NAFTA Certificate of Origin


 What it's about
Canada, Mexico and the U.S. developed a uniform Certificate of Origin to certify that originating goods imported into their territories qualify for preferential treatment accorded by the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). If your product does not meet the specific NAFTA Rules of Origin, it does not qualify for preferential tariff treatment and the Certificate of Origin should not be completed.

While the NAFTA Certificate of Origin does not have to accompany the shipment, the importer must have a copy of the certificate in hand to claim NAFTA tariff preference at customs. NAFTA Certificates of Origin may, at the discretion of the exporter, cover a single importation of goods or multiple importations of identical goods.

If the value of a Mexico-bound shipment is less than US$1,000, or the value of a Canada-bound shipment is less than CAD$1,600, a NAFTA Certificate of Origin is not required. Instead, you can write the following statement on the Commercial Invoice:

"I certify that the goods referenced in this invoice/sales contract originate under the rules of origin specified for these goods in the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), and that further production or any other operation outside the territories of the parties has not occurred subsequent to production in the territories." 

FedEx Trade Networks can assist you with properly classifying your products and producing valid NAFTA Certificates of Origin. For more information, call FedEx Trade Networks at 1.866.268.7602.

What's required on it
In the U.S., the exporter is required to retain either the original or a copy of the NAFTA Certificate of Origin for five years from the date of signature. The importer is required to retain the certificate and all other relevant documentation for five years after the importation of the goods. Mexican exporters must maintain a copy of the certificate for 10 years. Canadian importers and exporters are required to keep the certificate for six years from the time of the transaction for the importer and six years from the date of signing for the exporter.

Include the following information on the NAFTA Certificate of Origin:

  1. Exporter’s name, address and tax identification number.1

  2. Producer’s name, address and tax identification number.1

  3. Importer’s name, address and tax identification number.1

  4. A complete and accurate description of the contents of the shipment.

  5. The product’s tariff classification number.

  6. The NAFTA Rules of Origin preference criterion.

  7. The product’s producer.

  8. The product’s net cost.2

  9. The product’s country of origin.

  10. Once you’ve checked that all the information on the NAFTA Certificate of Origin is accurate, provide your company name, title and phone number, then sign and date the form.

Don’t forget, you can use the FedEx Document Preparation Center on FedEx® Global Trade Manager to complete the NAFTA Certificate of Origin (Canada-bound shipments only).

1In the U.S., the tax identification number is the Employer Identification Number (EIN) or Social Security number; in Mexico, it’s the federal taxpayer’s registry number (RFC); and in Canada, it’s the EIN for the importer, and it’s assigned by Canada Customs and Revenue Agency for the exporter.

2Indicate "NC" if the goods' regional value content (RVC) is calculated according to the net cost method; otherwise indicate "NO." If the RVC is calculated over a period of time, include the beginning and end dates (MM/DD/YYYY) of that period.