Introduction to Preferential Origin
Preferential origin is conferred on goods from particular countries, which have fulfilled certain criteria. To obtain preferential origin those criteria generally require that the goods be wholly obtained or have undergone sufficient transformation in the manufacturing processes.
Preferential origin under SADC confers certain tariff benefits (entry at a reduced or zero rate of duty) on goods traded between SADC countries. To have preferential origin goods must comply with the conditions laid down in the SADC Protocol on Rules of Origin.
It means that goods must either
- be manufactured from raw materials or components which have been grown or produced in the exporting SADC country or, should that not be the case,
- at least undergo a certain amount of working or processing in the SADC exporting country. Such goods are then considered to be "originating".
In all cases there is a list of the working or processing each product manufactured from non-originating materials or components must undergo in order to obtain originating status. These rules are often referred to as "the rules of origin". They set out the least amount of working or processing required on non-originating materials in order for the resulting goods to obtain originating status.
The structure of the list of working or processing requirements is based on the structure of the HS Code of the final product being exported. So before being able to determine what processing a specific product must undergo it is necessary to know its HS classification.
The SADC Rules of Origin
The SADC Rules of Origin are product-specific whereby each tariff heading is assigned one or several criteria to be fulfilled for origin to be conferred. In order to benefit from preferential treatment on the SADC market, all goods should comply with the rules of origin under the SADC Trade Protocol and must be accompanied by a valid SADC certificate of origin.
The Rules of Origin can be one or a mix of the following types:
- Wholly produced
- Change in tariff heading
- Percentage rule
- Two-stage transformation for textile and clothing
SADC Certificate of Origin:
The SADC Certificate of Origin is both issued and approved by Botswana’s Revenue Authority. The online application for the SADC Certificate of Origin is made through a Freight Forwarder or Customs House Broker via the TradeNet system
For the Customs Department to approve the Certificate, you need the following documents:
- SADC Certificate of Origin duly filled
- Customs Declaration (Export and Import)
- Export Invoice
- Appropriate certified costing for value added requirements
- Any other document as may be required by Customs Department
- Botswana has entered into some Trade Agreements with other countries and economic communities(such as SADC or EU) through which certain goods of Botswana origin are granted duty free and or quota free access in the markets of those countries or economic communities. If your product is exempted from payment of Customs duties, before exporting, you will need prior approval by BURS and a relevant Exemption Certificate.
- Check the BURS for further information on taxation, customs and excise landscape in Botswana. Contact BURS offices here.