Suggested Rules of Origin Regime for EAFTA
Determining origin within the context of international trade is not simple. Rules of Origin (ROOs) would involve laws, regulations and administrative determinations to ascertain a products country of origin which are not costless to comply with. As such, the criteria used to define origin and how it is administered would play a crucial role in the global trading order. In moving toward the East Asian vision of a community, a rational, enabling regime of ROO that would encourage deeper economic integration and shared prosperity should be established. This means a set of ROOs that is trade facilitating even as it attempts to prevent trade deflection, with enough safeguards for inclusive development both within and across countries in the region. To provide a clear understanding of the ROO and their proper application, this paper discusses the various approaches in determining the rules of origin. It also looks at the different ROO regimes in East Asia then points out some of the recurring ROO issues. Finally, the paper suggests key features of the ROO for the effective implementation and success of any preferential agreement such as the EAFTA.
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