The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) is a preferential tariff program, which allows zero or decreased duties for products that qualify under the provisions of the agreement. In order for an importer to take advantage of NAFTA, the U.S. manufacturer or vendor must supply the importer with a current, valid NAFTA Certificate of Origin for all products that qualify for preferential tariff treatment under the agreement. The manufacturer or vendor must also supply the importer with a renewed copy of the NAFTA every 12 months.
The Importance of Renewing your Certificates
In order for your Canadian or U.S. customers to claim duty-free status under the North American Free Trade Agreement, a properly completed NAFTA Certificate of Origin must be in the importer’s possession and ours and must be kept for a minimum of (6) six years. Failure to renew your Certificates of Origin will result in a higher duty rate assessment of your goods.
It is against Customs regulations to claim the NAFTA preferential duty rate when a valid certificate is not available at the time of importation. Under Canada’s new Administrative Monetary Penalty System (AMPS), significant fines (up to a few thousand dollars) can be assessed for using an incorrect tariff treatment or for the failure to have a valid certificate on hand at the time of importation. Penalties for recordkeeping infractions of up to $25,000 may also be levied by Customs.
To ensure that our clients are protected against Customs-assessed AMPS penalties, Journey™ can not and will not use the NAFTA preferential duty rate on imported goods unless we have a valid NAFTA Certificate of Origin in our possession at the time of importation.