The DCFTA rules of origin (Protocol II and its further amendment for its alignment to PEM rules of origin) introduce some new elements in EU-MD preferential trade which are not found under ATP, such as:
The customs territory of the EU is a single territory (comprising the EU MS’ territories). In general, for origin purposes the EU is considered as a whole, one unit, therefore any MS can be considered as the exporting country and in some cases this MS might differ from the one in which the exporter is established and keeps all evidence concerning the origin of the goods.
For certification of the preferential origin, the exporter (including the approved one) is the person able to determine and certify the origin (on the basis of the relevant documentation, including the supplier's declarations), to answer the subsequent verifications and to engage her/his responsibility on the correctness of her/his declarations concerning origin. The exporter, as a declarant or as an economic operator having goods declared on her/his behalf in view of the exportation is not necessarily the same person.
PEM rules of origin do not contain any definition of “exporter”. EU understanding of the term for the purpose of preferential origin can be illustrated by the definition in the EU Regulation 2015/2446 (Union Customs Code Delegated Act), Art. 37 (20) – person who is exporting the goods, whether or not she/he is the manufacturer and whether or not he himself carries out the export formalities.
According to the strict rules of PEM Convention, to which Moldova is a signatory country since 1 September 2015, the endorsement “issued retrospectively“ shall be made in English language. The aim of this rule is to simplify and facilitate the trade activities by avoiding the use of various linguistic versions, which might confuse the importing country.
The option of not rejecting such certificates based on the flexibility provided by the provision on dealing with discrepancies and formal errors can also be considered by MDCS from the perspective of overall impact on preferential trade and trade facilitation.
Still not, as currently not all conditions are fulfilled (e.g. notice indicating the fulfilment of the necessary requirement to apply cumulation still not published in EU Official Journal). Bearing also in mind that the FTA between Moldova and Turkey unilaterally provides for cumulation with the EU, at export to the EU the cumulation with Turkey is not allowed. Neither can preferences be granted for Turkish goods imported from the EU with a proof of origin issued in the EU. While at export to Turkey the cumulation with the EU is possible e.g.to use EU materials. The last case would be the application of the cumulation provided for in the Moldova-Turkey FTA, not the PEM cumulation, which is still not applicable.
The goods permitted for export under the approved exporter status are fixed in the authorisation issued by MDCS. The scope of goods covered by the authorisation depends on what the candidate for obtaining the status has applied for, i.e. how s/he has completed the application form. If the application did not contain information about the goods that are not produced by her/him, the authorisation would not cover such goods. Thus s/he does not have the right to export goods which s/he has not produced using the “approved exporter” status. In order to extend the scope of application of her/his authorisation s/he should submit an additional application mentioning this specific information.
No, as there is no legal base for that. The EUR.1 certificates and other proofs of origin have relevance and are to be applied only within specific FTAs in force between the country of exportation and importation, as well as between the other countries in the PEM zone, which participated in the acquisition of the origin of the respective goods. For example, Moldova cannot issue EUR.1 certificate to Egypt for goods of Moldovan origin, or for goods of EU origin, even though in the second case there is a FTA between Egypt and the EU.
Yes, the PEM rules of origin provide for such an option based on the provisions for diagonal cumulation (cases of retaining the origin). The proof of origin to be issued in Moldova should be based on the proof of origin for the goods in question issued in the partner country from where the goods have been previously imported in Moldova. It should be noted that in case a EUR.1 is issued at export from Moldova, it would be according to the normal procedure, not as a replacement certificate (intended for use in the importing country).
The possibilities for obtaining originating materials will be extended to a wider area, which will facilitate the better utilization of the preferences in the Moldova-Ukraine FTA, as well as those under the FTAs that each of the countries has with other PEM partners with which cumulation is applicable. For example: Moldovan operators could use Ukrainian materials in the production of goods for export to the EU and EU materials for export to Ukraine.
It will be also possible to receive and send under preferential terms goods traded among these countries, as it will be allowed to issue proofs of origin for goods originating in any of the countries with which cumulation is applicable.
The proof of origin could be issued for example: at exportation of EU goods to Ukraine, or Ukrainian goods to the EU, as well as to receive EU goods from Ukraine or Ukrainian goods from the EU. In short, the conditions for trade involving Moldova, Ukraine and the EU will be as the one currently existing among Moldova, the EU and the CEFTA countries. They could be further extended upon conclusion of new FTAs and/or adoption of PEM rules of origin in preferential trade involving other parties of PEM Convention.
The use of EUR.1 certificate between Ukraine and Moldova will be possible when the legal base for this is created, for example by adoption in the free trade agreement (FTA) between both countries of the rules of origin in the Pan-Euro-Mediterranean (PEM) Convention. The introduction of PEM rules of origin in the bilateral agreement would also link the FTAs which Moldova and Ukraine have with other countries of the PEM zone, such as the EU. The same is also valid in respect of preferential trade with Georgia, which has recently joined the PEM Convention.
As the matter involves an amendment of international agreements, which takes time, the use of EUR.1 in trade between Moldova and Ukraine cannot be expected in the near future. At present, preferences cannot be granted neither for Ukrainian goods imported in Moldova, nor for Moldovan goods imported in Ukraine, on the bases of EUR.1 certificate issued in either of the two countries, or in the EU.
It is also not possible to recognize EU preferential origin in bilateral trade between Moldova and Ukraine.