Importers Knowledge (Origins)

In some trade agreements, an importer can claim a preferential duty rate using information the importer holds that confirms the origin of the goods. This is known as ‘importers knowledge’ and can be used as an alternative to an exporter origin declaration.


However, the compliance requirements that must be met by the importer can be difficult to obtain, especially when many importers easily mistaken the origin of goods as they think this is simply where they are being delivered from.


Depending on the rules of the trade agreement being implemented at import, the importer may be required to hold the following evidence if a customs audit was to arise:


  1. Commodity Codes for all items
  2. Description of production process including the origins of the material or products used.
  3. Products based on production materials being ‘wholly obtained’ (UK EU TCA – materials used in production are wholly obtained from UK or EU member states) the category of the goods would need to be recorded.
  4. Products that are ‘sufficiently worked or processed’ one of the following must be evidenced:
  • Value of Product and value of non-originating materials used in production.
  • Weight of product and weights of any non-origination material used in production.
  • Record of all non-originating materials, including their commodity codes.
  • Evidence if the goods have been altered or transformed.


Under the EU-UK Trade Cooperation Agreement, Importers must hold the relevant evidence as mentioned above, if a preference duty is being claimed.

Importers should ensure that their import customs declarations are completed correctly if being represented by a third party. (Direct & Indirect representation).

If an import declaration is made to ‘Importers Knowledge’ and the evidence is not seen to have been in place at the point of import during HMRC audit, the liability for duty and any penalty will fall to the importer.


Import Knowledge – UK EU – More information 

EU-UK TCA Agreement