How to Complete a NAFTA Certificate of Origin*

The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) established a free-trade zone in North America; it was signed in 1992 by Canada, Mexico, and the United States and took effect on Jan. 1, 1994.

What is It?

A NAFTA Certificate of Origin is a trilaterally agreed upon form used by Canada, Mexico, and the United States to certify that goods qualify for the preferential tariff treatment accorded by NAFTA.

Why is It Needed?

The NAFTA Certificate of Origin allows for the benefit of reduced or elimination of duty under the North American Free Trade Agreement.

When is It Needed?

For the benefit of reduced or elimination of duty, a NAFTA Certificate of Origin can be completed for goods shipped to the NAFTA territories (Canada, U.S., Mexico).This form may be used if the commercial goods being shipped qualify under NAFTA rules of origin. Rules of origin are complex and may be determined by country of manufacture, regional value content, and/or tariff change (where the tariff classification changes after the completion of processing). For more information, visit the Canada Border Services Agency website.

Where Can I Find It?

How to Complete It Effectively

  • The NAFTA Certificate of Origin must be completed and signed by the exporter of the goods. When the exporter is not the producer, the exporter can complete the certificate on the basis of knowledge of the goods' origin, reasonable reliance on the producer's written representation of the goods' origin, or a completed and signed Certificate of Origin for the goods voluntarily provided to the exporter by the producer.
  • A copy of this document should be forwarded to the importer and retained by the exporter. Be sure to include a copy of your NAFTA Certificate of Origin INSIDE as well as OUTSIDE the shipment.
  • Canadian Customs regulations require that you keep this certificate and the backup documentation for six years following the year of its issuance. Failure to do so could invalidate the Preferential Duty Claim.
  • To file a blanket NAFTA Certificate of Origin with FedEx®, contact FedEx Customer Service 1.800.GoFedEx 1.800.463.3339 for FedEx for international express shipments. For FedEx International Ground™ shipments, please contact your broker.

Please Note: The numbered items below represent areas of the form that shippers often have questions about or complete inaccurately or incorrectly. You must complete all required fields on your customs documents.

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