Who Can Make a USMCA Certification?

Arent Fox

The USMCA does not require the use of CBP Form 434, as there is no prescribed format for certificate of origins under the USMCA. These certifications are to be completed by the exporter, producer, or importer certifying that a good being exported from the territory of one Party to that of another Party qualifies as an originating good. These certifications may be submitted electronically and may cover a single importation or multiple importations of identical goods within a maximum 12-month period.

Many of the information or data elements to support a claim are the same under the USMCA. But the certification requirement of having a certificate in hand from the exporter or producer has been changed from the NAFTA to align with other US FTAs.

As noted above, an importer may now submit an importer, exporter, or producer certification. The importer is responsible for exercising reasonable care concerning the accuracy of all documentation submitted to CPB — including the accuracy of any claim for the USMCA eligibility.

Accordingly, the importer may claim preferential tariff treatment based on a certification of origin completed by the importer, the exporter, or the producer that a good qualifies as an originating good. If a producer or an importer certifies the origin of the good, the producer or importer must have information, including documents that demonstrate that the good is originating. If an exporter that is not the producer of the good certifies the origin of the good, the certification may be completed by the exporter based on either: (1) having information, including documents, that demonstrate that a good is originating; or (2) reasonable reliance on the producer’s written representation that the good is originating.

USMCA Certification Minimum Data Elements

The certification to support eligibility must contain a set of minimum data elements. Many of these data elements are similar to data elements contained in a NAFTA certificate of origin; a specific origin certificate format is no longer needed.

In brief, the data elements include:

  1. Importer, Exporter, or Producer Certification of Origin
  2. Certifier
  3. Exporter
  4. Producer
  5. Importer
  6. Description and HS Tariff Classification of the Good
  7. Origin Criteria - as set out in Article 4.2 (Originating Goods)
  8. Blanket Period (if applicable)
  9. Authorized Signature and Date and certification statement

The certification may be submitted in English, Spanish, or French. If provided in Spanish or French, CBP may request an English translation.

An importer is required to have a valid certification of origin in its possession at the time the USMCA preference claim is made.

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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