The Mexico-United States-Canada Agreement (Tratado entre México, Estados Unidos y Canadá or T-MEC) replaced NAFTA on July 1, 2020, as the free trade agreement between the three countries. Standard international protocol dictates that the name of the country in which a person resides should appear first in an agreement, so that’s why T-MEC is known as USMCA in the United States and CUSMA in Canada.
When exported to the United States and Canada, certain products are exempt from tariffs and quotas under T-MEC. Claim this preferential duty rate by determining if your goods qualify under the T-MEC Rules of Origin.
While the importer is responsible for making the claim for preferential duty rates under T-MEC, 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 T-MEC Certificate of Origin.
There is not an official Certificate of Origin form, but rather a set of required data elements that must be included to claim preference under T-MEC.
The importer should receive a paper or electronic copy of the Certificate of Origin once it has been completed and keep all documentation for at least five years. The party completing the certificate for the importer should also keep all T-MEC claim documentation for five years.
A certification of origin may apply to a single shipment or multiple shipments of identical goods within a 12-month period. Imports valued at $2,500 or less do not require a certificate, unless they are part of a larger shipment broken up into smaller segments (in an attempt to evade laws or regulations).
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