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How to document origin

Goods for which preferential tariff treatment is requested must originate in a country that is a contractual party in accordance with the rules of origin in this particular agreement. Proof of this origin must further be presented in connection with import.

Whether you issue an Origin Declaration or apply to have a Movement Certificate EUR.1 issued, you are responsible for documenting that the product actually meets the rules of origin. You must be able to document this both at the time of issue and subsequently if the customs authorities want to examine the certificate of origin at a later stage.

Article 16 (3) and Article 21 of the PEM Convention lay down this requirement.

You are obliged to keep copies of all issued declarations of origin and underlying documentation for the status of origin of the goods for at least three years.

Article 28 of the PEM Convention lays down this requirement.

Different types of documentation

Companies can be extremely different when it comes to size and routines and if they have their own production. What documentation is required in each individual case will therefore vary.

Since the fishing boat is of a decisive importance for origin in case of direct landing, it must, as a rule, be possible to retroactively track each individual exported shipment from export to arrival, across all stages and processes in every company that the product has undergone.

There must be documentation for each individual process in the chain. In order to be possible for the documentation to be verified, and it must exist in either electronic format or hardcopy.

Ordinary purchase and sales invoices may be sufficient if the purchase and sale can easily be "linked". They can also be enough in a manufacturing company if it never keeps the same type of originating and third-country products on stock at the same time. It must be possible to unambiguously "link" the sale and purchase by date, quantity and kind.

In all processes

Unless accounting separation has been permitted, it must be possible to subsequently prove that the company has kept originating and third-party goods physically separate.

Purchase

Purchases must be documented, for example, with a bill for the individual delivery (takeover declaration or contract note), or a supplier's declaration. The supplier's declaration must have clear references to the relevant purchase. A supplier's declaration can be provided on a separate sheet of paper or incorporated into the purchase invoice.

Read more about national supplier`s declaration

If the goods are not directly delivered by a Norwegian fishing boat, they must be accompanied by an EUR.1 movement certificate or an invoice declaration as documentation of the origin of fish imported from vessels from other countries, including other EEA countries.

Trader's connection between purchase and sale

Purchases must be documented as mentioned in the previous section. Ordinary purchase and sales invoices are often enough for a dealer, if the purchase and sale can easily be "linked together" using, for example, dates, types of goods and quantities. A purchase/sale can also be so-called "folder-based". It is also possible to note on the sales invoice or order where the goods originate from. It is important to make sure that the customers can depend on the same references in order to be able to issue certificates of origin.

Production company, raw materials to production

Purchases must be documented as mentioned above. A specific production must be identified by, for example, number/year or date. It must also be made clear, in one way or another, which raw materials have been used in that production. This can be done with a stock account, production records or a production report, or possibly by labelling the finished product in such a way as to refer back to the raw material.

Production Company, raw materials to sale

It must be made clear, in one way or another, which finished goods, are actually sold in connection with the individual sale. This can be done with a stock account or can possibly be incorporated into the order/sales invoice.

  1. If the product is manufactured at a company with permission for accounting separation, it must be possible to trace the product back to a positive raw material balance of an originating material. it must be possible to track such materials all the way back to their landing so that it can be ascertained that the goods have been caught and delivered by a Norwegian (EEA) vessel.
  2. If a company has been granted permission for accounting separation and has picked the sales time, the document of origin must retain this tracking.

Documentation from the supplier

It is the exporter's task to adequately document that all issued certificates of origin are correct. The exporter must therefore present to the local customs government the documents and overviews that are being required as well as provide assistance with obtaining the documentation which is in the possession of the supplier.

Since fish and other seafood are subject to restrictive rules of origin, it will be necessary to be able to track the individual exported shipment back to the "edge of the quay". Documents such as supplier's declarations, transaction overviews, etc. from the respective suppliers will therefore be important elements with an eye to this. The Norwegian Customs Service must be able to verify such details and documents.

In accordance with Section 13-4 of the Norwegian Customs Act, the person subject to a duty of disclosure is obliged to provide the documentation that is considered necessary by the Norwegian Customs Service in order to verify that the certificates of origin are correct and that the origin of the goods is correctly disclosed. Article 20 (3) of the EEA Agreement stipulates that an exporter who issues an invoice declaration must be prepared at any time to provide all necessary documents proving the status of origin of the respective product.

Overviews and documentation from suppliers can possibly be handed over directly to the Norwegian Customs Service, where so preferred by the supplier. As an additional and general option, the system and/or overviews can possibly be anonymised so that stakeholders cannot be clearly identified, but that connections ("links") are provided by means of references to takeover declaration/contract note numbers, incoming and outgoing invoice numbers, etc.

The Norwegian Customs may conduct more detailed inspections of the supplier, when considered necessary.