Claiming preferential tariff treatment under the CPTPP
The Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) offers new opportunities for Canadians to do business with the Asia-Pacific region by eliminating tariffs and providing preferential access to markets like Japan and Vietnam. In order to take advantage of the preferential tariff treatment afforded under the CPTPP, an importer will need to have a certification of origin that certifies the good meets the rules of origin.
Unlike some of Canada’s previous trade agreements, the CPTPP does not have a prescribed format for a certification of origin. A certification of origin for the CPTPP can be provided on an invoice or any other document (in either hard copy or electronic format), but it must contain a set of minimum data requirements set out in Annex 3-B of Chapter 3 of the Agreement.
This certification can be completed by either the exporter, the producer or the importer, and does not require third-party certification by the Government of Canada. A certification of origin is valid for one year after the date it is issued, or for such longer period as specified by the laws and regulations of the importing CPTPP party.
Minimum Data Requirements
A certification of origin under the CPTPP must contain the following elements:
1. Importer, Exporter, or Producer Certification of Origin
Indicate whether the certifier is the exporter, producer or importer in accordance with Article 3.20 (Claims for Preferential Treatment).
Provide the certifier’s name, address (including country), telephone number and email address.
Provide the exporter’s name, address (including country), email address and telephone number if different from the certifier. This information is not required if the producer is completing the certification of origin and does not know the identity of the exporter. The address of the exporter shall be the place of export of the good in a CPTPP country.
Provide the producer’s name, address (including country), e-mail address and telephone number, if different from the certifier or export or, if there are multiple producers, state “Various” or provide a list of producers. A person that wishes for this information to remain confidential may state “Available upon request by the importing authorities.” The address of a producer shall be the place of production of the good in a CPTPP country.
Provide, if known, the importer’s name, address, email address and telephone number. The address of the importer shall be in a CPTPP country.
6. Description and HS Tariff Classification of the Good
- Provide a description of the good and the HS tariff classification of the good to the 6-digit level. The description should be sufficient to relate it to the good covered by the certification; and
- If the certification of origin covers a single shipment of a good, indicate, if known, the invoice number related to the exportation.
7. Origin Criterion
Specify the rule of origin under which the good qualifies.
8. Blanket Period
Include the period if the certification covers multiple shipments of identical goods for a specified period of up to 12 months as set out in Article 3.20.4 (Claims for Preferential Treatment).
9. Authorised Signature and Date
The certification must be signed and dated by the certifier and accompanied by the following statement:
I certify that the goods described in this document qualify as originating and the information contained in this document is true and accurate. I assume responsibility for proving such representations and agree to maintain and present upon request, or to make available during a verification visit, documentation necessary to support this certification.
Frequently asked questions
Does a certification of origin need to be certified by the government?
- No. A certification of origin that contains the minimum data requirements set out in Annex 3-B of the Agreement is all that is required.
- Under Annex 3-A of the Agreement, CPTPP parties may choose to transition from certifications of origin issued by a competent authority to ones completed by traders. Canada is not applying this Annex.
- Therefore, Canadian exporters and producers are not required to have their certifications of origin certified by the Government of Canada.
How should I complete the “origin criterion” element in a certification of origin?
- To complete the origin criterion element of a certification of origin, the certifier must clearly state the rule of origin used to certify that the good originates.
- The customs administration of the importing party may accept this information in a variety of ways. For example, the certifier may choose to use an acronym to describe the particular rule of origin or to provide the rule of origin in its entirety.
- Should there be any concern whether the information provided is sufficient, a certifier should reach out to the importer or the customs administration of the importing party.
What language does the certification of origin need to be in?
- All CPTPP parties will accept a certification of origin provided in English.
- If the certification of origin is not in English, the importer may be required to submit a translation of the certification in the official language of the importing party.
Do I need to keep records to demonstrate that the good is originating?
- Yes. An importer, exporter or producer must maintain records in accordance with Article 3.26 (Record Keeping Requirements) of the Agreement.
- In Canada, importers, exporters and producers are required to maintain records for 6 years.
- Importers are required to keep documentation related to the importation, including the certification of origin and documents related to the shipping of the good. If the importer is the certifier, they must maintain all records necessary to demonstrate that the good is originating.
- Exporters and producers that provide a certification of origin are required to maintain all records necessary to demonstrate that the good is originating.
- Records can be retained in hard copy or electronic format, as long as they can be retrieved promptly when required.
Is a certification of origin always required for preferential tariff treatment?
- In general, a certification of origin is required for an importer to claim preferential tariff treatment.
- A certification of origin is not required for goods where the total customs value is less than US$1,000 (or equivalent amount in the importing party’s currency) or any higher amount that is established by the importing party.
- In Canada, a certification of origin is not required for goods whose customs value is less than Can$1,600.
Will my good be subject to a verification of origin?
- In certain cases, an importing party may need to verify whether a good meets the CPTPP rules of origin.
- The procedures for verification of origin are set out in Article 3.27 (Verification of Origin) or, for textiles and apparel, Article 4.6 (Verification) of the Agreement.
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