In Canada, it’s known as CUSMA.
In the United States, it’s known as USMCA.
In Mexico, it’s known as T-MEC.
At the end of the day, for all three countries, it’s the new NAFTA. Being Canadian, we will refer to the new agreement as CUSMA, and assume for the most part, we are discussing foreign goods being imported into Canada.
June 30th, 2020 spelled the end of NAFTA as CUSMA came into effect on July 1st. One big difference with CUSMA versus NAFTA is that the prescribed NAFTA certificate document has been replaced by a certification statement. So, it is no longer the actual certificate that is required, but rather the certification itself (the words). For your convenience, J.B. Ellis has created a fillable certification of origin format you may wish to use.
Provided below are a few frequently asked questions and answers that may help you better understand the new agreement. If you have any other questions, please feel free to reach out to a J.B. Ellis Import Specialist at 1-800-655-5257 or [email protected].
1. Do I need to complete the new certification of origin for my shipment?
For goods to be imported into Canada –
Yes, if the shipment consists of qualifying goods in accordance with the Rules of Origin, they are shipped from the United States or Mexico for importation into Canada, and where those goods would otherwise be subject to duty under the regular provisions of the tariff.
For goods to be exported from Canada –
Yes also, if the shipment consists of qualifying goods in accordance with the Rules of Origin, they are shipped from Canada for importation into the United States or Mexico, and where those goods would otherwise be subject to duty under the regular provisions of the tariff.
2. Once I have the CUSMA certification of origin completed, where do I send it?
Simply email the completed certification directly to your J.B. Ellis Import Specialist or to [email protected] before the goods enter into Canada. This will enable duty free entry on qualifying goods.
3. What happens if I do not complete a CUSMA certification of origin, or have it included with my import documentation?
CUSMA certification enables duty free entry of qualifying goods. Without it, the regular provisions of the Canadian Harmonized Customs Tariff apply.
4. Should I have a CUSMA certification of origin completed for every shipment, or complete a blanket certification for all of the products we sell to Canada?
That would largely depend on the circumstances relative to your product line, number of shipments, and customers in Canada. You might want to consider calling one of our J.B. Ellis Import Specialists at 1-800-655-5257 for additional guidance.
5. Who can complete a CUSMA certification of origin?
The certification of origin can be completed by the exporter, producer, or importer of the goods, as long as they are noted as the Certifier on the certification, and they meet the requirements noted in Question 6 hereunder.
6. What must be included on the CUSMA certification of origin?
(See Annex 5-A for more information)
7. Will goods that qualified for duty free status under NAFTA qualify under the new agreement?
Many qualifying goods remain relatively unchanged; however, you must review the CUSMA specific rules of origin in order to determine if the goods can still be considered originating, and therefore qualify for duty free status, under the new agreement.
8. Is there a set of parameters published that lists the circumstances where an importer can sign a CUSMA certification?
The importer may sign the CUSMA certification of origin based on information, including documents or other evidence, that demonstrate that the goods are originating.
9. The new Low Value Shipment (LVS) threshold has increased to $3,300 CAD. Is a statement/certification of origin required for these goods?
From July 1st onwards, shipments valued at $3,300 CAD or less will be exempt from requiring a formal certification of origin. This applies to all Free Trade Agreements currently in force - not just CUSMA. However, the country of origin must still be noted on the commercial documents.
10. Where the certification of origin is not required for LVS shipments, would a simple “made in” marking be acceptable?
Yes. However, for commercial goods, keep in mind that in the case of an audit, CBSA may ask for proof of origin. If there is uncertainty whether goods originate, even if they are marked "made in", it would be prudent to confirm the origin of the goods with your trade partners.
11. What is the “origin criterion” for goods that originate under CUSMA?
There are four (A, B, C & D) based on the method by which the goods qualify as “originating”. Each criteria is outlined in the Rules of Origin Article 4.2 of the Agreement. The letters “A”, “B”, “C”, or “D” (or variations 4.2(a), 4.2(b), 4.2(c), or 4.2(d)) must be noted in this field.
12. Can the importer field on a certification of origin be left blank?
The importer field cannot be left blank. Where the importer in Canada is unknown, the term “unknown” can be used for data element 5 of the certification of origin. Where a blanket certification of origin is applicable to a large number of importers, you could state “see attached list” and the exporter will need to provide a list of all known importers. The same policy applied under the NAFTA. If this question pertains to non-resident importers (NRI), the CBSA will accept the NRI’s full legal name, the address in Canada where the goods will be delivered (i.e. a leased warehouse), and the NRI’s email and phone number.
13. If goods enter Canada using the Most-Favoured-Nation duty rate but are later found to qualify as “originating” under CUSMA, is it possible to recover the duty paid?
Yes, simply reach out to your J.B. Ellis Import Specialist who can file a B2 adjustment entry on your behalf to request a refund of the customs duty paid. The time frame to file a claim under this new agreement is four years from the date of accounting.
14. How are goods from the United States and Mexico treated under the De-minimis/Courier Imports Remission Order (CIRO)?
15. Does the Courier Imports Remission Order provide relief from duties imposed under the Special Import Measures Act?
It does not. Duty under the Special Import Measures Act is not considered “customs duty”.
16. Under the new agreement, are there any changes to the drawback provision?
There are no changes to existing drawback conditions or processes.
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