logo-eui RSCAS

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. A series of questions was discussed during 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

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