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What are NAFTA Requirements for Housewares Produced in China but Packaged in Canada?

January 15, 2013
Question 

We are importing chinaware that is made in China and reselling it wholesale to restaurants in Canada currently. We would like to enter the US market and are wondering if there is a way to get the product NAFTA certified. The labeling currently on the boxes says it's made in China. We do some repackaging here in Canada because the case sizes are sometimes big and our clients do not need the large amounts of product in the master case. I was told that if there is labeling that says "packaged in Canada" on the box, it can be NAFTA certified. Is that correct?

Answer 

A Certificate of Origin is used to support a claim that imported goods are eligible to receive reduced or eliminated duty under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). For a product to qualify for preferential tariff treatment, it must meet the requirements set out in NAFTA Rules of Origin. The first category are products that qualify are ones that are produced entirely in a NAFTA country and do not contain any parts or materials from non-NAFTA countries. Products that are manufactured in a NAFTA country that have a foreign component may also qualify if they undergo an applicable change in tariff classification during production, or meet regional value-content requirements. However, regional value content can only be applied when it is allowed under a product-specific rule and the non-originating materials that do not undergo the tariff classification do not exceed 7% of the adjusted value of the good. We recommend that you consult legal counsel to help determine the specific requirements for your product.