CUSMA Or USMCA | Everything You Need To Know About The New NAFTA - Part 2

CUSMA Or USMCA | Everything You Need To Know About The New NAFTA - Part 2

If you are just joining us, this is part 2 of a 4-part Q&A series on the long awaited NAFTA 2.0 agreement between Canada - US - Mexico due to be implemented on July 1, 2020. 

In part 1 we explained how depending on which country you are in or speaking to, the new agreement may be referred to by a different name. In Canada the agreement is referred to as “CUSMA”; in the US it is known as “USMCA” and in Mexico, they call it “T-MEC”.Regardless of where you are in the world, the agreement is one in the same.

Before we dive in, below is a quick recap of the series so far.

Part 1 Also Covered:

  • What Does This Mean For Importers?
  • If A Product Qualified Under NAFTA, It Qualifies Under CUSMA/USMCA/T-MEC Right?
  • What Are Rules Of Origin?

Who Can Complete The Certification Of Origin? 

The Importer, Exporter or Producer of the good(s).

But certifiers beware! As with all free trade agreements when you are the party completing the certification of origin, you are confirming that you have:

  1. Researched the item(s) 
  2. Confirmed it/they meet(s) the rules of origin under CUSMA/USMCA/T-MEC, and
  3. Can produce the proof that the good(s) meet the rules of origin of CUSMA/USMCA/T-MEC upon customs request.

How Do I Get My CUSMA/USMCA/T-MEC Certifications?


For Importers, we recommend that you reach out to your suppliers/vendors located in the US and Mexico who manufacture or sell American and Mexican origin goods. This is to ensure they are:

  1. Aware of the new trade agreements’ implementation date. 
  2. Re-evaluating their products to ensure they meet the new rules of origin. 
  3. Prepared to provide the new certification. 

While you, as the Importer, can certify the imported good(s) yourself; a reminder that if you do choose to do this, you are the party that must provide proof the good(s) originates under CBSA audit.

Exporters / Manufacturers

For exporters and manufactures of Canadian goods we recommend reviewing the relevant rules of origin for your products, ensuring your goods will qualify and being able to provide the correct certification to continue the use of preferential tariff treatment.

Do All Imports Require A Certification Of Origin?

No, you will not need to provide a certification of origin for shipments valued less than $3300.00 CAD.

The goods will still need to be grown, produced, or manufactured in Canada, Mexico or the US and shipped directly from any those countries (or remained in customs control while in transit through a third country). Importers will also still be required to provide proof the goods originate if audited.

quote request

What If I Can’t Get A Certification Right Away?

You will have 4 years from the date the goods were accounted for in order to file a refund request with the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA). In order to file the refund you will need a completed certification and be ready to provide proof the goods meet the rules of origin if CBSA decides to audit the certification.

Note: When filing a refund claim, be aware of the date the goods were accounted for. If it was prior to CUSMA/USMCA/T-MEC’s implementation date of July 1st, 2020 then a NAFTA Certificate will be required to file the refund.

Continue reading on:

Part 1
Part 3
Part 4
How To Fill Out A Certification Of Origin Under The CUSMA/USMCA/T-MEC
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About Author
Gloria Terhaar
CCS (CA/US), CTCS, CBSA Prof. Designate

Gloria Terhaar began her career in Canadian customs brokerage 2007. She currently works in our Canadian division as a Trade Compliance Supervisor and Regulatory Compliance Specialist. Gloria has extensive experience in all aspects of documentation and regulatory requirements as they relate to importing products into Canada. Gloria is often called upon to train industry with some recent talks for MNP, the Surrey Board of Trade, TFO Canada and the BC Produce Marketing Association. In 2018, Gloria also participated in the Canadian Produce Marketing Association and the Canadian Horticultural Council advocacy event "Fall Harvest" in Ottawa where she participated in advocacy efforts for the Canadian produce industry.

While we strive for accuracy in all our communications, as the Importer of Record it is incumbent upon your company to ensure that you are aware of the requirements under the new regulations so that you maintain compliance as always.
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