(Updated June 25, 2018)
Please see below for information regarding Israeli Customs Authority requirements for U.S. exporters shipping to Israel under the terms of the U.S.-Israel Free Trade Agreement.
Effective January 10, 2018, U.S. exporters to Israel are no longer required to provide Israeli authorities a hard copy Certificate of Origin (commonly referred to as the “Green Form” or “Form A”). Instead, U.S. exporters are required to print and sign the following declaration on the invoice or on any other commercial document *:
I, the undersigned, hereby declare that unless otherwise indicated, the goods covered by this document fully comply with the rules of origin and the other provisions of the Agreement on the Establishment of a Free Trade Area between the Government of Israel and the Government of the United States of America.
* For this process, a “commercial document” refers to a document issued by the exporter or by the producer only, as part of the shipping documentation, including invoice, packing list and pro-forma. A standalone document will also be accepted as a “commercial document” for invoice declaration if all the following conditions are met:
1. The document is a letterhead of the exporter or manufacturer.
2. The document shall include the logo of the exporter or manufacturer, identifying details of the exporter or manufacturer including the address and the date of issue of the document.
3. The document will be prepared and issued only on the computers of the manufacturer or exporter in the United States.
4. The document title will be INVOICE DECLARATION
5. The following information will appear in the rows after the title in the document:
"Invoice" for the purposes of this sub-section is one of the following invoices:
6. In cases where the goods are transferred to distribution warehouses and the transaction invoice is issued by a U.S. or intermediate country entity, please specify in the "INVOICE DECLARATION" document issued in the U.S. the list of the original goods entitled to customs preference.
7. The INVOICE DECLARATION document shall include all its details.
8. The document will be sent directly from the exporter or manufacturer without the involvement of a third party that is not a party to the transaction.
Bill of lading/airway bills are not eligible documents according to this definition since they are NOT issued by the exporter or producer.
Rules of Origin Provision
American exporters are advised to ensure that they carefully review and understand the language of the FTA’s Rules of Origin Provision before they sign the Invoice Declaration:
(Rules of Origin) apply to any article if: (a) that Article is wholly the growth, product, or manufacture of the Unites States or is a new or different article of commerce that has been grown, produced, or manufactured in the United States: (b) that article is imported directly from the United States into Israel; and (c) the sum of (i) the cost or value of the materials produced in the United States, plus (ii) the direct costs of processing operations performed in the United States is not less than 35 percent of the appraised valued of the article at the time it is entered into Israel. 2. No article shall be considered a new or different article of commerce under this Agreement and no material shall be eligible for inclusion as domestic content under this Agreement by virtue of having merely undergone (1) simple combining or packaging operations or (2) mere dilution with water or with another substance that does not materially alter the characteristics of the article or material.
For further information and for the full text of the FTA, please refer to the USTR website at: https://ustr.gov/sites/default/files/files/agreements/FTA/israel/Israel%20FTA.pdf
Certificate of Non-Manipulation
To enter Israel under the terms of the FTA, goods must be imported directly from the United States into Israel. Products that are transshipped through a third country will come under closer scrutiny from Israeli Customs and require a Certificate of Non-Manipulation from the customs authority of the third country to prove that the goods remained in a bonded warehouse in the third country and have not been manipulated in that country.
Content Verification Investigations
The Israeli Customs Authorities may initiate a U.S. Content Verification Investigation if they have a reason to question the accuracy of a claim of U.S. origin made on the Invoice Declaration and/or if they choose to randomly verify the content origin. To prevent a prolonged Content Verification Investigation and possible delays for goods arriving in Israel, American exporters are advised to carefully review and understand the Rules of Origin Provision before they sign the Invoice Declaration (please refer to the “Rules of Origin Provision” on page 1).
Any U.S. exporter or manufacturer signing an Invoice Declaration must be prepared to submit a Verification Declaration upon request from Israeli Customs, setting forth all pertinent details concerning the production or manufacture of the articles which were the subject of the Invoice Declaration.
The information on the Verification Declaration should contain at least the following details:
Below is a list of frequently asked questions (FAQs) and answers regarding Invoice Declaration procedures for Israeli Customs Authority. The information presented in this FAQ is meant to serve as a general guide. Only the agreement text and the customs regulations issued to implement the agreement are definitive. For complex issues or where interpretation is required, U.S. exporters should seek legal assistance or an advance ruling from the Israeli Customs Authority.
Q. The Agreement states that the Invoice Declaration must be completed on the “invoice, delivery note or on any other commercial document.” What is a “commercial document”?
Q. Why can’t I just attach a separate Certificate of Origin, as in the past?
Q. We do not have space for the declaration on any of our current “commercial documents.” Can we provide the required Invoice Declaration on a separate document?
Q. Do I have to follow the exact language/format of the Invoice Declaration?
Q. Who is authorized to sign the Invoice Declaration?
Q. Can the Invoice Declaration be signed electronically?
Q. Our goods are made in the U.S. but shipped via a bonded warehouse in Europe. Can the invoice declaration be signed by our European subsidiary?
Q. What is required for “Tax Identification” as stated on the Invoice Declaration?
Q. Is there an official form to use for the Invoice Declaration that is required and can you send it to me? Where can I obtain this form?
Q. Do we need to have the Invoice Declaration notarized and sealed?
Q. Will our package still receive duty-free treatment if we still add the Certificate of Origin/Green Form/”Form A” into the shipment?
Q. If a U.S. export is not claiming duty-free treatment under the US-Israel Free Trade Agreement, does the Government of Israel still require that a standard Certificate of Origin be issued by the exporter to accompany each shipment, or is the Commercial Invoice sufficient?
Q. We have a customer in Israel that has purchased goods from us and is asking us to print the US Origin Invoice Declaration on our packing slip, commercial invoice or invoice. Our commercial invoices are all done electronically and our accounting software does not allow us to make modifications like this to our invoices or packing slips. How do you propose that we comply with the parameters of this Invoice Declaration if we cannot modify our invoices? Is there a way around this?
Q. If a shipment includes multiple items, some of which meet the origin criteria and others that do not, is it possible to adapt the language of the Invoice Declaration to specify which line items on the invoice have been confirmed to comply with the Rules of Origin (instead of having the Invoice Declaration cover all the goods listed on that document)?
U.S. exporters with specific questions about the Invoice Declaration may contact Ms. Yael Torres, Commercial Specialist, at the American Embassy in Tel Aviv, Israel, via email: email@example.com in order to be connected with a representative of Israel Custom’s Authority.
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