Preferences are understood to be preferential customs treatment for goods from certain countries and territories. Due to their specific origin, imports and exports can be made more cost-effective with the help of preferences. There are currently numerous preferential agreements between the EU and third countries or groups of countries. On the basis of these agreements, companies can import and export goods at a reduced rate of duty – sometimes even duty-free.
As a result, the savings can be considerable. Since preferential rules are only ever valid in relation to the respective agreement partner, it must first be checked whether an agreement exists at all. An up-to-date overview of the preferential arrangements of the European Union can be accessed online.