From January 2017, major changes were introduced regarding the way companies use the General System of Preferences Scheme (GSP).
A new system of registration is being adopted called the Registered Exporter Scheme (REX).
Effectively EU Exporters sending out raw materials from EU to be used to produce goods in a GSP beneficiary country and companies manufacturing goods for shipment from a GSP beneficiary country to EU, will have to register with their respective local authorities to use the REX procedure going forward.
Upon successful registration, the companies concerned are issued with a registration number that needs to appear on all commercial documentation. In place of a GSP Certificate, the authorised REX company will need to place an approved origin statement on their invoices.
One important piece of information to remember is that the burden of proof of origin and due diligence will rest solely with the EU Importer. Therefore, UK importers in particular, will need to adopt and maintain careful controls with their overseas factories and suppliers of materials, to ensure that origin rules are strictly adhered to.