During June and July, the reports of two Origin Committee meetings were finally issued.

The report of the 196th Origin Committee meeting of 8 February 2012 reflects the presentation by the Commission of a proposal on the EU’s position on list rules for the Pan-Euro-Med Convention. A debrief was also provided on the FTA origin rules negotiations with India, Singapore and Canada.

The Commission also presented Korea’s proposed amendments to adapt the list rules in the Rules of Origin in the EU-Korea FTA to the HS 2012.

Origin issues under the EU-Mexico FTA were also discussed following complaints by Mexico that Member State customs authorities were rejecting proof of origin (for garlic in this case) without triggering requests for verification as foreseen in the Origin Protocol.

The Turkish delegation further presented Turkey’s proposal to amend the provision of bilateral cumulation in bilateral FTAs of the EU and Turkey.

The Committee also discussed the application of the GSP list rules of origin to knitted and crocheted products of heading HS 6212.

The Commission further announced that it would launch a survey on Member States’ practices relating to issuing Approved Exporter Authorisations and that it was relaunching an inter-service consultation to find a compromise text regarding the possibility for Member States to decide to send proof of origin for verification in cases where a notice to importers has been published. The Commission finally also announced that it will present a revised version of the proposal as regards the splitting of consignments in the EU.

The report of the 197th Origin Committee meeting of 27 April 2012 reports the continuation of the discussion on the Pan-Euro-Med Convention (including the origin determination of motor vehicles classified under heading 8703 applying the territoriality principle). As usual, a debrief was provided by the Commission on the FTA origin rules negotiations with Canada, Singapore, and on the negotiations on Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) with African countries. In addition, various origin issues under the EU-Korea FTA were discussed (including updating the list rules to reflect the HS 2012, verification requests, and the splitting of consignments). Requests from Guatemala, El Salvador and Cape Verde for derogations from the GSP rules or origin were also on the table.

The 198th meeting of the Origin Section of the Customs Code Committee took place on 21 May 2012. The public report of that meeting is not yet available, but topics on the agenda included the usual update on ongoing FTA negotiations, on the splitting on consignments in the EU and in third countries under the EU-Korea FTA, a debriefing on a bilateral meeting under the EUChile FTA, and on the meetings with Bangladesh, Indonesia, and UAE as regards the monitoring of the management and administration of the GSP origin rules.

The Committee was also scheduled to discuss the impact of the amendments to the HS 2007 and HS 2012 on the GSP rules and the negotiations on rules or origin under the future agreements with Georgia and Moldova. In addition, issues under the EU-Israel FTA were on the agenda (with an updating of a warning notice to EU importers), and guidance on clarifying when there is “reasonable doubt” as to the preferential origin of goods was set to be revised.

The 199th meeting of the Origin section took place on 3- 4 July 2012. Based on the agenda available, during that meeting, the Committee was set to discuss, inter alia, the conclusions of the last WTO Committee on Rules of Origin, the non-preferential origin of spirits, the revision of the Pan-Euro-Med Convention, the state of play of the rules of origin provisions or issues under various existing FTAs and in pending FTA negotiations, and the negotiation of an Agreement between the EU, Norway and Switzerland on products originating from GSP beneficiary countries incorporating materials from Norway, Switzerland or Turkey.