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Rules of Origin in International Trade – Evolution and New Frontiers

30 May – 1 June 2017

Scientific Organisers: Bernard Hoekman | European University Institute, Stefano Inama | UNCTAD

Sala Belvedere

Villa Schifanoia, Via Boccaccio 121 – Florence



Origin is part of our everyday life from the labelling of “made-in” of a product you use or eat to a fashionable dress you wear or a supplied service you watch on Netflix. Yet, despite an extremely regulated society, there are no multilateral rules of origin. This leaves the consumer, business, trade negotiators, regulators and customs officials in a no man’s land. The Agreement on Rules of Origin (ARO) should have filled this gap in the 1990s. Consensus is lacking on the adoption of harmonised rules of origin at the World Trade Organisation (WTO) while hundreds of regional trade agreements (RTA) containing rules of origin provisions have been successfully concluded. Business is moving faster than international negotiations. Initial research shows that firms have managed to comply with rules of origin or cope with the lack of discipline, albeit at a cost.Utilisation rates of free trade agreements (FTAs) are relatively high according to recent findings that will be discussed during this event while compliance remains a costly affair, especially in the case of non-preferential rules of origin. Besides this, existing rules of origin excluding the service component of goods no longer reflect economic realities. A series of questions will be discussed at this seminar: Is the current gap in multilateral rules of origin an anomaly that is worth rectifying? And if so, how can it be rectified? Are the rules of origin contained in RTAs converging towards a viable solution? Are FTAs used effectively by business? How can we measure such utilisation? What could business and trade negotiators do to resume meaningful talks at a multilateral level? How can we reduce the cost of compliance?





Michael Anliker KPMG, Switzerland
Pramila Crivelli Goethe University Frankfurt, Germany
María-Isabel García-Catalán European Commission, Belgium

Julien Gourdon OECD, France
Bernard Hoekman European University Institute, Italy
Stefano Inama UNCTAD, Switzerland
Jonas Kasteng National Board of Trade, Sweden
Darlan F. Martí World Trade Organisation, Switzerland
Roberto Soprano PricewaterhouseCoopers, Belgium


The Academy offers a limited number of merit-based partial scholarships (contribution to travel and accommodation costs of the applicant) for which only applicants from developing countries are eligible. If you wish to apply for a scholarship, please attach a brief letter of intent to the application form indicating both your reasons for the request of financial aid and your motivation and potential contribution to the Executive Training Seminar. Deadline for Scholarship Applications: 10 May 2017.




Deadline: 24 May 2017


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

Useful Information


  • create an account or sign in
  • fill in the application form
  • upload a CV (in English)
  • include a brief motivation letter (in English)


Accommodation, travel costs, and local transportation are at the expense of the participant/ sending institution.

The programme includes lunches and a social dinner, offered by the Academy, for participants and speakers to socialise and network.