthening the foreign trade and statistics database at the national level.
• Emphasis on relying on the form of certificates, statements, seals, procedures, and rules stipulated in the agreements, regarding everything related to the preferential certificates of origin submitted at the import level to gain preferential treatment.
• Clarifying cases of exemption from submitting a non-preferential certificate of origin, which are generally goods imported into the country for personal purposes or in non-commercial quantities. This will facilitate procedures and reduce documents in customs clearance operations. It is also possible to replace the submission of a non-preferential certificate of origin by submitting a commercial invoice issued by the competent authority of the country of export on which the origin is fixed, or the presence of a non-removable indication of origin on the product.
Al Saleh concluded his speech by underlining that this regulation is an important addition to the UAE’s foreign trade ecosystem, which will enhance the interests of investors, business owners, and exporters in the UAE. It will also facilitate trade exchanges with trading partners from outside the country, in a manner that consolidates the UAE’s leading position on global competitiveness indicators of trade and doing business.