Introduction to the Registered Exporter System
The Registered Exporter System (the REX system) is a system of self-certification of origin by registered exporters making out so called statements on origin. Under the Registered Exporter System (REX) being introduced from 1.1.2017, exporters with a REX number will be able to self-certify the Statement on Origin of their goods being exported to EU under the GSP Scheme. The primary purpose of this reform is to facilitate trade by reduce administrative burden and costs for exporters.
In India the registration of exporters under EU GSP REX System so that they are assigned a unique REX number that will enable them to self-certify the origin of product through Statement of Origin for duty preference under European Union Generalised System of Preferences came into effect on 1st January, 2017. To this effect, a public notice 51, dated 30.12.2016 was brought out by the Director General of Foreign Trade (DGFT). The name of the agencies allowed to provide REX registration has been mentioned in the list.
The Public Notice 51 also clearly mentions that there will no charge levied on exporters for assigning them a REX registration number i.e. REX registration is completely free of charge. In a communique, the Department of Commerce has expressed its displeasure over some agencies charging exporters certain fee for REX registration. The circular warns that as per Public Notice 51, REX registration is completely free of charge and anybody taking money for it is violating the law. The REX registration under EU GSP scheme is completely free of charge and exporters cannot be forced to shell out money for the same.
The Director General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) operating under the Ministry of Commerce further reiterates that RAs of DGFT and Local Authorities for REX are not registering some applicants under REX as they are under DEL. The DGFT claims that registering an applicant under REX is not a benefit being granted under FTP. As such, having a REX registration number allows a trader to export to EU under the EU-GSP scheme and get a preferential tariff. Also, the circular mentions that applicants even under DEL are eligible for REX registration under the EU-GSP scheme.
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Guidelines for Registered Exporter System (REX)
As mentioned earlier, the REX system is a single system applicable in variety of unilateral, bilateral or multilateral preferential trade arrangements that the EU enters into with third countries, the need has been felt to provide detailed guidelines for all the concerned parties making use of REX registration system under EU-GSP scheme.
Please note that the document contains elaborate guidelines and procedures which will make it easier for custom authorities to issue REX registration and to ensure follow-up of the registrations. The recommendations and guidelines in the document will also help exporters making out statements on origin.
General Information about Registration under REX
Registration under REX simplifies the entire export formalities. This is done by helping exporters register preferential origin himself by submitting a specific declaration, (known as statements on origin) on the invoice or any other commercial documents that identifies the exported products. This eliminates the need for a registered exporter to apply upon each export for the issuing of certificate of origin.
Conditions that need to be fulfilled for becoming a registered exporter
A trader, exporter or manufacturer of originating goods or re-consignor of goods established in the European Union can apply to his competent customs authority for REX registration. However, in order to do so the trader, manufacturer or exporter must prove that he holds approved evidence of the self-certified origin of the products he intends to export or re-consign.
European Union consists of 28 member states that are located primarily in Europe. It means that there is a distinct possibility that any company within the EU can have its head office in one member state and factory/warehouse in another member state. In that case the trader or manufacturer can submit a request for REX registration in either or both of the member’s state.
The exporter, trader or manufacturer applying for the REX registration must be trustworthy, established, honest and reliable. Also, the person applying for REX registration should not have a bankruptcy proceedings initiated against him or have arrears pending in custom duties or taxes.
Also, a very important thing to remember here is that customs and tax representatives are not eligible to apply for REX registration. However, they can help or guide their clients in fulfilling all the criteria for becoming a registered exporter.