REX system: what it is and how to become a registered exporter

Customs procedures, as we have also seen in an article on import/export to the article on import/export to the UK, are not so simple. The European Union has therefore decided to intervene to facilitate some of these operations. As of 1 January 2017, a new way of certifying preferential origin was introduced: the Registered Exporters (REX) system. Let’s see what this system is and how the registration procedure works.

What is the REX system?

The REX system is the new certification system used to manage the origin of goods, and consists of a mandatory document that must be attached to the commercial document. In a more specific way, this new system is a specific case of invoice declaration, which is based on the principle of self-certification by traders.

This system was introduced by the European Union on 1 January 2017, as part of the Generalised System of Preferences (GSP) and in line with preferential trade agreements between countries. The intention of this change was to bring a significant advantage within trade: with this process, traders can provide their personal details only once and obtain the REX code, an identification value that allows them to benefit from preferential treatment.

You should know that the REX system does not affect the rules for determining the origin of goods, but concerns the method used to obtain that declaration.


How to register in the REX system as an approved exporter?

The first step in issuing a certificate of preferential origin using the REX system is to become an approved exporter. The procedure is simple: apply to the competent territorial office, filling in the form that can be downloaded directly online from the REX Portal, of which we will talk about later.

You must indicate the following data on the application form:

  • Name
  • Address
  • Exporter’s identification number
  • Any additional contact details.

In addition, if you are a trader, or a manufacturer, you will have to list the goods intended to be exported.

Customs offices then proceed with the registration in the database and provide operators with an identification number to be applied on the origin declaration, which must be attached to the commercial document.

Registration through the REX Portal

Since 25 January 2021, the technical services of the European Commission have made available the Operator Portal for the REX system. This site allows the digital submission of the registration request to the database.

To access this service, economic operators must possess:

  • An EORI (Economic Operator Registration and Identification) code, which is the unique registration and identification code of the operator.
  • A consultative or executive authorisation, requested through MAU, the Single Authorisation Model.


Which countries apply the REX system?

In 2017, when the new REX model came into force, the use of this system was limited to countries benefiting from the Generalised System of Preferences (GSP), but it was soon progressively extended to all preferential trade agreements between the European Union and other countries.

If you need to ship your goods to countries that apply the REX system and need help, don’t hesitate to contact us. We at C.T.I. are at your side to guarantee you an efficient goods transport service in line with all your needs.