North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA)

Part Two: Trade in Goods

Chapter Five: Customs Procedures

Article 501: Certificate of Origin

1. The Parties shall establish by January 1, 1994 a Certificate of Origin for the purpose of certifying that a good being exported from the territory of a Party into the territory of another Party qualifies as an originating good, and may thereafter revise the Certificate by agreement.

2. Each Party may require that a Certificate of Origin for a good imported into its territory be completed in a language required under its law.

3. Each Party shall:

4. Nothing in paragraph 3 shall be construed to require a producer to provide a Certificate of Origin to an exporter.

5. Each Party shall provide that a Certificate of Origin that has been completed and signed by an exporter or a producer in the territory of another Party that is applicable to:

shall be accepted by its customs administration for four years after the date on which the Certificate was signed.

Article 502: Obligations Regarding Importations

1. Except as otherwise provided in this Chapter, each Party shall require an importer in its territory that claims preferential tariff treatment for a good imported into its territory from the territory of another Party to:

2. Each Party shall provide that, where an importer in its territory claims preferential tariff treatment for a good imported into its territory from the territory of another Party:

3. Each Party shall provide that, where a good would have qualified as an originating good when it was imported into the territory of that Party but no claim for preferential tariff treatment was made at that time, the importer of the good may, no later than one year after the date on which the good was imported, apply for a refund of any excess duties paid as the result of the good not having been accorded preferential tariff treatment, on presentation of:

Article 503: Exceptions

Each Party shall provide that a Certificate of Origin shall not be required for:

provided that the importation does not form part of a series of importations that may reasonably be considered to have been undertaken or arranged for the purpose of avoiding the certification requirements of Articles 501 and 502.

Article 504: Obligations Regarding Exportations

1. Each Party shall provide that:

2. Each Party:

3. No Party may impose penalties on an exporter or a producer in its territory that voluntarily provides written notification pursuant to paragraph (1)(b) with respect to the making of an incorrect certification.

Section B - Administration and Enforcement

Article 505: Records

Each Party shall provide that:

Article 506: Origin Verifications

1. For purposes of determining whether a good imported into its territory from the territory of another Party qualifies as an originating good, a Party may, through its customs administration, conduct a verification solely by means of:

2. Prior to conducting a verification visit pursuant to paragraph (1)(b), a Party shall, through its customs administration:

3. The notification referred to in paragraph 2 shall include:

4. Where an exporter or a producer has not given its written consent to a proposed verification visit within 30 days of receipt of notification pursuant to paragraph 2, the notifying Party may deny preferential tariff treatment to the good that would have been the subject of the visit.

5. Each Party shall provide that, where its customs administration receives notification pursuant to paragraph 2, the customs administration may, within 15 days of receipt of the notification, postpone the proposed verification visit for a period not exceeding 60 days from the date of such receipt, or for such longer period as the Parties may agree.

6. A Party shall not deny preferential tariff treatment to a good based solely on the postponement of a verification visit pursuant to paragraph 5.

7. Each Party shall permit an exporter or a producer whose good is the subject of a verification visit by another Party to designate two observers to be present during the visit, provided that:

8. Each Party shall, through its customs administration, conduct a verification of a regional value-content requirement in accordance with the Generally Accepted Accounting Principles applied in the territory of the Party from which the good was exported.

9. The Party conducting a verification shall provide the exporter or producer whose good is the subject of the verification with a written determination of whether the good qualifies as an originating good, including findings of fact and the legal basis for the determination.

10. Where verifications by a Party indicate a pattern of conduct by an exporter or a producer of false or unsupported representations that a good imported into its territory qualifies as an originating good, the Party may withhold preferential tariff treatment to identical goods exported or produced by such person until that person establishes compliance with Chapter Four (Rules of Origin).

11. Each Party shall provide that where it determines that a certain good imported into its territory does not qualify as an originating good based on a tariff classification or a value applied by the Party to one or more materials used in the production of the good, which differs from the tariff classification or value applied to the materials by the Party from whose territory the good was exported, the Party's determination shall not become effective until it notifies in writing both the importer of the good and the person that completed and signed the Certificate of Origin for the good of its determination.

12. A Party shall not apply a determination made under paragraph 11 to an importation made before the effective date of the determination where:

13. If a Party denies preferential tariff treatment to a good pursuant to a determination made under paragraph 11, it shall postpone the effective date of the denial for a period not exceeding 90 days where the importer of the good, or the person who completed and signed the Certificate of Origin for the good, demonstrates that it has relied in good faith to its detriment on the tariff classification or value applied to such materials by the customs administration of the Party from whose territory the good was exported.

Article 507: Confidentiality

1. Each Party shall maintain, in accordance with its law, the confidentiality of confidential business information collected pursuant to this Chapter and shall protect that information from disclosure that could prejudice the competitive position of the persons providing the information.

2. The confidential business information collected pursuant to this Chapter may only be disclosed to those authorities responsible for the administration and enforcement of determinations of origin, and of customs and revenue matters.

Article 508: Penalties

1. Each Party shall maintain measures imposing criminal, civil or administrative penalties for violations of its laws and regulations relating to this Chapter.

2. Nothing in Articles 502(2), 504(3) or 506(6) shall be construed to prevent a Party from applying such measures as the circumstances may warrant.

Section C - Advance Rulings

Article 509: Advance Rulings

1. Each Party shall, through its customs administration, provide for the expeditious issuance of written advance rulings, prior to the importation of a good into its territory, to an importer in its territory or an exporter or a producer in the territory of another Party, on the basis of the facts and circumstances presented by such importer, exporter or producer of the good, concerning:

2. Each Party shall adopt or maintain procedures for the issuance of advance rulings, including a detailed description of the information reasonably required to process an application for a ruling.

