Rules of Origin as Trade Barriers

Towards a Welfare-oriented Economic Society

Olufunlola Rotimi

Published: December 2021

On 2 July 2021 the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia clarified, and by so doing fundamentally changed, the rules determining when goods can be said to be a national product originating from within Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries. In other words, it changed its rules of origin (RoO) on GCC-manufactured goods. For an item to qualify as a national product originating from within the GCC, a minimum of 40% must be added to the item’s value during production carried out within the GCC; and there must also be a minimum of 25% local workforce in the manufacturing company. Saudi Arabia is a member of both the World Trade Organization (WTO) and the GCC and thus has legal obligations pertaining to RoO under the WTO’s multilateral trading system as well as the regional trading system of the GCC. This article analyses Saudi Arabia’s legal obligations under the WTO and GCC frameworks.

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