When you are importing or exporting goods internationally, you have to comply with the different customs regulations. There are several texts controlling trade within the European Union, some of them allowing tariff preferences when the right documents and certificates are available for the traded goods.
One of the mandatory documents needed for the international trade of goods is the long-term supplier declaration. It attests to the origin of the goods and is necessary for the buying companies documentation, being their movement certificate or their invoice declaration.
The issuer and the recipient of the supplier declaration must both have a head office within the EU. Even if the supplier declaration is not legally required, it should still be part of the contract requirements. It is a standard in the documentation best practices and can be checked at anytime by the customs.
Single deliveries can be documented by single supplier declaration but need to be documented again for every new delivery. The long-term supplier declaration is a special form of supplier declaration. It applies to repeated deliveries of a given good from a given company. There are two types of long-term supplier declarations:
Long-term supplier declaration for goods with origins:
- Most common type of long-term supplier declaration.
- Applies to goods which have been produced or sufficiently treated in the EU or in a country with a most favored nation agreement, thus already complying to origin rules.
- The supplier certifying to the buying company the preferential originating status of their goods for a limited period of time (max. 2 years).
Long-term supplier declaration for goods without origins:It applies to the goods which have not been sufficiently treated in the EU according to the applying rules and to goods without preferential originating status after the regulation (EU) 2015/2447.
- Is a declaration from the supplier about the manufacturing and the processing of goods in the EU when the supplier can’t justify a EU origin itself: f. e. with the work-sharing processes in the textile industry, where the single process steps cannot justify a EU provenance, but the sum of all process steps after a sufficient manufacturing and producing process can comply with the origin EU rules).
- Only possible for goods receptors within the EU.
- Is generally a requirement for the issue of a supplier declaration of goods with preferential originating status.
A long-term supplier declaration must contain the following elements:
- Information about the delivered products
- Information about the buying company
- Information about the supplying company
- Period of the delivery
- Warranty, that any modification will be immediately communicated
- Information about the cumulation
Cumulation means, that primary material for the production of the delivered goods are originating from a convention state. Depending on the free trade regulation existing between the two trading countries, the origin certificate for the manufacturing process may differ. Nevertheless, these states must be recognized and can be part of the pan european preference zone (EU, EFTA countries and Turkey) or the pan-Euro-Mediterranean cumulation zone.
Long-term supplier declaration can be valid for a maximum of 2 years. A supplier can issue a retroactive long-term supplier declaration for a maximum of 1 year.
When is a supplier declaration not necessary?
A supplier declaration is not necessary when the purchased goods are exclusively produced and processed by a unique EU company. Nevertheless, this case is generally an exception since the materials needed for the processing of a good come most of the times from other companies.
- The EU regulation 1207/2001 used to rule the legal aspects of the supplier declaration issue. This EU regulation is obsolete since 01.05.2016 and has been replaced by the EU regulation 2015/2447 of 24.11.2015. Nevertheless, the content of the new custom regulation is in content the same and no major modification has been observed so far.
- An overview of the different long-term supplier declaration within and outside of the EU is available here.
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