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In recent years, but mainly after the start of COVID-19 pandemic, the number of consumers that show their support for local producers, for everything that is made in Moldova, has increased considerably, taking into account the fact that the business environment in our country has been significantly affected. More and more Moldovans started to pay attention to the country indicated on the label of a certain product, especially since Moldovan companies have repeatedly proved that they can produce good, high-quality goods. In this context, few questions arise: "which product can be considered local?" or "can we consider a product made using imported ingredients, as made in Moldova?" We will try to give answers to these questions in following article.

Rules of origin of goods

Government Decision No. 1599 of 2002 on the rules of origin of goods establishes the following: the country of origin of goods is the country in which the goods have been completely produced or have undergone sufficient processing. Basically, origin is the economic "nationality" of goods in international trade.

For goods made entirely using local ingredients, a certificate of origin is issued - an important document in international trade, confirming that the goods were received, produced, manufactured or processed entirely in Moldova. In this context, it is necessary to make a distinction between the concept of “product made in Moldova” and the concept of “product of Moldovan origin”, because often the goods produced in Moldova cannot have the status of Moldovan origin.

In cases where raw materials are imported, the rule of sufficient processing applies. To establish the compliance with the criterion of sufficient processing, it is necessary to know the classification code of the finished product, the raw materials used, the origin of the components and, in some cases, the price of manufactured goods and their ingredients.

What is sufficient processing?

The Kyoto Convention defines sufficient processing as the notion that gives the product "its basic character".

According to the legislation of the Republic of Moldova, the criteria for sufficient processing of goods are:
- a change in the goods classification code in accordance with the foreign economic activity commodity nomenclature at the level of any of the first four digits, resulting from processing the goods;
- fulfillment of production or technological operations sufficient for regarding the country where such operations took place as the country of origin;
- a change in the value of goods such that the percentage ratio of the cost reaches a fixed share of the price of the finished product (rule of ad valorem ratio). When applying the percentage criterion method, the following values are taken into account:
1) for imported goods - the taxable value upon import or in the case of identification of goods of undetermined origin, the first price paid for them in the territory of the country in which they were produced;
2) for manufactured goods - factory price or export price according to national legislation.

The operations and processes that determine sufficient processing usually vary and are defined for each product separately.

Coffee made in Moldova

The Tucano Coffee chain of coffee shops is well known to local consumers. One of the activities of this company is the production of its own coffee. As a member of the SCA (Specialty Coffee Association), the company produces several types of ground coffee from selected 100% Specialty Arabica beans grown on plantations in Africa and Latin America, located at high altitudes, in clean ecological conditions. The coffee beans are harvested by hand and processed without the use of chemicals.

The processing and packaging process takes place in Moldova. The production department provides all processes in one place: frying, degassing, sorting and packaging. The manufacturer also develops its own coffee mixes, offering consumers a unique product that can only be found on Moldovan market. Therefore, we have an example of sufficient processing of coffee, which positions it as a product made in Moldova. Tucano Coffee currently offers six types of ground coffee: Brazil, Ethiopia, Nicaragua, Honduras, Carribean and Pacific blends.

Another coffee producer is the Cafelini brand, which also imports green coffee beans from countries such as Ethiopia, Brazil, Colombia, Guatemala, Mexico, Peru, Tanzania, and Vietnam. The selection and roasting process takes place in Moldova, and unique blends of Arabica and Robusta coffee are created. The coffee is packaged in special moisture-resistant bags that remove carbon dioxide, but at the same time does not allow oxygen's contact with coffee, thus preventing its oxidation.

The term “coffee made in Moldova” may sound a little strange, but if we take a look at the European market, we may find many coffee producers in Italy, Portugal, Germany, etc. There are also six Romanian coffee producers. They position themselves as producers of craft coffee. All these countries import grains, but all other processes from selection to packaging take place on the territory of these countries.

Other examples of products made using imported ingredients, but processed enough to position themselves as a local product, are: craft beer (producers such as Litra or Lumencraft use only water from local ingredients, but brew their own beers, with unique taste and aroma) or craft chocolate made by several local brands that use raw materials from Belgium, Spain or African countries, and the combination with local ingredients allows them to obtain a unique product that is made only in Moldova.

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