Certifying Origin – USMCA

In contrast to its predecessor NAFTA, there is no prescribed Certificate of Origin form under the USMCA.  Rather, the specified set of data elements listed below is set out on the invoice or any other document.  This “certification of origin” is not submitted to the customs authority with the import documents.  However, it must be in the importer’s possession when duty free treatment is claimed.  The customs authority has the right to request both the certification and the documents which indicate that the goods originate.

Data Elements on the Certification

  1. A statement indicating whether the certifier is the exporter, producer or importer.
  2. The identity of the certifier, including the name and title of the individual signing the certification.
  3. The identity of the exporter, if different from the certifier. This information is not required if the producer is the certifier and does not know the identity of the exporter. The address of the exporter is the place of export of the good.
  4. The identity of the producer, if different from the certifier or exporter. If there are multiple producers, the certifier may state “Various” or provide a list of producers. A certifier who wishes this information to remain confidential may state “Available on request by the importing authorities”. The address of the producer is the place of production of the good.
  5. The identity of the importer, if known.
  6. A description of the good sufficient to identify it and relate it to the good covered by the certification.
  7. The tariff classification of the good under the HS, to six digits.
  8. If the certification covers a single shipment of a good, the invoice number related to the exportation, if known.  If the certification covers multiple shipments of identical goods for a period of up to 12 months, the period covered.
  9. State which of the four origin criteria described applies to the good. 

The “identity” of a person referred to above includes their name, address (including country), telephone number and email address. The certification must be signed and dated by an individual associated with 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 proving 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 United States Customs and Border Protection organization has published a form of certification document that is similar to the former NAFTA Certificate of Origin.  The Canada Border Services Agency also provides two sample forms of certification.

Low Value Shipments

Certification of origin is not required where the value for duty is $3,300 or less in Canada.  However, documentation supporting the claim that the good is originating must still be prepared and retained for five years.