What are Rules of Origin and how do they apply to Free Trade Agreements and tariffs?

The Rules of Origin (ROO) are an agreed set of rules between countries that share a preferential trade agreement, such as a Free Trade Agreement (FTA). They determine the criteria for which goods are eligible for free or preferential import tariffs.

Based on the harmonized system of tariff codes, they can be quite technical in nature. Typically, they require a product to be entirely produced in a one of the participating countries, or have a minimum percentage of the value produced there.

In order for your goods to receive preferential treatment under the FTA you will need to demonstrate that they comply with the rules of origin under the relevant Agreement. This is done by completing documentation to demonstrate to the customs administration in the destination country that your products will qualify for preferential tariff treatment under the Agreement.

For more information, speak to your customs broker or visit the Australian Government's Free Trade Agreement portal.