Executive Seminar on the Future of Rules of Origin and Utilization Rates

26 - 28 June 2019
European University Institute
, Italy


Rules of origin are part of the "plumbing" of trade policy – the criteria that are used by customs authorities to determine where a good has been produced. They attract little attention by policymakers and are often wrongly seen as simply a technical matter that is best left to specialists. But rules of origin matter in many ways, and in practice, are a key instrument through which trade policy is made effective. Indeed, rules of origin are sometimes described as the means through which a government, or a specific industry can ensure that what is given by one hand, in particular liberalisation of access to the market through a trade agreement or the granting of trade preferences to developing countries, is taken away by the other. Rules of origin can be and are "modulated" to determine the ability of foreign firms to benefit from preferential access to markets.


The objective of the executive seminar is to discuss the future of preferential and non-preferential rules of origin, how to draft rules of origin in Free Trade Agreements, how to use utilization rates to simplify rules of origin, how to improve certification procedures of rules of origin in the light of the Revised Kyoto Convention for the simplification and harmonization of customs regimes, and to explore recent development within the WTO Committee on Rules of Origin.

In addition, the seminar will provide an introduction to the basic law and economic principles of applied rules of origin regimes in major markets, demystify key concepts such as "cumulation", discuss the evidence on the impacts of different types of rules, explore the political economy of the drivers of rules of origin, and the options and strategies that have been proposed by developing countries and analysts to make rules of origin less of a barrier to trade.

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European University Institute, Global Governance Programme
Sponsor / funding:
European University Institute



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Related Sites:


The European University Institute
Global Governance Programme



For more information on UNCTAD's work on rules of origin, please see: https://unctad.org/en/Pages/ALDC/Technical%20Assistance/Rules-of-Origin-for-LDCs.aspx


Mr. Stefano Inama