Invoice declaration for exporting of preferential goods

An invoice declaration is a default text that exporters can include on a sales invoice to declare that the goods they are delivering to their customer are of 'preferential origin'. As a result, the customer will be granted tariff preference, which means they will have to pay less import duties or be granted full exemption. You may only include an invoice declaration on an invoice if your goods meet rules of preferential origin.

'Preferential' means that your products have a certain privileged status. As products of preferential origin, they qualify for reduced import duties. To qualify for preferential status, a product must meet specific origin requirements, as specified in the trade agreement between the EU and the destination country. This article explains when you can include an invoice declaration on your invoice and goes over the different types of invoice declarations.


You can only issue invoice declarations for countries with which the EU has a trade agreement. Moreover, the goods you are exporting must be from the EU and have preferential origin status, which is why invoice declarations are also known as preferential origin declarations. You can issue an invoice declaration yourself by including a default text on your invoice, which varies by country or group of countries. Check KVK's Preferential Proof of Origin Tool (pdf) to find examples of texts that can be used for each country, or groups of countries. It also says how long an invoice declaration is valid for, and when a signature on the invoice declation is needed. A preferential invoice declaration is valid for 4 to 12 months.

3 types of invoice declarations

You can issue invoice declarations for shipments whose value does not exceed €6,000. If the invoice amount exceeds the €6,000 threshold, Dutch Customs will require a permit or registration:

  1. Invoice declaration for shipments of limited value.
    Use this invoice declaration for shipments when the value of the goods of preferential EU origin is less than €6,000.
  2. Invoice declaration with AE permit (Approved Exporter).
    Use this invoice declaration for shipments when the value of the goods of preferential EU origin exceeds €6,000. You also need an Authorised Exporter permit and must include your AE number in the declaration. To apply for this permit (in Dutch), contact Dutch Customs.
  3. Invoice declaration with REX (Registered Exporter) registration number.
    Use this invoice declaration when the value of the goods of preferential EU origin exceeds €6,000. For OCT countries (in Dutch), Canada, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Japan, Singapore, and the UK, this threshold is €10,000. To use this invoice declaration, you must be a ‘Registered Exporter’ for Dutch customs and specify your REX number (in Dutch) in the invoice declaration.

Other names

Invoice declarations are known under different names across the world, including Statement on Origin and Origin declaration. You can find out which name is used in which countries in the Preferential Proof of Origin Tool (pdf).

Verification of preferential origin on invoice declaration

As an exporter, you can have invoice declarations stating the preferential origin of products checked and confirmed by KVK. This way, you can be sure that the invoice declaration is correct. 

When exporting to countries outside the EU, you regularly need the preferential origin of products. The rules for this are complicated and often differ per country. The correct preferential origin is not always used. This may cause an importer to still pay import duties and make the shipment more expensive than expected.

Need other export documents?

Your customer may request a document of preferential origin other than an invoice declaration, such as a EUR.1 or EUR-MED certificate. These export documents are issued by KVK.