Rules of origin are the criteria required to determine the nationality of a product. It is important because the exported product may be applicable to reduced or zero customs duties, depending on the above-mentioned agreements that the exporting country has concluded with the EU. In line with the CJEU guidelines, the EU is currently developing free trade agreements to ensure that they remain within the exclusive competence of the EU. Therefore, areas such as investor-state dispute settlement and portfolio investments need to be negotiated in separate agreements. This clear division of the zones into different agreements makes it possible to ratify and implement free trade agreements quickly and reliably by European legislators. However, such a separation is not possible if trade agreements are an integral part of political association agreements (e.g. B with Ukraine, Mexico, Mercosur, etc.). These treaties remain mixed, if only because of the foreign and security policy components (the EU`s negotiations with Mercosur are based on a 20-year-old mandate and do not involve investor-state dispute settlement). This has been agreed in principle, with some outstanding technical issues to be concluded in 2019. It should be noted that many countries have introduced the REX Registered Exporter System, which is a system of self-certification of the origin of their goods. This system simplifies the process for the exporter because, instead of asking his authority for proof of origin, he can issue it himself through this system. Many EU trade agreements are still in the process of ratification and are only being implemented provisionally.
CETA is a mixed agreement. The chapters falling within the exclusive competence of the Union are currently applied provisionally, with ratification in the Member States still pending. The chapter on investment protection, on the other hand, has not yet been implemented until it has been ratified by members. The EU and Singapore have negotiated a free trade agreement and an investment protection agreement, two separate treaties.