Piña Customs Advisory Services (PCAS) will assist in determining if the goods you are importing into the U.S. satisfy the NAFTA rules of origin and are therefore subject to NAFTA preferential tariff treatment. PCAS will explain how to properly complete the NAFTA Certificate of Origin and explain the company’s legal responsibilities stipulated in Chapter 5 of the NAFTA.
In addition, PCAS can conduct a mock NAFTA Origin Verification to ensure that you can defend the NAFTA claim(s) the company made at the time of entry.
NAFTA Origin Verifications
As a general rule, Title 19 CFR Section 181, provides that whenever a claim for preferential. treatment is supported by a valid and complete NAFTA Certificate of Origin, the claim must be allowed unless an origin verification is undertaken. A NAFTA origin verification may be conducted to: (1) determine the origin of a good including its materials and components; (2) the appropriate rate of duty applied to an originating good in accordance with Annex 302.2 of the NAFTA; (3) whether a good is originating in accordance with Article 401 of the NAFTA.
Prior to initiating an origin verification, a copy of the NAFTA Certificate of Origin which is used as the basis for the NAFTA claim shall be obtained from the importer of record. The Certificate may be obtained via a Request for Information (CF 28), telephone, fax or mail. When U.S. Bureau of Customs and Border Protection (CBP) requests additional information other than a NAFTA Certificate of Origin an official origin verification has been initiated. CBP may request additional information by one or more of the following methods: A verification letter, written questionnaire or a verification visit.
Visits to the premises of an exporter or producer- U.S. Customs directive 099-3810-008 outlines the procedures that must be followed when notifying exporters or producers of a proposed verification visit. The purpose of an origin verification visit is to determine whether an imported good, for which NAFTA preference is claimed, qualifies as originating. The visit is made to the premises of the exporter/producer in Mexico. The verification is conducted through a thorough review of records relating to the origin of the good and observation of the facilities used in production.
A verification visit must be conducted in accordance with the procedures set forth in Section 181.74 of the Customs Regulations. These provisions establish procedures for notifying and obtaining consent of the exporter/producer to be visited as well as notifying the Mexican Customs Bureau. CBP is required to send information of an intended visit to the appropriate Mexican Customs Attaché. The Mexican Attaché will obtain the country clearance for the verifying officers. These procedures are to be followed to ensure that United States fulfills its obligations under the NAFTA and that any negative determination can withstand a legal challenge.
Origin verification visits commence upon receipt by CBP of the consent to visit from the exporter/producer and conclude upon the issuance of a written determination. Any information pertaining to the origin of the goods being verified and supplied by either the exporter/ producer, or their agents during this time is considered part of the visit.
Every origin verification visit must result in an origination determination. Customs directive 099- 3810-01 0 outlines the procedures for the issuance of an origin determination. Within 60 calendar days of the completion of a NAFTA Origin Verification Visit and receipt of all required documents, the CBP port director shall issue a written determination of origin to the exporter/producer. If the origin determination is negative, the determination shall be sent to the Customs National Import Specialist. If the exporter/producer fails to consent to the visit or fails to cooperate during the visit, the NAFTA claim may be denied.