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CBP Clarifies Valid, Invalid, Defective NAFTA Certificates of Origin

Wednesday, November 19, 2014
Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg Trade Report

U.S. Customs and Border Protection recently issued a notice to clarify when a NAFTA certificate of origin is considered valid, invalid or defective. This notice also reminds importers that preference claims will be denied when possession of a valid NAFTA certificate of origin at the time of the claim cannot be substantiated.

CBP states that a NAFTA certificate of origin is valid if it (1) lists the good in question, (2) covers the period in question, (3) includes the exporter’s or his agent’s signature in block 11a, and (4) was in the importer’s possession at the time of the claim, as demonstrated by a block 11e authorized signature date prior to the date of the preference claim and submission upon request of a CBP official. A NAFTA certificate of origin is invalid if it does not meet these requirements.

A NAFTA certificate of origin is defective, and thus may be remedied, if it meets the above conditions but contains other errors or omissions; e.g., illegibility, misclassification, incorrect or missing preference criteria, signature by an individual who cannot legally bind the company, typed or stamped signature, third-country goods (in addition to NAFTA goods), net cost field error, or single entry certificate without an invoice or other unique reference numbers.

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