ACA Logo

aca locations 1

ACA News

World’s largest Free Trade Agreement Come into Force 1 January

The world’s largest Free Trade Agreement comes into force on 1 January 2022.  The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) has been ratified by 10 of the 15 member states.

Details of the RCEP are provided in this bulletin from the Freight & Trade Alliance (FTA), of which ACA is a member, which a leading representative body for the international supply chain sector bringing together importers, customs brokers, freight forwarders and logistics service providers.

 

Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership

Entry into force 1 January 2022

The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) is a regional free trade agreement that will complement and build upon Australia's existing free trade agreements with 14 other Indo-Pacific countries.

RCEP comes into force 1 January 2022 following ratification by Australia, New Zealand, Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, China, Japan, Laos, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam.

When in force for all 15 signatories, RCEP will be the world’s largest free trade agreement and include nine of Australia’s top 15 trading partners.
 
A “Proof of Origin” must be held at the time the goods are entered to claim the preferential tariff rates.

It must be in writing or any other medium, including electronic format and can be a Certificate of Origin (COO) or a Declaration of Origin (DOO) as outlined below.

The COO / DOO must specify that the goods are originating and meets the requirements of the FTA and contain the minimum information requirements as set out in Annex 3B to the Agreement.

  1. A Certificate of Origin issued by an issuing body in accordance with Article 3.17 (Certificate of Origin);
  2. A Declaration of Origin by an approved exporter in accordance with subparagraph 1(a) of Article 3.18. We understand approved exporter status may be granted to Trusted Traders identified by their ABN.
  3. A Declaration of Origin by an exporter or producer in accordance with subparagraph 1(b) of Article 3.18

The agreement provides that Australia, Brunei Darussalam, China, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, New Zealand, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam will allow type (c) DOO no later than 10 years after their respective dates of entry into force of this Agreement.

Cambodia, Lao PDR, and Myanmar will allow type (c) DOO no later than 20 years after their respective dates of entry into force of this Agreement.
 
Proof of Origin documents are valid for one year from the time they are issued. COO can be issued retroactively, but it must be within one year of the date of shipment.

Back-to-back COO and DOO are permitted under similar circumstances to Australia’s other FTAs.

Certificates of Origin
COO:

  • Must be in English
  • Have a unique COO number
  • Contain an authorised signature and the official seal of the exporting Party. These can be applied manually or electronically. We do not know whether the names of the signatories will be published.
  • Can cover multiple invoices in a single shipment
  • Can cover multiple goods, provided that each good qualifies as an originating good separately in its own right.
  • Amendments must be struck out and changes certified by the authorised signature and official seal of the issuing body.    

Annex 3B to the Agreement provides the minimum information requirements to be contained in a COO: 

  1. exporter’s name and address;
  2. producer’s name and address, if known;
  3. importer’s or consignee’s name and address;
  4. description of the goods and the HS Code of the goods (six - digit level);
  5. unique Certificate of Origin number;
  6. origin conferring criterion;
  7. declaration by the exporter or producer;
  8. certification by the issuing body that the goods specified in the Certificate of Origin meet all the relevant requirements of the Rules of Origin based on the evidence provided with the authorised signature and official seal of the issuing body;
  9. RCEP country of origin referred to in Article 2.6 (Tariff Differentials);
  10. details to identify the consignment such as invoice number, departure date, vessel name or aircraft flight number, and port of discharge;
  11. FOB value, if the regional value content origin conferring criterion is used;
  12. quantity of the goods;
  13. in the case of a back-to-back Certificate of Origin, original Proof of Origin reference number, date of issuance, RCEP country of origin of the first exporting Party, and, if applicable, approved exporter authorisation code of the first exporting Party.

Declaration of Origin

  • Must be in English
  • Must contain the name and authorised signature of the certifying person.
  • Must be dated.

Annex 3B to the Agreement provides the minimum information requirements to be contained in a DOO:

  1. exporter’s name and address;
  2. producer’s name and address, if known;
  3. importer’s or consignee’s name and address;
  4. description of the goods and the HS Code of the goods (six-digit level);
  5. in the case of an approved exporter, authorisation code or identification code of the exporter or producer (may be the ABN – TBC);
  6. unique reference number;
  7. origin conferring criterion;
  8. certification by an authorised signatory that the goods specified in the Declaration of Origin meet all the relevant requirements of the Rules of Origin (ROO). The ROO are contained in Annex 3A to the Agreement;
  9. RCEP country of origin referred to in Article 2.6 (Tariff Differentials);
  10. FOB value, if the regional value content origin conferring criterion is used;
  11. quantity of the goods;
  12. in the case of a back-to-back Declaration of Origin, original Proof of Origin reference number, date of issuance, RCEP country of origin of the first exporting Party, and, if applicable, approved exporter authorisation code of the first exporting Party.

A suggested blank format for the DOO has not as yet been released.

Note that consignment rules will also apply.

Susan Danks -  Head of Customs & Regulatory Compliance, FTA / APSA

Should you have any questions regarding implementation and benefits of the RECP please contact your Customer Service representative who will put you in touch with one of our Customs specialists.