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North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) - Rules of Origin

On November 30, 2018, Canada, the United States and Mexico signed the new Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement (CUSMA), on the margins of the G20 leaders’ summit in Buenos Aires.

What are the NAFTA rules of origin?

Each NAFTA country retains its external tariffs vis-à-vis non-members' goods and levies a lower tariff on the goods "originating" from the other NAFTA members. Rules of origin provide the basis for customs officials to make determinations about which goods are entitled preferential tariff treatment under the NAFTA. Negotiators of the agreement sought to make the NAFTA's rules of origin very clear so as to provide certainty and predictability to producers, exporters and importers. They also sought to ensure that the NAFTA's benefits are not extended to goods exported from non-NAFTA countries which have undergone only minimal processing in North America. The NAFTA rules of origin are included in Chapter Four of the Agreement. The product-specific rules of origin for NAFTA are contained in Annex 401. For more information on the NAFTA rules and origin and customs procedures, please refer to the Guide to Importing and Exporting in Canada.


The product-specific rules of origin of the NAFTA are periodically amended to reflect changes in industry production practices and sourcing patterns as well as to ensure their consistency following periodic amendments to the World Customs Organizations’ Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System (HS).

For information on the following documents, please visit the Library and Archives Canada search page and type "NAFTA Rules of Origin".

The Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada assumes no responsibility for the accuracy, completeness or timeliness of the information on this site or the consequences of its use. The treaty data on this site has been prepared for convenience of reference only.

Any errors, omissions or anomalies on this site may be brought to the attention of the Tariffs and Goods Market Access Division (TPG) .

Most of the treaties in force for Canada are published in the Canada Treaty Series (CTS), available at many public libraries, or from bookstores dealing in government publications, or directly from the Canadian Government Publications website.

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