This guidance is an explanation of UK-Australia FTA Chapter 4: Rules of Origin and Origin Procedures
The UK-Australia trade agreement will remove tariffs on all UK goods, making it easier for businesses to sell to Australia. To qualify for zero tariffs, you will need to prove that your goods originate in the UK.
A good shall be regarded as originating if it is:
- wholly obtained or produced in the territory of the UK, Australia, or both countries. Generally, wholly obtained or produced goods refer to agricultural goods and natural resources;
- produced entirely in the territory of the UK, Australia or both countries, exclusively from originating materials; or
- produced entirely in the territory of the UK, Australia or both countries using “non-originating materials” – from outside the UK and Australia – provided the good satisfies the applicable requirements of the Product-Specific Rules of the agreement, explained below.
Make sure you check the Product-Specific Rules of the UK-Australia trade agreement to understand how your product can qualify as originating from the UK and qualify for zero tariffs.
Different goods will have their own product-specific rules which allow a good containing third country materials and inputs to count as originating, but only if those materials or inputs have undergone certain changes.
For many product-specific rules, the trade agreement gives businesses the choice of more than one way to prove that their product is originating.
Once a good qualifies for originating status, it is considered 100% originating. This means that if that good is then used in the production of another product, its full value is considered originating, and no account is taken of any non-originating materials used within it towards the new product.
For example, if a UK-manufactured engine contains 30% of non-originating materials but qualifies as originating from the UK under the Product-Specific Rules, the entire engine can be counted towards the car’s originating content; the company producing the car does not have to consider the non-originating materials in the engine.
If a UK business uses originating materials from Australia to produce a good, those materials count towards the originating material in that good when exported to Australia.
Examples of product specific rules
Regional Value Content (RVC)
Products with a Regional Value Content (RVC) rule allow for the incorporation of materials and inputs from countries other than the UK and Australia – non-originating materials – up to a certain percentage of the total value of the good.
One of the specific rules for 8531.10 (“Burglar or fire alarms and similar apparatus”) under the Product-Specific Rules of the UK-Australia trade agreement is “RVC40”. The RVC value can be reached with two methods.
If using the build-down method, at least 40% of the value of the product needs to be added in the UK or Australia for that product to qualify as originating.
If using the build-up method, materials originating from the UK or Australia need to make up at least 40% of the final value of the product for it to qualify as originating.
The way that RVC rules are calculated can vary across different trade agreements. Make sure you review the UK-Australia trade agreement to correctly calculate the value of originating content or originating materials in your product so it qualifies for zero tariffs once exported to Australia.
Change of tariff classification rules
Some product-specific rules allow for a final product to count as originating if the non-originating materials/inputs were processed in the UK and the final product is a different classification to the non-originating inputs (change in HS code). These rules are called changes in tariff classification – where a good moves from one commodity code to another, as a result of processing.
There are three levels of change in tariff classification, which explain the degree to which non-originating materials must have been changed in order for the final product to count as originating: Change in Chapter rules, Change in Tariff Heading rules and Change in Tariff Subheading rules.
CC – Change in Chapter
All non-originating materials used in the production of a product must have undergone working sufficient to change the first two digits (or “Chapter”) of their HS code before the product can qualify for zero tariffs.
The specific rule for 2009.50 (“Tomato juice”) under the Product-Specific Rules of the UK-Australia trade agreement is “CC”. A UK business is selling tomato juice to Australia. The business imports tomatoes (classified under HS Code 0702.00) from Morocco, which would count as non-originating under the UK-Australia trade agreement. However, by processing these tomatoes in the UK, the final product is classified under a different chapter – 2009.50 – meaning the business can export the tomato juice to Australia as originating from the UK and qualify for zero tariffs.
CTH – Change in Tariff Heading
All non-originating materials used in the production of a product must have undergone working sufficient to change any of the first four digits (or “Tariff Heading”) of their HS code before the product can qualify for zero tariffs.
