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REX: New Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) Exporter Data Base

Actualizado: 24 mar 2020

30 de Mayo de 2017 -

The new Union Customs Code (UCC) entered into force last May 2016 but certain provisions of the UCC (including Delegated & Implementing Acts) will be applicable at a later stage depending on the required electronic systems and the target dates for starting operations.

That is why the Implementing Decision 2016/578 of 11 April 2016 establishing the Work Programe for the Union Customs Code was adopted. This Decision sets up a description of the required IT systems  and how to complete the deployment of all electronic systems required by the UCC at latest by 2020.

One of the changes that will be applicable at a later stage refers to REX, the registration of exporters in the framework of the GSP (Generalized Scheme of Preferences). The REX data base is not new, the regulation was already in force with the Community Customs Code but some later modifications were introduced by the new Union Customs Code

Switzerland and Norway will also apply the REX system.

For those who are not familiar with, the GSP allows goods from most in need developing countries to pay reduced or no customs duties at all on their imports in the EU, trying to contribute to their economic growth. However not every product from GSP countries can profit of this unilateral advantage granted by the EU. Currently 92 countries around the world benefit from EU GSP.

"In 2014, almost EUR 50.8 billion of imports received GSP preferences as follows: EUR 27.3 billion of imports from countries under the Standard GSP, around EUR 6.5 billion of imports from GSP+ beneficiaries and EUR 17 billion of imports from EBA countries"  Report on the Generalized Scheme of Preferences covering the period 2014-2015, EU Commission, January 2016

In order to qualify for GSP certain conditions needs to be met

Currently if goods qualify for GSP, an origin certificate (named "FORM A") is required for import customs clearance in the EU in order to apply for a reduced or zero customs duty rate.

Following the electronic customs project initiated by the EU which aims to replace paper format customs procedures with EU wide electronic ones, thus creating a more efficient and modern customs environment, the FORM A paper certificate will be replaced by an electronic database for shipments above 6.000 euros. This new electronic database is called REX (Registered Exporter System).

In principle from 2017 onwards, GSP exporters will directly provide their customers with statements on origin and no more paper FORM A Certificates will be issued. Exporters from GSP countries will need to register with the competent authorities of the beneficiary countries in order to facilitate post-export controls.

Each beneficiary country will need to establish an electronic record of registered exporters, the contents of which will be communicated to the EU Commission.

The EU will establish as well a central database of these registered exporters, through which operators will be able to check before declaring goods for release for free circulation in the EU, that their suppliers are registered exporters in the beneficiary country concerned.

According to the EU Commission, REX is based on 3 main pillars

  1. Simplification, non-paper environment.

  2. Self-certification. More responsibility is given to economic operators in the registration phase and the making out of origin statement.

  3. Monitoring accurate origin declaration. The competent authorities have a simple role of administration of the data but should develop larger controls of the proofs of origin post export and the process of acquisition of the origin. As the beneficiary countries also have GSP management responsibilities, the Commission calls on them to establish effective and appropriate management structures to guarantee the validity of certificates or origin and to fight against fraud.

The aim of REX it is not only the simplification itself but mainly  a tool to better control origin declarations

Regrettably fraud occurs by falsifying certificates of origin and the role plays by OLAF is crucial. When I talk about false origin certificates I mean certificates of origin issued being goods not compliant with origin rules.

Australia’s GSP monitoring mechanism is designed to directly combat problems of fraudulent origin certificates. Australia employs a system of self-assessment for entry clearance that places responsibility for correct clearance of goods through customs on the importer.

The transitional period it is expected to  take place in 3 years and should be fully deployed in 2020

Those are the deadlines as published by the EU Commission

1. The REX system applies since 1 January 2017 for GSP beneficiary countries.

2. However, all GSP beneficiary countries had the possibility until 30 June 2016 to notify the European Commission if they prefer to start the application of the REX system later, i.e. as from 1 January 2018 or as from 1 January 2019.

REX will not only impact on exporters from GSP countries but also on re-consignors from the EU and exporters from the EU which goods may qualified for bilateral cumulation of origin. Their numbers as approved exporter for FTA will be included in the REX database and used for  origin statement.

Application of the REX system as from 1 January 2017

Angola, Burundi, Bhutan, Democratic Republic of Congo, Central African Republic, Comoros, Congo, Cook Islands, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Micronesia, Equatorial Guinea, Guinea Bissau, India, Kenya, Kiribati, Laos, Liberia, Mali, Nauru, Nepal, Niue Island, Pakistan, Solomon Islands, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Sudan, Sao Tomé & Principe, Chad, Togo, Tonga, Timor-Leste, Tuvalu, Yemen, Zambia.

Application of the REX system as from 1 January 2018

Afghanistan, Armenia, Bolivia, Ivory Coast, Eritrea, Gambia, Guinea, Malawi, Mozambique, Myanmar, Niger, Rwanda, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Swaziland, Syria, Tanzania.

Application of the REX system as from 1 January 2019

Bangladesh, Benin, Burkina Faso, Cabo Verde, Cambodia, Haiti, Indonesia, Kyrgyz Republic, Lesotho, Madagascar, Mauritania, Mongolia, Nigeria, Paraguay, Philippines, Samoa, Senegal, Tajikistan, Uganda, Uzbekistan, Vanuatu, Vietnam.

Companies importing goods into the EU should check if hey need to register in the REX system database (e.g. splitting origin or where cumulation of origin applied).

Who will need to register?

1. EU exporters to GSP countries for bilateral cumulation of origin.

2. EU operators replacing proofs of origin countries. 

3. EU operators exporting to third countries with which the EU has a FTA and where the REX system is to be applied. 

Publication of registered exporter's data

The data of the REX system is published and maybe searched online on this website:

Application of REX in the context of CETA and other bilateral agreements


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