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Rules of Origin in International Trade – Concepts and Techniques

Executive Training Seminar

1-3 March 2016

Scientific Coordinators: Bernard Hoekman | European University Institute, Petros Mavroidis | European University Institute, Stefano Inama | UNCTAD


Rules of origin are part of the ‘plumbing’ of trade policy – the criteria that are used by Customs authorities to determine where a good has been produced. They attract little attention by policymakers and are often wrongly seen as simply a technical matter that is best left to specialists. But rules of origin matter in many ways and are in practice a key instrument through which trade policy is made effective. Indeed, rules of origin are sometimes described as the means through which a government or a specific industry can ensure that what is given by one hand, in particular liberalization of access to the market through a trade agreement or the granting of trade preferences to developing countries, is taken away by the other. Rules of origin can be and are ‘modulated’ to determine the ability of foreign firms to benefit from preferential access to markets. This seminar provided an introduction to the basic law and economics of applied rule of origin regimes in major markets, demystifying key concepts such as ‘cumulation’, discussing the evidence on the impacts of different types of rules, the political economy drivers of rules of origin, and the options and strategies that have been proposed by developing countries and analysts to make rules of origin less of a barrier to trade.



Olivier Cadot | University of Lausanne, Switzerland

Maria-Isabel Garcia-Catalan | European Commission, Belgium

Bernard Hoekman | European University Institute, Italy

Stefano Inama | UNCTAD,Switzerland

Darlan Marti | World Trade Organisation

Petros Mavroidis | European University Institute, Italy



Matthias Kindel
AGG Training Coordinator
Tel.: +39 055 4685960