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About the NAFTA Certificate of Origin The NAFTA Certificate of Origin is used by Canada, Mexico, and the United

States, including Puerto Rico, to determine if goods imported into their countries receive reduced or eliminated duty as specified by the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). For those forms that are completed online, this application is designed for goods whose origin is the U.S. or Puerto Rico only. The NAFTA Certificate of Origin must be attached to an Invoice if the shipment is valued at greater than: $1,000 USD and is being sent to a Mexican destination from Canada or the U.S. $1,600 (Canadian dollars) and is being sent to a Canadian destination from Mexico or the U.S. $2,500 USD and is being sent to a U.S. destination from Canada or Mexico.

Shipments valued at less than the above amounts do not require a NAFTA Certificate of Origin. Instead, the customer should type the following statement on the shipment´s invoice: "I hereby certify that the good covered by this shipment qualifies as an originating good for purposes of preferential tariff treatment under the NAFTA." For purposes of obtaining preferential tariff treatment, this document must be completed legibly and in full by the exporter and be in the possession of the importer at the time the declaration is made. This document may also be completed voluntarily by the producer for use by the exporter. Please print or type.

NAFTA Certificate of Origin FAQ Overview

Under the North American Free Trade Agreement, (NAFTA), U.S., Mexican and Canadian tariffs are phased out on "originating" goods. (Originating goods are those that meet the appropriate NAFTA rule-of-origin, meaning that they have sufficient North American content to qualify for NAFTA tariff preference.) The exporter is responsible for determining whether his/her products qualify, but must provide a NAFTA Certificate of Origin to the importer so that the importer can claim NAFTA tariff preference. Making the origin determination If the importer wants to claim the NAFTA preferential tariff rate, the exporter must determine whether or not the product meets the NAFTA rule of origin. How to Make the Rule of Origin Determination contains information that will help the exporter make this determination. Qualifying products for tariff preference Once an exporter determines that the exported good will meet the NAFTA rules of origin, he/she must fill out a Certificate of Origin. The exporter must then send the certificate to the importer. While the Certificate does not have to accompany the shipment, the importer must have a copy of the Certificate in hand before claiming the NAFTA tariff preference. If the Certificate is not available, the higher most-favoured-nation (MFN) tariff will be applied. The Certificate must be completed accurately and legibly. If the product does not qualify for NAFTA tariff preference, the Certificate must not be completed, because the product is subject to the MFN tariff rate. (The completed NAFTA certificate of origin certifies that the product meets the NAFTA rules of origin.) Who should use the form? All exporters to Mexico and Canada of goods for which the importers will claim tariff preference should use the certificate of origin form. Importers can not claim NAFTA tariff preference until they are in possession of a NAFTA Certificate of Origin from the exporter. Importers can only claim NAFTA tariff preference if the imported good meets the NAFTA rules of origin. What language must the form be in? The Certificate shall be completed in the language of the country of export or the language of the importing country, at the exporter's discretion. Importers shall submit a translation of the Certificate to their own customs administration when requested.

What does the form cover? A Certificate of Origin may cover a single importation of goods or multiple importations of identical goods. Certificates that cover multiple shipments are called blanket certificates. Blanket Certificates normally may apply to goods imported within any twelve-month period. The NAFTA defines identical goods as "goods that are the same in all respects, including physical characteristics, quality and reputation, irrespective of minor differences in appearance that are not relevant to a determination of origin of those goods under the NAFTA rules of origin." Who must complete the Certificate? The Certificate of Origin must be completed and signed by the exporter of the goods. Where the exporter is not the producer, the exporter may complete the Certificate on the basis of: knowledge of where the good originates; reasonable reliance on the producer's written representation that the good originates; or a completed and signed Certificate of Origin for the good voluntarily provided to the exporter by the producer. Are there circumstances in which the NAFTA Certificate of Origin is not required? A NAFTA Certificate of Origin is not required for a commercial importation of a good whose value does not exceed US$1000 or its equivalent amount in Mexico's or Canada's currency. However, the invoice accompanying the commercial importation must include a statement certifying that the good qualifies as an originating good. The statement should be attached to, or handwritten, stamped or typed on the commercial invoice. A NAFTA Certificate of Origin shall not be required for noncommercial importation of a good whose value does not exceed US$1000 or its equivalent amount in Mexico's or Canada's currency. These above two exceptions are valid as long as the importation does not form part of a series of importations that may be reasonably considered to have been undertaken or arranged for the purpose of avoiding the certification requirement. In addition, the exporter should not provide a NAFTA Certificate of Origin if the importer is not eligible to claim NAFTA tariff preference.

What should an exporter do if his/her Certificate of Origin form is not ready at the time of export? Importers can make the claim for NAFTA tariff preference up to one year after the importation of a good, and apply for a refund of customs duties paid as a result of the good not being accorded preferential tariff treatment. How long is the Certificate valid? The Certificate of Origin will be accepted by Customs Administration for a period of four years after the date on which the certificate was signed by the exporter. What are the exporter's obligations in regard to the Certificate? Exporters or producers that prepare Certificates of Origin shall provide copies to their own customs administration upon request. Exporters or producers that provide a Certificate of Origin must maintain records pertaining to the exportation for five years or such longer periods as may be specified by their country. The United States require that records be kept for five years. Exporters or producers that complete a Certificate of Origin shall notify all parties to whom the Certificate was given of any change that could affect its accuracy or validity. Does a producer who is not an exporter have an obligation to fill out a Certificate of Origin? The NAFTA does not obligate a producer who is not an exporter to provide the ultimate exporter of a product with a NAFTA certificate of origin. Many exporters, however, may request such documentation from their producers as documentation that a good they sell to Mexico or Canada meet the rule of origin, or that a input used in a good produced by the exporter meets a NAFTA rule of origin. If the non-exporting producer does complete the NAFTA certificate of origin, that producer is subject to the same obligations regarding record keeping, etc., as the exporter.