Rules of Origin (ROO) refer to the criteria used to determine where a product was made and its eligibility for preferential tariff treatment. Applying specifically to the ASEAN region, products that comply to the ROO provisions, as indicated in the ASEAN Trade in Goods Agreement (ATIGA), are classified as being of ASEAN origin, and in turn, will be able to enjoy the ATIGA preferential tariff rates, which stood at an average of 0.54% for all ASEAN Member States (AMS) as of 2014.
Simple, business-friendly ATIGA ROO, both in design and in application, will foster increased dynamism of ASEAN’s regional production value chain. Given the dynamic nature of the region’s production processes, continuous reform and enhancement of the ATIGA ROO are being considered. These include introduction of advance rulings, simplification of the Operational Certification Procedures (OCP) for ATIGA ROO and other facilitative processes such as harmonisation/alignment of national procedures. To illustrate, initiatives have been forwarded to improve the ATIGA Form D Certificate of Origin (CO). This document is issued by a national government to exporters so that it can be used by counterpart importers for a preferential tariff rate under ATIGA. To lessen the administrative burden to traders, work is underway to kick start the process that would accept electronic ATIGA CO Form D without a manual signature.
To further facilitate intra-ASEAN trade, a “self-certification” scheme was also initiated. This provides “certified economic operators” (i.e. exporters, traders, and manufacturers) who have demonstrated their capacity to comply with the origin requirements (i.e. ATIGA ROO), to self-certify the originating status of goods. ROO self-certification facilitates trade by enabling exporters or producers to selfdeclare the origin of their goods without presenting a certification of origin issued by designated regulatory authorities. This practice, when effectively run, will contribute to cost reduction particularly for smaller exporters often located at a distance from the regulatory authority. Two pilot projects on self-certification are underway, the first one implemented in 2010 and the second in 2014.