Smooth sailing: How to navigate Free Trade Agreements and Rules of Origin


We’ve seen a tremendous increase in the number of bilateral and regional trade agreements in recent years. And based on trends, we anticipate this phenomenon to continue.

What does this mean for your business?

Trade agreements are an opportunity for companies to reduce their trade bill and simplify procedures. However, it’s not easy to capitalize on these opportunities. Generally companies lack the in-house capacity to deal with the – often overlapping – rules arising from trade agreements. Each agreement has its own rules, and more importantly, its own administrative procedures.

Today, it’s rare for an entire supply chain to be solely subject to one agreement. Rather, a global company’s supply chain is likely to be subject to several trade agreements. This makes both tracing the origin of your product and complying with the origin criteria set in each agreement (and often per product) even more complex.

At KPMG, our Trade & Customs practice helps clients unravel the ‘spaghetti bowl effect’ of free trade agreements and preferential rules of origin. We provide a cost-benefit analysis of using the relevant free trade agreements and operational guidance. Working together with our Value Chain Analysis team, we take a close look at the potential of re-routing your flow of goods through more beneficial routes.


For further information, visit our Website in EN or DE.

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