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Understanding the NAFTA Rules of Origin

Sue Senger | May 23, 2018 | NAFTA

The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) was created to ensure that goods traded among Canada, Mexico and the United States receive preferential tariff treatment. The NAFTA grants benefits and reduces tariffs only on goods that qualify under the NAFTA Rules of Origin.

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Get the Latest NAFTA Certificate of Origin

Lisa Nemer | August 2, 2017 | Shipping Solutions News & Tips, NAFTA

The expiration date in the upper-right corner of the NAFTA Certificate of Origin has been a bit of a moving target lately. However, it seems that the political dust has settled enough for U.S. Customs & Border Protection (CBP) to push the date out to April 30, 2020.

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When Should Exporters Use a NAFTA Certificate of Origin Form

Sue Senger | February 13, 2017 | NAFTA, Export Forms

The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) grants preferential tariff treatment on goods traded between the United States, Canada and Mexico. As part of this agreement, the three countries created a uniform NAFTA Certificate of Origin that importers must possess to qualify for preferential tariff treatment.

The Certificate of Origin summarizes the importer's claim that goods qualify as originating and should receive preferential tariff treatment.  View a sample of a completed NAFTA Certificate of Origin.

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Verifying NAFTA Origin: The Customs Audit

Sue Senger | September 30, 2016 | NAFTA

In order to make a claim that goods exported and imported between the United States, Canada and Mexico are eligible for preferential tariff treatment under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), the exporter or producer of the goods must complete a NAFTA Certificate of Origin that summarizes this claim.

While the importer of the goods must possess the valid Certificate of Origin when they make their claim, the exporter or producer of the goods must retain their records for a minimum of five years after they sign a certificate. These records include all documentation that they use to help make the determination that the goods qualify under NAFTA.

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Preparing a NAFTA Certificate of Origin for Your Domestic Orders

Sue Senger | September 9, 2016 | NAFTA

The United States has entered into many free trade agreements that benefit both exporters and importers. In order to receive those benefits, exporters must certify that their products qualify with the provisions of those agreements. For example, when an exporter provides a NAFTA Certificate of Origin to their buyer, they are certifying that their goods qualify for reduced or free duty under the North American Free Trade (NAFTA) agreement.

When a shipment occurs within the United States, companies must realize that their domestic shipment may become international. When your domestic customer takes your products and sell them internationally as either a finished product or as a component of a larger product, they must provide their foreign buyer with country of origin information.

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NAFTA Rules of Origin—Advance Rulings

Sue Senger | August 19, 2016 | NAFTA

Since I began writing articles about the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) over 10 years ago, I have received numerous questions from readers about whether or not their specific products qualify for preferential duty under the NAFTA Rules of Origin.

If in doubt, importers, exporters and producers of goods can (and should) obtain advance rulings from the Customs Administrations of Canada, Mexico and the United States for importations of goods into each country under NAFTA.

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The Commercial Invoice Has 12 Essential Data Fields for NAFTA

Sue Senger | July 25, 2016 | NAFTA, Export Forms

Exporters often ask me what information to include on their export documents. In my next series of articles, I will address what documents are required for NAFTA countries along with some helpful hints to smooth the entry process into Canada and Mexico.

I’ll start this series with the commercial invoice.

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The NAFTA Producer Solicitation: The Producer Responds

John Goodrich | June 27, 2016 | NAFTA

In our last installment, a NAFTA participant issued a lengthy diatribe berating his producers for poor NAFTA documentation. Upon receiving this letter, the producers responded in kind.

Following is a summary of the responses received.

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The NAFTA Producer Solicitation—Part 1: The Exporter's Conundrum

John Goodrich | May 23, 2016 | NAFTA

We've all seen them. Either we've drafted them, received them, or rolled our eyes at them. They are the infamous NAFTA solicitation letters we receive from our customers each year.

The first time I heard that solicitation was a part of the NAFTA I blushed. Obviously I had the wrong idea. I've since learned that solicitation refers to letters like the following:

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The Role of the Harmonized System in NAFTA

Sue Senger | March 25, 2016 | NAFTA

The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) provides preferential tariff treatment on goods originating in and traded among Canada, Mexico and the United States. The process for determining whether or not goods "originate" and therefore are eligible for duty-free entry depends on the Harmonized System number.

With NAFTA, using an incorrect classification number creates a domino effect. If an incorrect classification number is assigned to the product and incorrect rule of origin be applied:

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