|We get a lot of calls from exporters with questions about filling out a NAFTA Certificate of Origin. A lot of these calls are from companies that are planning to fill out and sign a NAFTA Certificate because their customers have requested one. However, these exporters aren't even sure if their products qualify for NAFTA.
Remember, the NAFTA Certificate is a legal document that certifies that the specified products qualify for reduced or no tariff because they meet the NAFTA Rules of Origin. By signing this document you are saying that you can provide specific proof that the products qualify under the NAFTA Rules of Origin. If your company gets audited and you cannot provide that proof, your company and the person who signed the NAFTA Certificate can be prosecuted for committing fraud.
With that caveat, the following description of the NAFTA Preference Criteria is pulled from the Shipping Solutions User Guide:
In order to be entitled to preferential tariff treatment, you must enter which criterion (A through F) is applicable:
(A) The good is wholly obtained or produced entirely in the territory of one or more of the NAFTA countries, as referred to in Article 415. NOTE: The purchase of a good in the territory does not necessarily render it wholly obtained or produced. If the good is an agricultural good, see also criterion F.
(B) The good is produced entirely in the territory of one or more of the NAFTA countries and satisfies the specific rule of origin, set out in Annex 401, that applies to its tariff classification. The rule may include a tariff classification change, regional value-content requirement or a combination thereof. If the good is an agricultural good, see also criterion F.
(C) The good is produced entirely in the territory of one or more of the NAFTA countries exclusively from originating materials. Under this criterion, one or more of the materials may not fall within the definition of wholly produced or obtained, as set out in Article 415. All materials used in the production of the good must qualify as originating by meeting the rules of Article 401(a) through (d). If the good is an agricultural good, see also criterion F.
(D) Goods are produced in the territory of one or more of the NAFTA countries but do not meet the applicable rule of origin because certain non-originating materials do not undergo the required change in tariff classification. The goods do nonetheless meet the regional value-content requirement specified in Article 401(d). This criterion is limited to the following two circumstances:
1. The good was imported into the territory of a NAFTA country in an unassembled or disassembled form but was classified as an assembled good, pursuant to HS General Rule of Interpretation 2(a); or
2. The good incorporated one or more non-originating materials, provided for as parts under the HS, which could not undergo a change in tariff classification because the heading provided for both the good and its parts was not further subdivided into subheadings, or the subheading provided for both the good and its parts and was not further subdivided.
NOTE 1: This criterion does not apply to Chapters 61 thought 63 of the HS (Reference: Article 401(d)).
(E) Certain automatic data processing goods and their parts, specified in Annex 308.1 that do not originate in the territory are considered originating upon importation into the territory of a NAFTA country from the territory of another NAFTA country when the Most-Favoured-Nation Tariff rate of the good conforms to the rate established in Annex 308.1 and is common to all NAFTA countries. (Reference: Article 401(d))
(F) The good is an originating agricultural good under preference criterion A, B or C above and is not subject to a quantitative restriction in the importing NAFTA country because it is a qualifying good as defined in Annex 703.2, section A or B (please specify). A good listed in Appendix 703.2.B.7 is also exempt from quantitative restrictions and is eligible for NAFTA preferential tariff treatment if it meets the definition of qualifying good in section A of Annex 703.2.
NOTE 2: A tariff rate quota is not a quantitative restriction.