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How to obtain preferential treatment

If you wish to obtain preferential treatment for your item, it must have an originating status under the rules of origin in the relevant free trade agreement. 

When exporting from Norway, most items have either a Norwegian or an EEA origin. You must provide this information in box 4 on the Movement Certificate EUR.1 or include it in the declaration of origin. 

There are two main rules that underlie whether your item will obtain originating product status. It must either be "produced in its entirety" or "sufficiently processed or refined" within a free trade area.

Wholly Obtained

Your item will be an originating product if it is wholly obtained within the free trade area. This typically applies to goods such as animals, plants, fish and minerals. The free trade agreements cover such goods to a limited extent. 

Sufficiently Worked or Processed

This rule applies to products that are worked or processed in some way. The question in such cases is whether your item is processed enough to be considered as originating in the county where the processing takes place. 

The rules regarding the extent of processing of products can be found in the various free trade agreements. An item may also contain input materials from a third country and still obtain originating status. 

To find out how much third-country materials is permitted, you must consult one of the annexes to the origin protocol, the product-specific processing rules, referred to hereinafter as the list rules. 

The country of origin is the country in which the last significant processing takes place. The last significant processing means a process involving more than repackaging goods, putting them together into sets, storing them or packing them. 

List rules

The list rules specify how much processing or refinement is needed in order for the finished product to obtain originating status. 

The list is based on the HS nomenclature (the Customs Tariff). There are list rules available for all goods. It is important to note that there are also list rules for goods that are not included in the product coverage of the free trade agreements. You may therefore not use the list rules to assess whether or not the item in question in included in the scope of goods.

The list has four columns. The first refers to the chapter or heading in the Customs Tariff. If "ex" is written before the chapter or heading, the rule applies only to those goods specified in column 2.

In column 2 you will find the summary of goods.

Columns 3 og 4 contain the relevant list rules for the finished product. If there is a list rule in both columns, you can choose which rule you wish to apply. When columns 3 of 4 contain a reference to materials, these are only third-country materials. 

Some rules recur in the lists:

  • Change of tariff heading rule
    This list rule means that a finished product will obtain originating product status if the third-country materials used in the production of the finished product have a different position in the Customs Tariff form the finished product. 
  • Value rule
    The finished product will obtain originating status if it does not contain more third-country materials than the percentage specified in the list rule. The percentage is always calculated on the basis of the ex- work price of the finished product.
  • Tolerance rule
    This allows you to use up to 10% third-country materials in production regardless of the list rule for the finished product. 

For goods where the list rules require that all third-country materials used must undergo a change of tariff heading, the tolerance rule means that you can still use 10% third-country materials that do not change heading. 

The tolerance rule cannot be applied to goods classified within Chapters 50 to 3 of the Customs Tariff (textile goods). 

Minimal operations

If your item is processed in a particular country, but the processing is not extensive enough for it to obtain originating status in that country, we refer to the processing by the term "minimal operations". An item can change heading and thereby comply with a list rule. This will result in it becoming an originating product. This only applies if the processing that has led to a change of heading is more than a minimal operation. 


In the free trade agreements that Norway has entered into, there is an opening for what is known as cumulation. Cumulation in this context means "free use of originating materials". 

Cumulation means that you can use originating materials from another country that is also part of the cumulation scheme. This means that the cumulating materials do not need to satisfy the list rules for the export product. 

In order to make use of cumulation, you must make sure that

  • the origin protocols are the same in all the agreements
  • that they have a free trade agreement with each other

This system also allows originating products from a country that is part of the cumulation scheme to be re-exported to another country that is part of the same cumulation scheme.