If your company is a supplier, whether in USA, Mexico or Canada, don’t be surprised if you start receiving requests for NAFTA certificates.  On the other hand, if you are an importer, now is the time to start requesting your NAFTA Certificates from your suppliers.

Common Errors to Consider when Completing a NAFTA Certificate of Origin

1. An email address is not listed.
An email address is required along with physical address.

2. Box 3 and 8 don’t match or correlate.
Only mark if you are producer if you made the goods. And make sure you mark it in both boxes.

3. Additional Countries of Origin other than US, MX, CA.
China is not part of NAFTA!

4. Only 6 digits for the HTS.
An HTS number requires 10 digits, but the NAFTA Certificate of Origin only require 6 digits.

5. Preference Criterion is incorrect.
Don’t automatically assume your product is considered “A.” This will likely cause issues.



Need help completing a NAFTA Certificate or Origin? 

View Training 

Watch this instructional video for completing the certificate of origin.


Clarifying the meaning of Valid, Invalid and Defective NAFTA Certificates of Origin

A NAFTA Certificate of Origin is valid if it:

  1. 1. Lists the good in question
  2. 2. Covers the period in question
  3. 3. Includes the exporter’s or his agent’s signature in block 11a “Authorized Signature”
  4. 4. Was in the importer’s possession at the time of the claim, as demonstrated by 1) a block 11e “Authorized Signature” date prior to the date of the preference claim, and 2) submission upon request of a CBP official

A NAFTA Certificate of Origin is invalid if it does not meet the aforementioned requirements.


A NAFTA Certificate of Origin is defective—and thus may be remedied in accordance with 19 CFR 181.22(c)—if, while meeting the conditions of a “Valid NAFTA Certificate of Origin,” above, contains other errors or omissions. These include, but are not limited to the following: illegibility, misclassification, incorrect or missing preference criteria, signature by an individual who cannot legally bind the company, typed or stamped signature, 3rd-country goods (in addition to NAFTA goods), Net Cost field error, single entry Certificate without an invoice or other unique reference numbers, or other similar errors or omissions.

In addition to defining the aforementioned terms, this posting serves as a reminder that NAFTA preference will be denied if the importer does not possess a valid NAFTA Certificate of Origin at the time of the preference claim.  The CBP reminds importers that preference will be denied when possession of a valid NAFTA Certificate of Origin at the time of the claim cannot be substantiated.

Information derived from US Customs and Border Protection.


If you would like help with filling out your NAFTA Certificate, our team is happy to help! Download a NAFTA Certificate of Origin.

Email Scarbrough NAFTA Team