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Rules of Origin

Rules of origin are the specific provisions developed from principles established by national legislation or international agreements (origin criteria) applied by a country to determine the origin of goods.

The concept of Rules of origin has become increasingly important for international trade. In fact, the implementation of preferential trade regimes and the application of trade measures, such as, import bans and prohibitions, discriminatory restrictions, tariff quotas, among others, depend on the application of rules of origin.

It is therefore essential that the business community understands and makes full use of the principles and rules of the protocol on Rules of Origin.

Rules of Origin under Rwandan law

1. Under Rwandan law governing customs goods wholly obtained or produced in a country shall not benefit from preferential tariff treatment where:

  • Agreements on preferential tariff treatment or Laws are not in place;
  • Conditions specified in the agreements on preferential tariff treatment are not fulfilled.

2. Any processing or working in respect of which it is established, or in respect of which the facts as ascertained justify the presumption, that its sole objective was to circumvent the provisions applicable to goods from specific countries shall under no circumstances be deemed to confer on the goods thus produced the origin of the country where it is carried out.

3. Customs may require the production of documents as proof of origin on specific goods. Notwithstanding the production of any document referred to in the foregoing paragraph, Customs may, in the event of serious doubts, require any additional proof to ensure that the indication of origin complies with the rules laid down by the relevant provisions.

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