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Directions for the Customs Determining Country of Origin on Imported Goods


Promulgated on April 15, 2008, as amended on June 18, 2009 and Feb 9, 2017 by Customs Administration

1. These Guidelines are promulgated for the purposes of providing more certain, transparent and consistent circumstances for the Customs to determine the country of origin on imported goods and expediting the determining process to mitigate the disputes between duty-payers and Customs.

2. Customs shall be pursuant to these Guidelines when determining the country of origin of imported goods, unless otherwise prescribed in the Customs Act or the Rules of Origin (Regulations Governing the Determination of Country of Origin) of Imported Goods.

3. Customs may verify the origin of imported goods according to the information provided by the markings or labels on the goods or their packaging. Once there is no evidence in pointing out false authentication of origin (no sign of tempering such as scratches, removals or amendments are discernible) of the imported goods; the customs should confirm the validation of its origin and no further investigation is needed. However, goods under judicial adjudication, goods reported to have a doubtful origin by a reliable tip-off or goods subject to the CO (country of origin) verification laws & regulations required by other competent authorities do not apply.

4. In case the country of origin has not been marked on the goods or its package, Customs may determine the country of origin of the imported goods according to the contract of conveyance, container tracking information, ports of call or any other document that can prove the authenticity of the origin.

5. In case the country of origin has been marked or labeled on the goods itself or on its package and the marked or labeled origin is different from the declared origin, or there are signs of removal, scratches and amendments on the origin markings/ labels though the origin can still be identified, Customs may determine the country of origin of the imported goods according to its marked or labeled origin, unless the duty-payer can prove that the marked or labeled origin is not correct.

6. In case the goods have been refitted or the origin mark/label has been removed, scratched or amended so that the origin can not be identified, Customs may notify the duty-payer to provide the relevant explanation or documents to verify the origin of the imported goods in due time.

7. Customs may notify duty-payer to provide relevant origin explanation and contract of conveyance, container tracking information, ports of call, purchasing contract, export and import information or any other documents that can prove the origin in due time to determine the origin, in case of any doubts stated as below:
(1) A specific country shipment port in which the goods are loaded and shipped,
(2) A customs seal of a specific country remains on the container of imported goods,
(3) A specific country commodity inspection code or fumigation certificate remains on the package of goods or in the container,
(4) A suspicious number of bills of lading of goods which may be shipped from a specific country,
(5) Any other suspicious items.

8. In case the duty-payer provides the certificate of origin via electronic data transmitting, Customs may verify the contents of the electronic certification of origin with relevant evidence to determine the country of origin, if necessary.

9. In case imported goods were declared for conferring to the origin according to the value added ratio of the process or manufacture that the goods has completed the final substantial transformation, Customs may inform the duty payer to provide the relevant value information of direct or indirect materials, parts, the manufacturing process and other information to identify the substantial transformation of the goods.

10. In case the duty-payer fails to provide the relevant documents or evidence within the due date that Customs asks for, Customs may directly determine the origin according to the collected information and evidence.

11. In case the Customs remains doubtful about the origin of the agricultural and fishery products determined pursuant to these Guidelines, Customs may request for Council of Agriculture to assist with determining the country of origin, especially dried mushroom and garlic shall be inspected on each batches, and appraised by Council of Agriculture.
If the origin of the goods as referenced in the preceding paragraph remains doubtful, Customs may request for overseas offices to assist the documents verification or the on-site checking, and determine the origin according to the compiled and collected evidence.
As to the imported goods beyond the preceding two paragraphs stated, if the Customs remains doubtful about the determination of origin pursuant to these Guidelines, Customs may request for overseas offices and other competent authorities to assist with the verification of origin.
When requesting for other authorities to assist the verification, the Customs shall state the detailed verification items and doubtfulness and provide the relevant sample, catalogue, photos of the imported goods to the relevant authorities.

12. Any duty-payer who is dissatisfied with the manner in which Customs determined the country of origin may file an appeal regarding the determination. Unless the duty- payer has requested the competent authority in relation to the imported goods or the professional organization to provide assistance for the determination according to the article 28 paragraph 1of Customs Act, Customs may determine the origin pursuant to the appeal procedure without any determination assistance by other competent authorities or professional organizations.

13. Customs shall be pursuant to the regulated written forms and procedures prescribed in “the Operational References for Customs Requesting Overseas Offices to Assist Verifying Origin.” in cases of requesting Overseas Offices to assist with verifying the country of origin.
14. If the declared countries of origin of imported goods have been verified by Customs with assistance from Overseas Offices, the identical goods which are provided by the same exporters or manufacturers and imported by the same duty-payers shall be exempted from verification of its markings or declarations on countries of origin unless there is evidence for Customs to suspect false declaration of country of origin, or Customs receives tip-off with concrete proof, or competent authorities are required to verify the origin by relevant laws &  regulations.

15. In tip-off cases involving the country of origin verification, Customs may ask for concrete evidence from the person who reports the case and refer the cases to the Investigation or Examination division to analyze and determine the country of origin.

16. While the Customs is conducting a post clearance audit on the verification of country of origin of imported goods, the relevant regulations of the Guidelines shall be applied.


  • Publish Date:2017-02-09
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