The specific rule for HS code 1806.10 (“Cocoa powder, containing added sugar or other sweetening matter”) under the Product-Specific Rules of the UK-Australia trade agreement is “CTH”. A UK business is selling cocoa powder with added sugar to Australia. The business imports cocoa beans (classified under HS Code 1801.00) from Ecuador, which would count as non-originating under the UK-Australia trade agreement. However, by processing these beans in the UK, the final product is classified under a different tariff heading – 1806.10 – meaning the business can export the cocoa powder to Australia as originating from the UK and qualify for zero tariffs.
CTSH – Change in Tariff Subheading
All non-originating materials used in the production of that product must have undergone working sufficient to change any of the six digits (or “Tariff Subheading”) of their HS code before the product can qualify for zero tariffs.
One of the specific rules for HS code 8516.72 (“Other electro-thermic appliances: toasters”) under the Product-Specific Rules of the UK-Australia trade agreement is “CTSH”. A UK business is selling toasters to Australia. The business imports parts (classified under HS Code 8516.90) from the European Union, which would count as non-originating under the UK-Australia trade agreement. However, by using the parts in manufacturing taking place in the UK, the final product is classified under a different tariff subheading – 8516.72 – meaning the business can export the toaster to Australia as originating from the UK and qualify for zero tariffs.
Specific processing rules
Some product-specific rules in the UK-Australia trade agreement require non-originating materials to undergo specific types of processing before the product into which they are incorporated can qualify for zero tariffs when sold to Australia. These include certain types of fabric and chemicals – under Chapter 60 and Chapters 27 through to 38 respectively of the Product-Specific Rules of the agreement.
Rules on the processing of fabric are indicated as “FF” under the Product-Specific Rules.
Businesses working in the chemical or allied industries should familiarise themselves with the notes in Section VI of the Product-Specific Rules to ensure they understand how to meet the requirements for declaring origin.
There are certain tolerances available under the UK-Australia trade agreement, whereby a product containing non-originating materials that does not satisfy its change in tariff classification requirements set out in the Product-Specific Rules can still qualify for zero tariffs as originating from the UK if the following criteria are met:
For chapters 1-24, 50-63:
- The weight of non-originating materials does not exceed 10% of the weight of the good, excluding packaging; or
- The value of non-originating materials does not exceed 10% of the value of the good.
For chapters 25-49, 64-97:
- The value of non-originating materials does not exceed 10% of the value of the good.
These tolerances only apply to change of tariff classification rules under these specific chapters. Where an RVC rule also applies, you cannot use the tolerance to reduce the required percentage threshold of originating materials/content in your product. For example, you cannot use the tolerance to reduce a RVC40 requirement to RVC30.
How to declare
Claiming for preferential tariff treatment
An importer of goods into Australia may make a claim for preferential tariff treatment based on a proof of origin – either a declaration of origin or importer’s knowledge.
The declaration of origin may be completed by the exporter or producer and must fulfil the minimum data requirements. By completing the declaration, the exporter or producer is declaring that the good is originating and they possess evidence to demonstrate this.
If an exporter or producer provides a declaration of origin, they should keep it and any records demonstrating the good’s originating status. All records can be kept in any medium, including electronic, provided they allow for prompt retrieval.
Importer’s knowledge may be used by the importer in Australia, removing the need for an origin declaration, provided that the importer is in possession of documentation demonstrating the good’s originating status at the time the claim is made.
Waiver of origin declaration
The requirement for relying on a proof of origin is waived for low value shipments.
In the UK, a proof of origin is not required if the customs value of the imported good does not exceed 1,000 Pound Sterling. The UK-Australia agreement specifies in Article 4.21 that imported goods in Australia do not require a declaration of origin if their customs value does not exceed 1,000 Australian Dollars, or any higher amount established by Australia.
Shipping your product
Your products with UK origin will remain eligible for zero tariffs if they are transported straight to Australia without passing through another country.
If your product is transported through another country on the way to Australia, it will retain its originating status and eligibility for zero tariffs provided it is not released into free circulation, and provided it does not undergo any further production, except for operations necessary to preserve its good condition and transport the good to its final destination, such as the separation of the product from a bulk shipment, repacking or labelling.