Video | What Is The North American Free Trade Agreement?

Updated: The Free Trade Agreement between Canada - US - Mexico, also known as CUSMA/USMCA/T-MEC has been implemented. Please visit our NAFTA 2.0 series for more information.

Everything You Need To Know About CUSMA/USMCA/T-MEC

The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), is a multilateral free trade agreement between the United States, Canada and Mexico.

In this video we'll discuss:

  • A brief overview
  • Learn how to determine if your goods are eligible
  • Benefits for trade
  • Importer and exporter responsibilities 

The agreement came into effect on January 1st 1994 to reduce and/or eliminate duty on goods made in Canada, the U.S. or Mexico. Only goods that meet specific requirements are eligible for the preferential tariff treatment.

What Goods Are Eligible For NAFTA?

  • Goods that are wholly obtained or produced entirely in Canada, the U.S. or Mexico.
  • Goods that have been transformed in Canada, the U.S. or Mexico, such as trees cut into lumber.
  • Goods that are produced in Canada, the U.S. or Mexico, exclusively from originating materials such as lumber carved into a puzzle and painted in Mexico.
  • Some off shore goods may also qualify, if there has been further processing in North America resulting in a tariff shift or tariff change. Should you have product that may fall into this category, it maybe beneficial to speak with one of our highly trained Tariff Consultants regarding eligibility.

What Documents Are Required To Qualify For NAFTA?

  • In order to receive the benefits the exporter or producer must provide a valid Certificate of Origin. Anyone signing a Certificate of Origin must be knowledgeable of the requirements, the manufacturing processes involved in the product and the Rules of Origin.
  • The importer must be in possession of a valid Certificate to be entitled to the reduced duty rate at the time the goods clear Customs. It is the importer's responsibility to maintain copies for a 5 year period and be able to provide Customs with a copy, should one be requested. In the event of an audit, if Customs were to find the Certificate to be invalid, duties and interest can accessed retroactively from the time the goods were released.
  • Should the Importer obtain a Certificate post entry, an amendment can be made with Customs if it is within the eligible time limits.

Where Do I Find A Copy Of A NAFTA Form?

  • Click here to find a formal Certificate of Origin for goods declared over $2500.00 (Canadian funds) and the Low Value Certificate for goods declared under $2500.00 (Canadian funds)

If you need assistance in determining if your goods qualify, or if you have questions on how to fill out the Certificate of Origin, please contact one of our Trade Compliance Specialists. They will help you take full advantage of the benefits provided by the agreement.

Additionally, take an in depth tour by attending an upcoming seminars wherein you will gain a better understanding, learn how to manage compliance and utilize this free trade agreement to your benefit. 

Related Customs Forms:

What Is The North American Free Trade Agreement? | NAFTA
How To Accurately Complete A NAFTA Certificate Of Origin
Top 5 Mistakes When Completing A NAFTA Certificate Of Origin
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About Author
Breanna Leininger
CCS, LCB

Breanna has been in the industry since 2004 and has dealt with clearances and compliance concerns for a multitude of commodities for all ports of entry and all modes of transportation. She has a Bachelors in Communications, Bachelors in Political Science & Government, is a Licensed Customs Broker as well as Certified Customs Specialist. Breanna has been asked to be the speaker as a variety of events including the BC Agriculture Show, Doing Business in the US seminar and has been a contributor to Smal Business BC publications She was recently nominated for the NCBFAA Government Affairs Conference Emerging Leaders and Mentors by the NBCBA. She participates in the Northern Border Customs Brokers Association and the NCBFAA annual conferences in Washington, DC. Breanna has a deep passion for politics, global affairs, and how communication shapes policy and international business relationships. She feels very fortunate to work in an industry that allows her to take part in how policy impacts the global economy and domestic businesses of all shapes and sizes.

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.