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Explore key changes from NAFTA to CUSMA for importers and exporters

Most Canadians companies will not notice a large difference in the transition from NAFTA to CUSMA.  CUSMA maintains NAFTA’s tariff-free market access for goods traded between Canada, the U.S. and Mexico.

For more information on key changes for importers, see the overview of key changes affecting imports  on the Canada Border Services Agency website.

Overview of new and modernized chapters

The new Agreement has 34 chapters (12 more than the original) that help North America move forward, and remain resilient and competitive. These chapters include:

The new agreement does not include government procurement obligations between Canada, the U.S. and Mexico.  

Changes regarding the certification of origin

If you export to the U.S. or Mexico, your importer needs to present a certificate of origin in order for your products to benefit from CUSMA’s preferential treatment (lower or no tariffs). 

With CUSMA, the process for the certification of origin is simplified. Unlike NAFTA, under CUSMA there is no prescribed format, and the Agreement only requires a set of minimum data elements be provided that indicates that the good is an originating good. These elements include:

IMPORTANT: Canadian importers of goods will also be impacted as of July 1st. Importers can consult CBSA’s dedicated page on what importers need to know.

New certification process

The former NAFTA form has been replaced with a new origin certification process, which is no longer a prescribed form but a set of data elements that can be captured on an invoice or any other document. 

The certification of origin may be completed by either the exporter, producer, or importer of the goods and may be placed on an invoice or any other document. Furthermore, the certification of origin may be completed, signed and submitted electronically.

Consult the new requirements, including an example of a valid certificate of origin, and see customs notice CN 20-14 on the Canada Border Services Agency website for more information.

In line with all of Canada’s FTAs, the ultimate responsibility to provide records to prove that the good meets the rule of origin falls to whomever completes the certification of origin. 

If you have questions regarding rules of origin, please contact the North America Trade Policy team.

Key sector-focused changes

Exporters in the following sectors may also see some changes in rules of origin: 

Other changes and outcomes

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