3. Each Party shall provide that its customs administration:

4. Subject to paragraph 6, each Party shall apply an advance ruling to importations into its territory of the good for which the ruling was requested, beginning on the date of its issuance or such later date as may be specified in the ruling.

5. Each Party shall provide to any person requesting an advance ruling the same treatment, including the same interpretation and application of provisions of Chapter Four regarding a determination of origin, as it provided to any other person to whom it issued an advance ruling, provided that the facts and circumstances are identical in all material respects.

6. The issuing Party may modify or revoke an advance ruling:

7. Each Party shall provide that any modification or revocation of an advance ruling shall be effective on the date on which the modification or revocation is issued, or on such later date as may be specified therein, and shall not be applied to importations of a good that have occurred prior to that date, unless the person to whom the advance ruling was issued has not acted in accordance with its terms and conditions.

8. Notwithstanding paragraph 7, the issuing Party shall postpone the effective date of such modification or revocation for a period not exceeding 90 days where the person to whom the advance ruling was issued demostrates that it has relied in good faith to its detriment on that ruling.

9. Each Party shall provide that where its customs administration examines the regional value content of a good for which it has issued an advance ruling pursuant to subparagraph 1(c), (d) or f), it shall evaluate whether:

10. Each Party shall provide that where its customs administration determines that any requirement in paragraph 9 has not been satisfied, it may modify or revoke the advance ruling as the circumstances may warrant.

11. Each Party shall provide that, where the person to whom an advance ruling was issued demonstrates that it used reasonable care and acted in good faith in presenting the facts and circumstances on which the ruling was based, and where the customs administration of a Party determines that the ruling was based on incorrect information, the person to whom the ruling was issued shall not be subject to penalties.

12. Each Party shall provide that where it issues an advance ruling to a person that has misrepresented or omitted material facts or circumstances on which the ruling is based or has failed to act in accordance with the terms and conditions of the ruling, the Party may apply such measures as the circumstances may warrant.

Section D - Review and Appeal of Origin Determinations and Advance Rulings

Article 510: Review and Appeal

1. Each Party shall grant substantially the same rights of review and appeal of marking determinations of origin, country of origin determinations and advance rulings by its customs administration as it provides to importers in its territory to any person:

2. Further to Articles 1804 (Administrative Proceedings) and 1805 (Review and Appeal), each Party shall provide that the rights of review and appeal referred to in paragraph 1 shall include access to:

Section E - Uniform Regulations

Article 511: Uniform Regulations

1. The Parties shall establish, and implement through their respective laws or regulations by January 1, 1994, Uniform Regulations regarding the interpretation, application and administration of Chapter Four, this Chapter and other matters as may be agreed by the Parties.

2. Each Party shall implement any modification of or addition to the Uniform Regulations no later than 180 days after the Parties agree on such modification or addition, or such other period as the Parties may agree.

Section F - Cooperation

Article 512: Cooperation

1. Each Party shall notify the other Parties of the following determinations, measures and rulings, including to the greatest extent practicable those that are prospective in application:

2. The Parties shall cooperate:

Article 513: Working Group and Customs Subgroup

1. The Parties hereby establish a Working Group on Rules of Origin, comprising representatives of each Party, to ensure:

2. The Working Group shall meet at least four times each year and on the request of any Party.

3. The Working Group shall:

4. Each Party shall, to the greatest extent practicable, take all necessary measures to implement any modification of or addition to this Agreement within 180 days of the date on which the Commission agrees on the modification or addition.

5. If the Working Group fails to resolve a matter referred to it pursuant to paragraph 3(e) within 30 days of such referral, any Party may request a meeting of the Commission under Article 2007 (Commission Good Offices, Conciliation and Mediation).

6. The Working Group shall establish, and monitor the work of, a Customs Subgroup, comprising representatives of each Party. The Subgroup shall meet at least four times each year and on the request of any Party and shall:

7. Nothing in this Chapter shall be construed to prevent a Party from issuing a determination of origin or an advance ruling relating to a matter under consideration by the Working Group or the Customs Subgroup or from taking such other action as it considers necessary, pending a resolution of the matter under this Agreement.

Article 514: Definitions

For purposes of this Chapter:

commercial importation means the importation of a good into the territory of any Party for the purpose of sale, or any commercial, industrial or other like use;

customs administration means the competent authority that is responsible under the law of a Party for the administration of customs laws and regulations;

determination of origin means a determination as to whether a good qualifies as an originating good in accordance with Chapter Four;

exporter in the territory of a Party means an exporter located in the territory of a Party and an exporter required under this Chapter to maintain records in the territory of that Party regarding exportations of a good;

identical goods means goods that are the same in all respects, including physical characteristics, quality and reputation, irrespective of minor differences in appearance that are not relevant to a determination of origin of those goods under Chapter Four;

importer in the territory of a Party means an importer located in the territory of a Party and an importer required under this Chapter to maintain records in the territory of that Party regarding importations of a good;

intermediate material means "intermediate material" as defined in Article 415; Marking Rules means "Marking Rules" established under Annex 311;

material means "material" as defined in Article 415;

net cost of a good means "net cost of a good" as defined in Article 415;

preferential tariff treatment means the duty rate applicable to an originating good;

producer means "producer" as defined in Article 415;

production means "production" as defined in Article 415;

transaction value means "transaction value" as defined in Article 415;

Uniform Regulations means "Uniform Regulations" established under Article 511;

used means "used" as defined in Article 415; and

value means value of a good or material for purposes of calculating customs duties or for purposes of applying Chapter Four.

Date Modified: