Contributing Lawyers


Cyndee Todgham Cherniak

United States

Susan Kohn Ross


Andrew Hudson

Canadian Exporters Should Be Mindful of USCBP NAFTA Compliance Initiatives

A number of customs attorneys in the United States have been warning me that the United States Customs and Border Patrol (USCBP) are stepping up enforcement activities under NAFTA. I have been informed by very reliable sources that USCBP is aggressively targeting entries made under preference programs and free trade agreements (such as NAFTA). In other words, USCBP is going to take steps to verify that preferential tariff treatments (e.g., duty free imports) are correctly claimed.

As a result of the 2010 USCBP initiative, USCBP will be increasing NAFTA verifications of Canadian exporters/producers to ensure that goods for which NAFTA certificates of origin are provided are actually originating goods in the NAFTA area. Where NAFTA certificates of origin are improperly provided, USCBP are going to assess U.S. importers duties, penalties and interest. This may negatively affect customer relationships

Canadian exporters and producers should take proactive steps to ensure that their information is accurate. Canadian producers should make a bill of materials (list of what are the inputs i an exported good and ensure that the NAFTA rules of origin have been satisfied.

If you require additional information, please contact Cyndee Todgham Cherniak at 416-307-4168.

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