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Renew Free Trade Agreement Certificates For Duty Reduction And Elimination

With the end of the year quickly approaching, now is the time for importers and exporters to review, update and renew their blanket Free Trade Agreement Certificates of Origin (such as the North American Free Trade Agreement Certificates of Origin) on file with their customs broker.

Most Free Trade Agreement Certificates of Origin expire on December 31. It is important to communicate with all your suppliers to request 2017 Certificates of Origin to avoid getting caught without one in January. Failure to renew your Certificates of Origin could result in significantly higher Most Favored Nation (MFN) duty rate being assessed on your goods.

Importer Responsibilities Under Free Trade Agreements

Free Trade Agreements provide for duty free entry of qualifying goods originating in participating countries that meet those countries' rules of origin. In order to benefit from the preferential tariff treatments provided by these countries, the importer is responsible for having a completed and valid Certificate of Origin on file for any goods claiming a reduced or free rate of duty.

Correctly Completed Certificates

For companies reviewing Certificates of Origin from their vendors, the first step is to ensure that at face value the certificate has proper coding and is fully completed. While this might sound like common sense you would be surprised how many certificates are missing information or contain unacceptable data (for instance, on a NAFTA certificate indicating a dollar value in the net cost column). In order to assure accuracy of the data, you need to have sufficient knowledge regarding the completion of the document, the basics of which are usually found on the second page of the applicable Certificate of Origin. If not completed accurately, you are at risk for Administrative Monetary Penalty System (AMPS) and potential duties issued by Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA).

How To Accurately Complete A NAFTA Certificate Of Origin

How Pacific Customs Brokers Can Help With Free Trade Agreements

As a Pacific Customs Brokers client, should you have questions regarding your free trade agreement renewal, please do not hesitate to contact our Compliance Team.

Trade Advisory Services

  • FTA Concierge Services For clients with time constraints, we offer convenient FTA Concierge Services. We can solicit FTA certificates directly from your exporters allowing you to do what you do best-run your business.
  • Tariff Classification Consulting We offer expert analysis for clients seeking guidance on tariff classification. You may know the ins and outs of your business, but we know the intricacies of trade and always look out for our client's bottom line.

Educational Workshops Webinars

  • NAFTA Webinar Series Join this two-part webinar series to learn about rules of origin under the North American Free Trade Agreement. Each part in the series is 60-minutes in length and will clarify a common assumption that all products manufactured in Canada, the United States or Mexico are eligible for duty-free status. Learn more or register now!
  • Free Trade Agreements and Rule of Origin Workshop In this full-day workshop we will provide you with a comprehensive field-by-field guide to completing a NAFTA certificate. We will assist you in understanding product eligibility, rules of origin, common errors and the importer?s responsibilities under the program to maximize savings. Learn more or register now!
NAFTA Certificate of Origin: Top 5 Mistakes And How To Avoid Them
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About Author
Gloria Terhaar
CCS, CTCS, CBSA Professional Designate

Gloria Terhaar has over 17 years of Canadian customs brokerage experience. She currently works in our Canadian division as a Trade Compliance Supervisor and Regulatory Compliance Specialist. Gloria has extensive experience in all aspects of documentation and regulatory requirements as they relate to importing products into Canada. Gloria is often called upon to train industry with some recent talks for MNP, the Surrey Board of Trade, TFO Canada and the BC Produce Marketing Association. In 2018, Gloria also participated in the Canadian Produce Marketing Association and the Canadian Horticultural Council advocacy event "Fall Harvest" in Ottawa where she participated in advocacy efforts for the Canadain produce industry.

While we strive for accuracy in all our communications, as the Importer of Record it is incumbent upon your company to ensure that you are aware of the requirements under the new regulations so that you maintain compliance as always.