Proof of origin in the context of free trade agreements

Origin in the context of free trade agreements (preferential origin)

Switzerland/EFTA has entered into free trade agreements with various countries. However, the preferential treatment provided for by these agreements only applies to goods conforming to the provisions governing origin. 

Tariff preferences

Tariff preferences are advantages that consist of exemptions from or reductions in customs duties. They only apply to goods meeting the rules set out in the respective free trade agreements. In particular, goods must be made up of originating products as defined by these agreements. 

You can find the free trade agreements currently in force along with the provisions governing origin by clicking on the following link:

Proof of origin

For goods to be able to benefit from an exemption from or reduction in customs duties when entering the country of destination, the proof of origin under the corresponding free trade agreement must be submitted. 

  • Movement certificate EUR 1 / EUR-MED / EUR 1 CN (China)
    The movement certificate serves as proof of origin under most free trade agreements. This form must be completed by the exporter (or by the carrier only if authorized by the exporter). When exporting outside Switzerland, the movement certificate must be presented to the Swiss customs office for export in order to be authorized. Only a district customs office (Basel, Schaffhouse, Geneva or Lugano) can issue a subsequent authorization. The relevant district department is determined depending on the address of the company’s registered office.

    The movement certificate is not provided for in the Singapore EFTA, Republic of Korea EFTA, Canada EFTA, Hong Kong EFTA and Philippines EFTA agreements.

    In the Switzerland-China free trade agreement, the CCM EUR 1 CN must be used.

Declaration of origin on invoice

The declaration of origin on an invoice serves as proof of origin in the context of most free trade agreements. For shipments with a total value of no more than CHF 10,300, a simple declaration of origin noted on the invoice can replace the movement certificate.

These shipments can also contain non-originating products of any value. However, these need to be clearly shown on the invoice. The declaration of origin on invoice is drawn up according to the forms and languages specified in the corresponding free trade agreements. It is typed or affixed by means of a stamp and signed by hand.

In the context of the free trade agreements with Japan and China (special online procedure), only Accredited Exporters approved by the Swiss Federal Customs Administration (FCA) are authorized to draw up the declaration of origin on invoice instead of the movement certificate.

The Singapore EFTA, Republic of Korea EFTA, Canada EFTA, Hong Kong EFTA and Philipines EFTA agreements do not provide for any limits on value.

For the time being, only the movement certificate is authorized in the GCC EFTA agreement.

  • Declaration of origin on invoice drawn up by Accredited Exporters (AEs)
    It is possible to draw up declarations of origin on invoice in all agreements regardless of the value of the shipment (with the exception of the GCC EFTA agreement). Accredited Exporters are also exempt from the handwritten signature. In this case, the Exporter must obtain authorization from the relevant district customs department. It then becomes an “Accredited Exporter”.
  • Supplier’s declaration on Swiss territory
    For materials originating from Switzerland used for the manufacture of originating products or which are sent without alteration, the Swiss supplier can prove the origin of the goods to a Swiss buyer by means of a supplier’s declaration.
  • Obligation to retain preparatory documents
    Documents establishing the originating status of the goods must be retained for three years or more (it is likely that in the future, some free trade agreements will require that they be retained for five years).

Help and information

The FCA provides detailed explanations on free trade agreements on its website.


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Last modification 14.05.2019

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