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EU-Singapore free trade agreement enters into force 21 November 2019

EU-Singapore free trade agreement enters into force

The EU Council on 8 November 2019 approved the EU-Singapore free trade agreement that will enter into force on 21 November 2019.

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Under the free trade agreement:

  • Singapore will remove all remaining tariffs on EU products, and the EU will eliminate its tariffs for the majority of goods from Singapore.
  • For some Singapore products, EU customs duties will be gradually reduced to zero (0) over a three- to five-year period after the agreement’s entry into force.
  • The free trade agreement also contains a number of non-tariff related measures aimed at facilitating trade between the parties, such as special provisions on car exports, pharmaceuticals, electronics, green technology, and sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) measures. 

Rules of origin – how to benefit from the EU-Singapore free trade agreement

To benefit from preferential treatment under the EU-Singapore free trade agreement, there must be compliance with the conditions and procedures for establishing the origin of goods. The rules of origin are an integral and important part of the free trade agreement, and are used as a means to determine whether the goods are eligible for preferential treatment. The rules of origin are product-specific, meaning that the criteria for determining whether a product qualifies for preferential tariff treatment differ from product to product. 

The EU-Singapore free trade agreement also:

  • Allows (subject to conditions) Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) cumulation for certain products whereby materials sourced from ASEAN Member States and incorporated into certain final products are deemed as originating in Singapore for the purposes of determining the preferential origin
  • Contains co-equal rules whereby exporters are given the option of meeting either a RVC (regional value content) or CTC (change in tariff classification) rule
  • Introduces specific process rules for certain products

All these instruments will provide companies with greater flexibility in establishing origin and thus help them to further optimize their supply chain operations. 

Read a November 2019 report prepared by the KPMG member firm in the Netherlands

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