- Least developed countries are to benefit from a new set of customs rules for their exports to the European Union, it was announced today. A lesser part of their products have to origin in the country to get preference taxation rates.
Algirdas emeta, European Commissioner for Taxation and Customs, today announced that a new "regulation revising rules of origin for products imported under the generalised system of preferences" from least developed countries had been adopted in Brussels.
Rules of origin are used to determine whether imported goods really originate in countries covered by the EU's preferential trade arrangements - including most of Africa - thereby making them eligible for a preferential customs tariff. The current rules of origin, which date back to the 1970s, have been criticised for being too complex, too stringent and out-of-date.
"The regulation adopted by the Commission today will considerably simplify the rules of origin so that they are easier for developing countries to understand and to comply with," a statement sent to afrol News today said.
Mr emeta in particular mentioned Zambia as an example of how the new regulations would benefit least developed countries, allowing producers in the country to "claim origin for many more goods which are processed in their territories, even if the primary materials do not originate there."
"For instance, an operator in Zambia that produces and exports plastics to the EU will benefit from the new rules of origin, because even with up to 70 percent of foreign input the exported plastics can still be considered as originating from Zambia," the statement said.
The new rules of origin agreed to in Brussels today will apply from 1 January 2011, according to Mr emeta.
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