On July 1, 2020, The Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement (CUSMA) replaced NAFTA as the free trade agreement between the three countries. CUSMA is known as USMCA in the United States and T-MEC in Mexico. That’s because standard international protocol dictates that the name of the country in which a person resides should appear first.
Under CUSMA, qualifying products are exempt from tariffs and quotas when exported to the United States and Mexico. To claim this preferential duty rate, you must determine if your goods qualify under the CUSMA Rules of Origin. While the importer is responsible for making the claim for preferential duty rates under CUSMA, the producer or exporter of the goods is the one most likely to know whether or not their goods qualify. Therefore, they are often the party that completes the CUSMA Certificate of Origin.
While the CUSMA does not provide the specific format for a specific Certificate of Origin form, it does outline the specific data requirements that are required in order to claim preference.
A Certificate of Origin can cover a single shipment or multiple shipments of the identical goods for a blanket period up to 12 months. A certificate is not required for imports valued at $2,500 or less as long as they aren’t part of a larger shipment broken up into smaller segments in an attempt to evade laws or regulations.
Once completed, you should send a paper or electronic copy of the Certificate of Origin to the importer. The importer making the claim and the party completing the certificate is required to keep all documentation of CUSMA claims for at least five years after the completion of the transaction.
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