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rules of origin

Preferential treatment provided for in a free trade agreement is usually granted only to products originating from members of that FTA, so rules of origin are important. These are the criteria which determine the national origin of a product. The country of origin of a product is usually seen as the country where the last substantial transformation took place.

Enforcing and defining rules of origin for goods or services poses major problems. This issue has been very controversial in a number of agreements and trade unions and other critics have campaigned to highlight the ways in which rules of origin can be used and abused by governments and corporations alike. In particular there are concerns about the ease with which goods processed partly or fully in a third country can receive duty-free access under a bilateral agreement by being re-exported with just enough processing to satisfy rules of origin requirements. This is further complicated by the fact that different bilateral free trade agreements use different criteria to set rules of origin.

Free trade is costing millions: report
A year-long investigation of Australia’s free trade agreements has found they are often nothing of the kind.
Rules of Origin under US trade agreements with Arab countries: Are they helping and hindering free trade?
This article analyzes in details rules of origin in the US-Arab countries FTAs.
NTA sees danger in administrations plans for TPP Agreement
The US National Textile Association is worried that the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement could undermine the basis for textile rules of origin in US FTAs and that if more APEC members join the US will be outvoted.
EU: Free trade area around the Mediterranean a priority at trade ministers’ meeting
The EuroMed meeting in Brussels today adopted a roadmap for the establishment of a free trade area around the Mediterranean starting in 2010. Support was also given for a regional convention with uniform rules on the origin of goods.
Trade blocs agree to simple rules of origin
Three leading regional trading blocs in Africa — EAC, COMESA and SADC — have simplified the rules of origin to be applied by all member states in a move aimed at boosting intra-continental trade.
S. Korea, EU to Hold Free Trade Talks in Vienna
South Korea and the European Union will hold a meeting in Vienna this week to resolve contentious issues such as auto trade and rules of origin in their free trade negotiations, Yonhap News reported Sunday quoting officials.
Rules of Origin and EPAs: What has been agreed? What does it mean? What next?
This paper provides an analysis on the significance of changes made to rules of origin during the EPA negotiations
ITC launches new investigation on possible modification to the US-Chile FTA rules of origin
The investigation, Probable Economic Effect of Certain Modifications to the U.S.-Chile Free Trade Agreement Rules of Origin, was requested by the US Trade Representative (USTR)
S. Korea, EU spar over ’rules of origin’
Under EU-suggested rules, a product would be considered as coming from a trading partner only when at least 60 percent of the value of the finished item is added in that country. South Korean negotiators want the ratio to be lowered to 40 percent, as a number of manufacturers in the country outsource many components from neighboring countries such as China to cut costs.
Tough FTA rules to curb trade diversions
Being on an overdrive to ink several free trade agreements (FTA) following the recent collapse of the WTO talks, India is now mulling tightening standards on rules of origin (ROOs) of goods by including new ‘product-specific’ norms.
Comesa intensifying talks with EC on EPA rules of origin
With six months remaining for African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries to sign the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA), the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) says it has intensified discussions with the European Commission (EC) on the rules of origin.
India: Study commissioned to rationalise rules of origins
A study has been commissioned by the government to rationalise various provisions in Rules of Origins (RoO) contained in many agreements
Disagreement puts India-GCC FTA on backburner
Plans to put an India-Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Free Trade Agreement (FTA) in place have suffered a setback despite two rounds of talks earlier this year. According to officials, due to the absence of customs union and disagreement among the GCC countries, talks of an FTA with India are now stuck.
Israel, Jordan upgraded QIZ trade pact
The newly signed agreement intends to improve supervision on compliance with rules of origin under the qualified industrial zones (QIZ) treaty.
Unequal partners
This paper by Claire Godfrey provides a wide-ranging look at the many problems with the EPAs, and investigates how these could impact on the African, Caribbean and Pacific countries’ future development.
Offering a realistic alternative
Outlines the legal and moral obligation of the EU to offer the Pacific ACP an attractive alternative to the EPAs.
Fishing for a future
Provides background information on fisheries in the Pacific and explores the pros and cons of a Pacific fisheries agreement with the EU.
Rules of origin regulations no hinderance, says NZ’s Goff
Asean’s plan to narrow the gap on rules of origin regulations pose no hinderance to the proposed Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with New Zealand and Australia.
FTAs may not be worth their weight, says academic
Thailand’s benefits from bilateral free trade agreements (FTAs) may not be worth the cost, according to an academic.
Proposed FTA with Thailand in choppy waters
The proposed India-Thailand free trade agreement (FTA), which was to follow the early harvest programme (EHP) implemented in September 2004, seems to be in trouble. The Thai side is refusing to budge from its new demand of making the rules of origin (ROO) norms for the agreement less stringent than the norms being followed under the EHP.