Rules of origin (RoO) are the criteria needed to determine the national source of a product. Their importance is derived from the fact that duties and restrictions in several cases depend upon the source of imports. Rules of origin determine where goods originate, i.e. not where they have been shipped from, but where they have been produced or manufactured. As such, the ‘origin’ is the 'economic nationality' of goods traded. Alongside tariff classification and value, the origin of a good is a determining factor based on which the customs tariff treatment is applied.
There is wide variation across governments in the practice of determining RoO. For customs matters, there is a distinction between non-preferential and preferential rules of origin. Preferential origin is related to special arrangements and trade agreements that grant members access to domestic markets at preferential tariffs. Where all the requirements are met, goods with preferential origin are eligible to be imported with lower duty rates or at zero rate, depending on the preferential tariff treatment provided for.
To obtain an assessment on the origin of goods prior to an import or export transaction, traders can apply for an advance ruling on origin by writing to the Commissioner of Customs. Customs will then issue an advance ruling within 30 days upon the receipt of all requisite information and the ruling will remain valid for 12 months after the date of issuance. The procedure for requesting for advance ruling on origin can be viewed on the Tanzania Trade Portal. To get more information about how to apply for advance ruling please follow this link.
Concerning imports, EAC Rules of Origin are applied to products imported into Tanzania to distinguish between goods that were produced within the EAC Member States and entitled to preferential tariff treatment and those that are considered to have been produced outside the EAC region that attract full import duties. Below is the Link of EAC and SADC rules of origin.
The East African Community Customs Union (Rules of Origin) Rules, 2015
Southern African Development Community rules of origin.
Concerning exports, EAC rules of origin are applied to export products originating in Tanzania. When an export good meets all the criteria of a set of rules of origin, a certificate of origin can be issued for the goods and preferential terms will apply. To date, the procedures for obtaining  different certificates of origin for export products have been documented and uploaded to the Tanzania Trade Portal. These procedures are as listed below.
To learn more about Rules of Origin and find out which specific Trade Agreements your exports can benefit from, visit the Rules of Origin Facilitator.