COVID-19 pandemic fighting has led to the introduction of measures restricting movement, containment and social distancing all over the world. However, sometimes these measures generate constraints for the completion of customs clearance formalities.
In this context, many Moroccan operators, importers of products coming from certain EU Member States, reported the difficulties encountered with partner customs to obtain (visa and signature) EUR.1 or EUR-MED certificates, entitling them to the preferential treatment provided for in the Morocco-EC Association Agreement.
In order not to hinder the smooth flow of trade between Morocco and the EU Member States within the above-mentioned preferential framework, talks have been held with the European Commission to make the procedure for issuing and presenting EUR.1 and EUR-MED certificates more flexible.
As a result of these negociations, it was agreed to accept electronic copies of EUR.1 and EUR-MED certificates on import until further notice:
– endorsed with wet stamps and hand-written signatures of the competent authorities
– with digital stamps and signatures; or
– without stamps or signatures, provided that the customs authorities of the exporting countries offer the possibility of verifying their authenticity at a distance.
Such flexibility does not, of course, exempt the services concerned from the usual checks and from recourse, where appropriate, to post-clearance checks.
It is important to specify that the Administration may require the presentation of the original certificates as soon as the situation returns to normal. In this sense, importers must attach to their declarations an undertaking on their honour to produce on request the original of the EUR.1 or EUR-MED certificate (Click here to see the model).
Furthermore, where the importer is unable, in view of the exceptional circumstances linked to this pandemic, to produce certificates in accordance with the abovementioned procedures, he may present them a posteriori, in accordance with the requirements of circular No 4978/233 of 30 December 2005, subject to a guarantee of duties and taxes.
These procedures apply to certificates issued from 1 March 2020.
Any difficulty of application, please refer to Moroccan Customs & Excise Administration at www.douane.gov.ma