Expired NAFTA Certificate of Origin?

by Catherine J. Petersen         December 2016

Expired NAFTA Certificate of Origin?

I was recently asked whether the NAFTA Certificate of Origin, Form 434 (CoO) that has an expiration date of October 31, 2016 was updated by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP).

My initial response was: no change. However, I did a search to ensure I hadn’t missed an update notice from CBP regarding the CoO, which is posted at  https://www.cbp.gov/document/forms/form-434-north-american-free-trade-agreement-nafta-certificate-origin.

There were two websites that I reviewed for an update:

$1·         www.cbp.gov: CBP’s Home Page, and

$1·          http://apps.cbp.gov/csms/csms.asp?display_page=1: CBP’s Cargo System Messaging Service (CSMS).

There were two CSMS notices posted at CBP’s website related to NAFTA CoOs, but they did not answer the specific question whether a revised NAFTA CoO will be issued in 2016. However, these two publications provide guidance to exporters and importers regarding valid NAFTA CoOs.

$1·         CSMS #14-000598: Valid vs. Invalid vs. Defective NAFTA Certificate of Origin, 11/17/2014  http://apps.cbp.gov/csms/viewmssg.asp?Recid=20379&page=&sortby=

$1·         CSMS #15-000108 NAFTA Certificate of Origin Enhancements and Use of Expired Certifications, 2/18/2015  http://apps.cbp.gov/csms/viewmssg.asp?Recid=20537&page=&sortby=

I also searched  https://help.cbp.gov/ for an answer; there wasn’t one posted.

However, I completed an “ask CBP form” at their website. It indicated that I could expect an answer in 3-4 weeks; instead, I received an answer in 24-hours. I could also have called their help line, which is toll-free number 877-227-5511 that is available for assistance Monday through Friday from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Eastern Time. CBP advised:

“Thank you for contacting the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) INFO Center. The expiration date on the form is just the date that triggers a review on the form.  If the form is on cbp.gov it is acceptable.  In addition, registrations are valid as long as a person who owns the item, regardless of the expiration/replacement of the form.”

John Goodrich has authored a great book on NAFTA – Do you HAFTA? that is rich in detail; it is available for purchase from www.globaltrainingcenter.com