Towards Inclusive Rules of Origin

November 21, 2016

On November 21-22, 2016, the ICTSD in partnership with the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) organised a dialogue on inclusive rules of origin (RoO). The meeting represents the first in a series of RTA Exchange dialogues set to take place over the course of 2016 and 2017 to systematically explore possibilities for coherence and best practice between trade agreements at the the regional and global level, with the aim of ultimately contributing to a more inclusive global trade system that delivers sustainable development for all. RTAs have been a driving force behind recent trade liberalisation efforts and the formation of many global value chains (GVCs). However, RTAs also create limitations for both countries inside and outside a trading block due to their rules of origin. The complexity and variety of RoO that exist today represents a challenge for many firms seeking to participate in production networks across various trade agreements. Empirical evidence suggests that strict rules of origin often result in the sub-optimal functioning of value chains by disincentivising the use of cheaper parts and materials from third countries. Complex and diverse sets of RoO have also affected the ability of developing countries including least developed countries (LDCs) to fully benefit from the enhanced market access granted through preferential schemes or negotiated under their RTAs.


Agenda: Link


RTA

RTA

Dialogue Report and Background Materials

During the two day meeting twenty trade policy experts discussed the role of RoOs in the international trading system and identified the bottlenecks that arise in their application, especially in the cases where they impact trade of developing countries. The discussion focused on analyzing recent trends in RoO, different sectoral approaches and harmonization models as well as ways forward to ensure inclusive RoO regimes worldwide.


RTA

Building Inclusive Rules of Origin in the 21st Century

Jeremy Harris

This is an overview report of the Rules of Origin Dialogue held November 21-22, 2016. The report report provides an analysis and evaluation of rules of origin in the context of RTAs and the multilater...

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RTA

Addressing Origin Operational Challenges

Brian Staples

This paper reviews reciprocal and unilateral preferential rules of origin, including the possibility of introducing expanded cumulation flexibilities to show why they are seemingly resistant to harmon...

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RTA

Towards Convergence on Rules of Origin Between Trade at the Regional and Multilateral Level

Stefano Inama

The ongoing stalemate on the Harmonization Work Programme (HWP) with respect to non-preferential rules of origin (RoO) has left business trade negotiators and customs officials negotiating free trade...

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RTA

The Preferential Origin Regime and Global Value Chains

Anna Jerzewska

Access to preferential import tariffs under a free trade agreement (FTA) is governed by clearly defined rules of origin designed to prevent non-members from enjoying the benefits. However, a company’s...

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