USMCA changes certificate of origin requirements
One of the key changes affecting your trade compliance in the adoption of the USMCA, effective July 1st, involves the modification of the Certificate of Origin rules. To qualify for duty-free status, products traded between the US/Canada/Mexico must “originate” in one or more of the three countries and the exporter must verify that their product meets the rules of origin. Such verification under NAFTA ordinarily took the form of the issuance of a signed Certificate of Origin by the product’s exporter. The implementation of USMCA did away with this form, liberalizes some of the associated requirements and expands the scope of parties who may issue certification.
These are the key changes:
1 – Formerly issued solely by the exporter, such verification may now be issued by the exporter, importer or producer;
2 – For cross border shipments under a certain low-value threshold, certification of origin is not required but a written representation certifying that the goods qualify as USMCA originating goods must still be provided. The statement can be as simple as: “I hereby certify that the good covered by this shipment qualifies as an originating good for the purposes of preferential tariff treatment under the USMCA” and it can be placed on the commercial invoice or a separate document that accompanies a cross-border shipment;
3 – Low-value shipment thresholds for each country enable you to issue the above statement instead of the nine-point certification:
- CA$3,300 for goods destined to Canada from the United States or Mexico;
- US$2,500 for goods destined to the United States from Canada or Mexico;
- US$1,000 for goods destined to Mexico from Canada or the United States.
4 – If your cross-border shipment exceeds the above low values, you must prepare a nine-point document confirming that the goods are originating. Any document or form confirming the goods’ origin is acceptable, including a commercial invoice or other transactional documents, provided the document contains each of the following nine pieces of information.
- Importer, exporter or producer certificate of origin. Indicate whether the certifier is the importer, exporter or producer;
- Certifier’s (Signer’s) name, title, address, telephone number and email address;
- Exporter – Provide exporter’s name, title, address, telephone number and email address. T
- Producer – Provide producer’s name, title, address, telephone number and email address. A person who wishes for this information to remain confidential may continue to state, “Available upon request by the importing authorities.”
- Importer – Provide, if known, the importer’s name, address, email and telephone number;
- Description and HS Classification of the Good – Describe the good and its HS tariff classification to the six-digit level;
- Origin Criteria – Specify the origin criteria (A, B, C, D) under which the good qualifies. The “new” Rules of Origin are in General Note 11 to the US Harmonized Tariff Schedules;
- Blanket Period (if applicable) – One certification can cover multiple shipments of goods;
- Authorized signature and date – The certification statement must be signed and dated by the certifier and accompanied by the following statement:
“I certify that the goods described in this document qualify as originating and the information contained in this document is true and accurate. I assume responsibility for providing such representations and agree to maintain and present upon request or to make available during a verification visit, documentation necessary to support this certification.”
The certification changes will make life easier for exporters claiming duty-free status under the USMCA, particularly for low-value shipments.
Robin W. Grover