North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) - Rules of Origin

What are the NAFTA rules of origin?

Each NAFTA country retains its external tariffs vis-à-vis non-members' goods and levies a lower tariff on the goods "originating" from the other NAFTA members. Rules of origin provide the basis for customs officials to make determinations about which goods are entitled preferential tariff treatment under the NAFTA. Negotiators of the agreement sought to make the NAFTA's rules of origin very clear so as to provide certainty and predictability to producers, exporters and importers. They also sought to ensure that the NAFTA's benefits are not extended to goods exported from non-NAFTA countries which have undergone only minimal processing in North America. The NAFTA rules of origin are included in Chapter Four of the Agreement. The product-specific rules of origin for NAFTA are contained in Annex 401. For more information on the NAFTA rules and origin and customs procedures, please refer to the Guide to Importing and Exporting in Canada.

Amendments

The product-specific rules of origin of the NAFTA are periodically amended to reflect changes in industry production practices and sourcing patterns as well as to ensure their consistency following periodic amendments to the World Customs Organizations’ Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System (HS).

For information on the following documents, please visit the Library and Archives Canada search page and type "NAFTA Rules of Origin".


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