Declaration by the supplier

The supplier’s declaration is used in the trade between EU countries and in the internal trade in Member States, when it is necessary to inform the buyer or consignee of the originating status of the goods.

Declaring the originating status is necessary, if the goods are re-exported to contracting countries in their original state, or after they have been processed further with preferential treatment. Based on the declaration by the supplier, the product can be granted a certificate of origin entitling to preferential treatment within export.

The proof of origin chain must always be continuous, so that it covers all transactions connected to the product; from the manufacturer, via several trade transactions to the exporter and from there to the consignee in the contracting country.

A declaration by the supplier, stating the origin of the product, may also be required in addition to the A.TR. movement certificate in customs union trade with Turkey (Euro-Mediterranean-Cumulation, EUR-MED). A.TR. movement certificates used in such transactions can only be used to prove the customs status of the goods, i.e. that they are in free circulation, and therefore, they cannot be used to gain preferential treatment based on origin.

The supplier’s declaration is also used (though rarely) in some free trade agreements and arrangements where there is a possibility to apply full cumulation: CETA (Canada), EEA, ACP/EPA, OCT, Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia. The supplier’s declarations related to the aforementioned agreements differ somewhat from each other and from the declarations used in EU internal trade.

Customs can inspect the supplier’s declaration retrospectively

Customs can retrospectively inspect the information presented in the supplier’s declaration. The results of the inspection are reported with an information certificate INF 4. If the supplier’s declaration is deemed to have been drawn up on false grounds, then the certificate of origin that has been issued or made out for the export product based on the supplier’s declaration, is unfounded. In that case, Customs in the exporting country notifies customs in the country of destination that the certificate of origin presented in the country of destination is invalid.

Points to consider

The supplier’s declaration is a document used mainly in EU internal trade to prove the origin of the goods.

The buyer of the goods may need a supplier’s declaration from the seller, to be able to draft a certificate of origin to receive preferential treatment of the goods when the goods are sold to a contracting country in the EU. A supplier’s declaration can also be drafted to declare to the buyer the EU portion of the EU internal transaction. The buyer can, in this case, take advantage of this EU portion in further processing of the goods, when accumulating the EU origin portion of the goods into products originating in the EU.

This refers to the supplier’s declaration for a single consignment of products having preferential origin status in accordance with annex 22-15 of the Implementing Regulation 2015/2447.

”I the undersigned declare that the goods listed on this document  _ _ _ _ _  (1) originate in  _ _ _ _ _ (2) and satisfy the rules of origin governing preferential trade with Switzerland, Tunisia and Morocco (3).

I declare that (4):

  • (X ) Cumulation applied with Norway
  • ( ) No cumulation applied.

In box 3, the contracting country is entered (e.g. Switzerland), where the buyer has declared that he intends to export the goods. The prerequisite is that the goods fulfil the conditions of origin of the free trade agreement between the EU and Switzerland.

The buyer may have asked the seller to register in box 3 all the free trade agreements within the EU, in case the buyer wants to export goods to several EU contracting countries. Here you can only register the contracting parties with which the conditions in the rules of origin are fulfilled, though.

If an applied cumulation e.g. with Norway is declared in box 4, then the prerequisites in the rules of origin in box 3 can only be fulfilled in agreements between countries that are part of the Euro-Mediterranean agreement network.

A supplier’s declaration can be submitted by the seller or the supplier, who has the information and documented proof regarding the originating status of the goods. This proof can be based either on the company’s own manufacturing accounts or on an appropriate supplier’s declaration from another company located in the same or in another country within the EU.

When Euro-Mediterranean cumulation is applied, the declarant can use the EUR.1 movement certificate or declaration of origin presented during import clearance, or correspondingly the EUR-MED certificate of origin, to prove the origin and the preferential treatment received. This is proven by entering the customs clearance number and/or the nature and number of the originating document.

In practice, the buyer informs the seller for example when ordering, if they need a supplier’s declaration and for which EU contracting countries with preferential tariff treatment on exportation this declaration is needed. In that case, the supplier who provides the supplier’s declaration must ensure that the goods covered by the declaration fulfil the conditions in the Union rules of origin in the free trade agreements of the receiving countries.

Suppliers declarations can also be submitted retrospectively, if it was not yet known at the ordering stage or upon delivery that a declaration would be needed.

The supplier’s declaration functions as a basis for submitting EUR.1 movement certificates and declarations of origin and correspondingly also the EUR-MED certificates of origin. The declaration also functions as proof of the originating status of the export products processed further by the company itself before export.

The customs authorities may require that the information in the supplier’s declaration and the declaration itself, is presented as proof of the originating status of the goods.

The declaration can be submitted either

  1. for single consignments or
  2. as a long-term supplier’s declaration.

The declarations can be submitted

  1. for originating products and
  2. for processed products that have not yet received status as originating products.

Templates for the supplier’s declarations in Finnish and in English:

Where a supplier regularly supplies an exporter or trader with consignments of goods, and the originating status of the goods of all those consignments is expected to be the same, the supplier may provide a single declaration covering subsequent consignments of those goods (long-term supplier’s declaration).

The supplier’s long-term declaration must be drafted for consignments sent during a given time period and three dates have to be mentioned:

a) the date of application (submission)

b) starting date of the time period, which cannot be more than 12 months before the date of submission, or later than 6 months after the date of submission

c) ending date of the time period, which cannot be later than 24 months after the starting date.

The supplier shall inform the exporter or trader concerned immediately where the long-term supplier’s declaration is not valid in relation to some or all consignments of goods supplied and to be supplied.

The consignment-specific declaration can be included on the commercial invoice or other commercial document (e.g. the delivery note).

A long-term supplier’s declaration is submitted as a separate document, which can be drafted by the declarant company using their own form and according to the template. The language in the long-term supplier’s declaration must be the same as the language used in the other documents regarding the trade (e.g. the invoice). 

If the customs authorities of the export country wish to have the accuracy and authenticity of the details in the supplier’s declaration checked, they will request the exporter to obtain an information certificate INF 4. The exporter can obtain the certificate by requesting it from the party that made out the supplier’s declaration. The supplier must submit an application for an information certificate INF 4 (printed form with a serial number) to the customs authorities of their own Member State. This means that the certificate is issued in the Member State where the supplier’s declaration was made out. 

In Finland, the party that made out the supplier’s declaration must apply for an information certificate INF 4 by submitting a standard application form to the Customs Registry Office. The certificate can’t be issued at a customs office.After checking the accuracy of the details, Customs will endorse the supplier’s declaration by certifying it as “correct” or “not correct”. After this, the party that made out the supplier’s declaration will send the certificate endorsed by Customs to the exporter, who will submit it to the customs authorities of their country.

If the exporter doesn’t get the information certificate INF 4 from the supplier, the authorities of the export country can also request the information certificate INF 4 directly from the customs authorities of the Member State where the supplier’s declaration was made out.

Specific instructions, including time limits, on the issuing of information certificates INF 4 are presented in articles 64–66 of the Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2015/2447.