importing

Certificate of Origin

The NAFTA Certificate of Origin tells us the Country of Origin of your imported goods. Both buyers and sellers use the certificate at customs to prove the Country of Origin. Remember, by proving that the goods are from NAFTA, you may pay little or no duties.

The NAFTA Certificate must be used when the total value of your shipment exceeds $ 2, 500 USD. It is the exporter’s responsibility to provide the importer with a valid NAFTA Certificate of Origin.

When the producer of the goods is not the exporter, the producer may still complete the certificate of the exporter but a separate certificate is still required to be completed by the exporter.

Please Note…

The exporter will provide you with a filled out Certificate of Origin for your purchased goods.

The importer is not responsible for filling out the Certificate of Origin but must have a copy for customs.

Your broker may review the document to make sure all fields are filled in correctly.

Certificate of Origin Walkthrough

?Provide the full legal name and address of your business as well as your tax identification number (This is the import/export account number associated with your Business Number [BN] for Canadian exporters)

?If the Country of Origin covers
your exported goods for up to a year
(Blanket Certificate), state the specific dates in the fields provided.


?If you are not the original producer of the goods, provide the information requested. Some may be written in this field if you are the producer and exporter of the goods. Information available upon request may be written for producers who choose to keep their information confidential. If the producer is not known to you, it is acceptable to write unknown in the field.

?Provide the legal name, address and country of the importer. In the case of the US this would be the Federal Taxpayers Registry’s or the Taxpayer Identification Number (RFC) of the importer. If the US importer does not have an identification number a Social Security Number (SSN) may be used. Various or Unknown may be written if multiple importers are used or the importer is not known to you.

?For each good you are exporting a full description must be provided. It is important that the description of your goods is specific and communicates the HS description outlined in any other customs documents used.

?State the HS code for each good described in field 5. Each good described in field 5 will have the corresponding HS code listed here. The tariff classification used will depend on the country you are exporting your goods to.

?Each good qualifying for NAFTA preferential treatment listed in field 5 must fall into one of six preference criterions. For example, a shipment of freshly picked tomatoes from Ontario would full under Criterion A, therefore the letter A would be written in field 7. The NAFTA Preference Criterion are grouped into categories A through F on the NAFTA Certificate of Origin.

These are used to classify your good on the Certificate of Origin form that is completed by the exporter

A – Natural resources (ex. anything grown, harvested, fished, or mined in any one of the NAFTA countries)

B – Manufactured goods that contain foreign parts, components, or raw materials and meet the requirements Rules of Origin requirements outlined in Chapter 4 of NAFTA

C – Goods manufactured exclusively with NAFTA originating parts or components

D – Covers goods where the HS code for the product and its parts is the same and the manufacturer is allowed to use Regional Value Content formula to determine whether the good originates in the NAFTA region

E – HS code-specific Automatic Data Processing equipment.

F – Applies to certain ‘agricultural’ products exported only to Mexico


?For all goods listed in field 5, state if you are the producer by writing either YES or NO. If you are not the producer of the goods, write No along with either the number (1), (2) or (3). The number represents the measures used to determine the NAFTA originating status for your goods.

1. Based on your knowledge of whether the goods qualify for originating status

2. A written statement from the producer confirming the goods qualify for originating status

3. A certificate completed and signed by the producer provided to the exporter


?For each good in field 5 qualifying as originating based on Regional Value Content (RVC), state the net cost if the RVC was determined using the Net Cost Method (NCM). Indicate NO if not applicable.

?Indicate the Country of Origin to which the preferential rate of customs duty applies.

Learn More About the Certificate of Origin