What is the REX System?
The Registered Exporter system (in short, the REX System) is the new system of certification of origin of goods that the European Union is progressively introducing for the purpose of its preferential trade arrangements. It will be first applied in the Generalised System of Preferences (GSP), through which the European Union unilaterally grants tariff preferences to developing countries. It will next be applied in other unilateral arrangements and trade agreements of the European Union (i.e. the FTA with Vietnam, in so far as the European Union is concerned).
The REX System is based on a principle of self-certification by economic operators who will make out themselves so-called statements on origin. To be entitled to make out a statement on origin, an economic operator will have to be registered in a database by his competent authorities. The economic operator will become a Registered Exporter. The REX System may be used to register economic operators in countries benefiting from a preferential tariff treatment granted by the EU but also to register EU exporters in particular with a view to cumulation of origin with these countries or to exporting goods to a country granting a preferential tariff treatment to the EU.
The systems of certification of origin, currently used in preferential trade arrangements of the European Union, will remain applicable unless these arrangements are amended. It is indeed not foreseen that the REX System will automatically replace the current certification systems.
The REX System is supported by an IT system, which is basically a database in which competent authorities in an exporting entity will register their exporters who intend to export products under a preferential trade arrangement and keep their data up to date. The REX System takes the form of a web application accessed with a username and a password through the Internet. In the context of the GSP, the European Commission has put its REX application at the disposal of the beneficiary countries so that they do not have to develop their own repository of registered exporters.
Certification of origin of goods with statements on origin
The REX System does not impact the rules for determining the origin of goods. It only concerns the method to certify the originating status of goods. With the REX System, the so-called statement on origin is a statement on the originating status of goods added by the registered exporter on the invoice or any other commercial document.
To be entitled to make out a statement on origin, an economic operator needs to have a valid registration in the REX System, i.e. a registration which has not been revoked. However, for consignments of originating goods having a value below EUR 6 000 EUR the statement on origin can be made out by any exporter, with no obligation to be registered.
Application for registration
Exporters apply to become registered exporters by filling in an application form and by returning it to their competent authorities. The competent authorities register in the REX System exporters who submit complete and correct application forms. Registered exporters then receive from their competent authorities their registration number (the REX number). The REX number is a string of 35 alphanumerical characters, including a reference to the country of issue.
The data that are requested from the exporter in the application form are: the exporter’s name, address and identification number; additional contact details (optional); whether the exporter is a trader, producer or both; and an indicative list of goods that the exporter intends to export under the preferential trade agreements.
For its first use in the context of the GSP, the REX System will contain European Union economic operators exporting to GSP beneficiary countries for the purpose of bilateral cumulation of origin, European Union economic operators replacing proofs of origin initially made out in GSP beneficiary countries, and exporters in GSP beneficiary countries. It is also foreseen that the REX System will be shared with Norway and Switzerland, which apply the same GSP rules of origin as those of the European Union GSP scheme.
Once in the REX System, the registered exporter in the European Union can use his REX number for all arrangements for which the REX System is authorised.
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