On April 3, 2020, the Canada Border Services Agency ("CBSA") published Customs Notice 20-14 "Implementation of the Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement (CUSMA)" in which the CBSA discusses the new Certification of Origin requirements under CUSMA and the new tariff codes. When CUSMA enters into effect (the implementation date is not yet set), some of the rules for Canadian importers who import originating goods will change from the rules that must be followed under NAFTA. All goods that meet the rules of origin in CUSMA will be customs duty-free (with the exception of certain agricultural goods).
Tariff Codes Changes
After implementation of CUSMA, tariff code MUST will no longer be used. CUSMA's preferential tariff treatments are: the United States Tariff (UST – tariff treatment code 10) and the Mexico Tariff (MXT – tariff treatment code 11). The MUST tariff code will remain in place in the interim, for adjustments pertaining to importations that occurred while NAFTA was in effect.
Certification of Origin Changes
The NAFTA Certificate of Origin will no longer be used when CUSMA enters into force. However, the requirement that a Certification of Origin be provided prior to the importation remains.
Importers must make sure that CUSMA exporters follow the new Certification of Origin requirements. A Certification of Origin shall include the following minimum data elements:
1. Importer, Exporter, or Producer – Certification of Origin
Indicate whether the certifier is the exporter, producer or importer in accordance with Article 5.2 of Chapter 5 of the CUSMA.
Provide the certifier's name, title, address (including country), telephone number and e-mail address.
Provide the exporter's name, address (including country), e-mail address, and telephone number if different from the certifier. This information is not required if the producer is completing the certification of origin and does not know the identity of the exporter. The address of the exporter shall be the place of export of the good in a Party's territory.
Provide the producer's name, address (including country), e-mail address, and telephone number, if different from the certifier or exporter or, if there are multiple producers, state "Various" or provide a list of producers. A person that wishes for this information to remain confidential may state "Available upon request by the importing authorities". The address of the producer shall be the place of production of the good of the Party's territory.
Provide, if known, the importer's name, address, e-mail address, and telephone number. The address of the importer shall be in the Party's territory.
6. Description and Harmonized System (HS) Tariff Classification of the Good
a) Provide a description of the good and the HS tariff classification of the good to the 6-digit level located in the Customs Tariff. The description should be sufficient to relate it to the good covered by the certification;
b) If the certification of origin covers a single shipment of a good, indicate, if known, the invoice number related to the exportation.
7. Origin Criteria
Specify the origin criterion under which the good qualifies, as set out in Article 4.2 (Originating Goods) of Chapter 4 of the CUSMA.
8. Blanket Period
Include the period if the certification covers multiple shipments of identical goods for a specified period of up to 12 months as set out in Article 5.2 (Claims for Preferential Tariff Treatment) of Chapter 5 of the CUSMA.
9. Authorized Signature and Date
The certification 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 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."
Importers should prepare themselves for the new Certification of Origin requirements and take the necessary steps to update their systems to obtain the new Certifications of Origin. Exporters must also update their systems to be able to provide the new Canadian Certification of Origin. Exporters who ship large volumes of originating goods to Canada (e.g., via electronic commerce platforms) may have to update their computer programs to be able to issue the Certifications with the invoice number included on the Certification of Origin.
Advance Rulings need to be Updated
Importers who have an advance ruling might not be able to rely on the advance ruling after the implementation of CUSMA. There is a separate post on this subject entitled "When CUSMA enters into effect, NAFTA advance rulings are no longer valid".
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.