When It Is Appropriate to Use a Non-NAFTA Certificate of Origin?


Quick Answer

Non-NAFTA certificates of origin should be used when shipping goods not manufactured in the United States, Canada or Mexico, which are the three NAFTA countries, to one of these countries. Shipments must be accompanied by bills of lading and other documents required to export goods, materials and food.

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Full Answer

When shipping goods manufactured outside the United States or Canada from Canada to the United States, a non-NAFTA certificate of origin is required. The same certificate is required when shipping non-NAFTA goods from Mexico to the United States and Canada. No such certification is necessary when shipping goods to and from the Caribbean and other countries.

While exporters are required to disclose when shipped goods are not manufactured by a NAFTA partner in order to qualify for NAFTA?s monetary incentives, they must execute NAFTA certificates of origin with proper documentation. For example, certifying goods and other materials under NAFTA eliminates all U.S.-Mexico tariffs and duties, a boon to both countries.

Although not required for shipments outside the NAFTA free-trade zone, NAFTA certification or non-NAFTA certification may be politically expedient to improve trading relations with other countries. For instance, as more free-trade consortiums develop, high percentages of NAFTA-certified shipments indicate a trading environment that may welcome more members. Conversely, a high percentage of non-NAFTA shipments could indicate dissatisfaction with the agreement, quality and cost of goods received.

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