Dating country of origin law
Not much more work was done on rules of origin until well into the Uruguay Round negotiations.
In the late 1980s developments in three important areas served to focus more attention on the problems posed by rules of origin: Increased number of preferential trading arrangements First, an increased use of preferential trading arrangements, including regional arrangements, with their various rules of origin; Increase in the number of origin disputes Second, an increased number of origin disputes growing out of quota arrangements such as the Multifibre Arrangement and the voluntary steel export restraints; and Increased use of anti-dumping laws Lastly, an increased use of anti-dumping laws, and subsequent claims of circumvention of anti-dumping duties through the use of third country facilities.
Given the variety of rules of origin, however, such harmonization is a complex exercise.
In 1981, the GATT Secretariat prepared a note on rules of origin and, in November 1982, Ministers agreed to study the rules of origin used by GATT Contracting Parties.
There is wide variation in the practice of governments with regard to the rules of origin.
While the requirement of substantial transformation is universally recognized, some governments apply the criterion of change of tariff classification, others the ad valorem percentage criterion and yet others the criterion of manufacturing or processing operation.
The work is being conducted both in the WTO Committee on Rules of Origin (CRO) in Geneva and in the WCO Technical Committee (TCRO) in Brussels.
Its main functions are (a) to carry out the harmonization work; and (b) to deal with any matter concerning technical problems related to rules of origin. Membership is open to all WTO Members; other WCO members and the WTO Secretariat may attend as observers (Article 4:2 and Annex I).
back to top Article 9:2 provided that the HWP be completed within three years of initiation. While substantial progress was made in that time in the implementation of the HWP, it could not be completed due to the complexity of issues.
However, with respect to rules of origin applied for government procurement, Members are not be obliged to assume additional obligations other than those already assumed under the GATT 1994 (the national treatment exception for government procurement contained in GATT Article III:8).
(e) rules of origin are administered in a consistent, uniform, impartial and reasonable manner; (f) rules of origin are based on a positive standard.
back to top The CRO and the TCRO have established an overall architectural design within which the harmonization work programme is to be finalized.