Supplier Declaration Explained
August 4, 2023
What is a Supplier Declaration?
Supplier declarations are primarily used for movements of goods within the EU (i.e., from EU-based suppliers to EU-based recipients). They serve as a simplified proof of origin (=information about the preferential origin of delivered goods).
A supplier declaration is a document created by manufacturers or intermediaries within the EU to indicate the origin of their products. This is crucial, for instance, when utilizing preferences. The supplier is solely responsible for issuing the declaration, and customs authorities are not involved. Prior to issuing a supplier declaration, extensive checks and documentation must be conducted to ensure all prerequisites are met. Customs authorities can request the documentation supporting the supplier declaration.
Single Supplier Declarations and Long-Term Supplier Declarations
Single Supplier Declarations - a supplier declaration can pertain to a single delivery, referred to as a single declaration. This is sensible when the recipient is not regularly supplied with the goods or when the goods are specifically manufactured for an individual order. Regular supply is unlikely or impossible.
Long-term Supplier Declarations are declarations provided once and remain valid for deliveries over an extended period (up to 24 months), as long as the delivered goods are expected to have the same origin.
A Long-term Supplier Declaration must include the following information:
The declaration issuance date (date of issuance)
The date from which the LSD is valid (start date)
The date until which the LSD is valid (expiry date)
The start date cannot be more than 12 months before or 6 months after the issuance date, yet it can be freely chosen within this timeframe. For deliveries older than 12 months, only a single supplier declaration is suitable. Within the maximum validity period, the specific validity period of an LSD can be indicated as "This declaration applies to all shipments of these goods from … to …."
Supplier Declaration with Preferential Origin
Supplier declarations for goods with preferential origin can only be issued by suppliers within the EU. Exceptions exist for certain cases involving trade with Turkey (shipments between the EU and Turkey are accompanied by Movement Certificate EUR.1). If proving the preferred origin of goods is necessary, such as to deliver Turkish goods duty-free to other countries or to issue a supplier declaration according to the Union Customs Code for EU deliveries, the supplier must complete a specific supplier declaration. These declarations certify that a product meets the requirements of a specific EU preferential arrangement. The recipient requires this declaration to provide further evidence if they intend to resell the sourced goods unchanged or use them as raw materials for a subsequent product. Supplier declarations issued by non-EU suppliers are not recognized within the EU.
In a supplier declaration for goods with preferential origin, the originating country with preferential status must be indicated. Commonly, "European Union" is specified, and occasionally an individual member state like "Germany." Additionally, the declaration must specify the preferential rules (= possible future destination countries) fulfilled by the origin rules.
Supplier Declaration without Preferential Origin
When goods lack preferential origin characteristics, the supplier can provide a declaration about the processing and operations conducted on the goods within the EU that are insufficient to justify origin characteristics. However, such supplier declarations are only issued in specific cases. In a supplier declaration for goods without preferential origin, the preferential rules fulfilled by the origin rules for possible preferential arrangements - i.e., potential future destination countries - must be specified.
Formal Requirements (Wordings of Supplier Declarations)
The wording of supplier declarations is strictly defined but does not necessitate citing specific legal references.
A supplier declaration can be provided on a form (available, for instance, from chambers of commerce) or on the invoice, a related delivery note, or another commercial document. The goods must be precisely identified in a manner that the reference to the goods is unmistakable (referred to as "specificity").
Generally, supplier declarations must be signed in the original. This is not required only when both the declaration and the invoice are created electronically. Here you can find an overview with wordings of supplier declarations (DE, EN, FR versions).
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