CUSMA | Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement CUSMA Effective July 1, 2020 The Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement (CUSMA) is free trade agreement between Canada, the United States, and Mexico that replaced the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) on July 1, 2020. The introduction of CUSMA will require changes for Canadian businesses seeking duty relief on their imported and exported goods. For example, you will need a new CUSMA Certificate of Origin. CUSMA Certificate of Origin Template (downloadable PDF) The following provides more details and what you need to know as an importer or exporter to transition from NAFTA to CUSMA. What is CUSMA? In 1994, Canada, the United States, and Mexico created the largest free trade region in the world with the signing of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). In its 26 years, NAFTA significantly reduced trade barriers between the three countries by eliminating tariffs, encouraging investment, and increasing North America’s global competitiveness. It is estimated that, by the end of 2018, the NAFTA area GDP surpassed $24 trillion with a market of over 480 million people. CUSMA maintains the key aspects of the trading relationship between Canada, United States, and Mexico while incorporating new provisions to address current trade challenges and continuing to promote opportunities for North Americans. What CUSMA Means for Canadian Importers and Exporters Effective July 1, 2020, CUSMA completely replaced NAFTA. This means that NAFTA rules and Certificates of Origin no longer apply and Canadian importers and exporters must begin claiming duty relief under CUSMA origin and certification rules. Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) has created a website specific to CUSMA, providing access to information and resources when importing CUSMA-eligible goods into Canada. Preparing for CUSMA NAFTA Certificates of Origin became void (and non-transferable) as soon as CUSMA took effect. We strongly recommend importers and exporters take measures as soon as possible to transition to CUSMA, including: 1. Pre-Qualifing your Goods under CUSMA Specific rules of origin and other requirements have changed, and some sectors have been affected more than others (e.g. automobiles, dairy, agriculture, etc.). You should begin reviewing your imported and exported goods under CUSMA’s Rules of Origin to ensure they still qualify for duty free status. 2. Preparing for New Certificates of Origin Unlike NAFTA, there is no prescribed format or form template for the CUSMA Certificate of Origin. Certificates must, however, contain a set of minimum data elements used to indicate that the product qualifies as originating. Minimum data elements are detailed in Annex 5-A of Chapter 5 – Origin Procedures of the agreement and include: Importer, Exporter, or Producer Certificate of Origin Certifier name and contact information Exporter name and contact information Producer(s) name and contact information Importer name and contact information Description and HS Tariff classification of the good Origin criteria under which the good qualifies Blanket period for multiple shipments of identical goods Authorized signature and date An importer, exporter, or producer may complete the Certificate of Origin if they have: Information and supporting documentation that validate the good is originating; or Reasonable reliance on the actual producer/manufacturer’s written representation, such as in a Certificate of Origin, for each product. The Certificate of Origin may be provided on an invoice or other document describing the originating product with enough detail to enable clear identification, such as a product, part, model, or serial number. A general or generic description will not be accepted. For your convenience, we have created a CUSMA Certificate of Origin template (downloadable PDF). This is also available on our Resources page. Please contact us if you need assistance in completing it. 3. Obtaining Blanket Certificates To ensure duty-free status is uninterrupted during the transition, make sure your Customs Broker (that’s us!) receives your Blanket CUSMA Certificates of Origin. You may also instruct your vendor to provide them at the time of release. Please forward all Blanket Certificates to [email protected]. 4. Maintaining Records While NAFTA rules and regulations no longer apply, you are still required under the Customs Act to maintain records related to your imported/exported goods for a period of six (6) years. NAFTA Certificate of Origins and supporting documentation must be kept for any goods for which you have claimed NAFTA preferential treatment. Under CUSMA, importers and exporters claiming preferential tariff treatment are required to retain Certificates of Origin and documentation related to the import/export for a period of no less than five (5) years. We Can Help The introduction of CUSMA will require a few changes on your part. We’re here to help answer any questions you may have and assist in preparing your documents. Please contact our Customs Consulting Department or your local PF Collins office if you have any questions or concerns regarding CUSMA or need help in preparing your documents for the transition.