Here’s an end of the year reminder for anyone importing into the U.S. under a free trade agreement:

An imported product doesn’t qualify for a free trade agreement simply because the supplier issues a certificate of origin.

It is up to the U.S. importer to determine if the product originates or meets a specific rule of origin/preference criteria per the terms of the agreement.

The importer must also confirm that the certificate’s “Preference Criterion” field correctly indicates how the product originates. U.S. Customs recommends citing the specific General Note in the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) that applies to the product.

For example, with respect to an importation of lead sheet, classified as HTSUS 7804.11.00, under the Peru TPA, the Preference Criterion field of the certification of origin should indicate how the good originates, as follows:

If the good is wholly obtained:
HTSUS General Note 32(b)(i), or alternatively, Peru TPA Article 4.1(1)(a)

If the good is produced entirely in Peru and all non-originating materials undergo the required tariff shift (and/or regional value content) specified in the corresponding specific rule of origin:
HTSUS General Note 32(n)78.2, or alternatively, Peru TPA Annex 4.1, Chapter 78, Item 2

If the good is produced entirely in a Peru exclusively from originating materials:
HTSUS General Note 32(b)(iii) or Peru TPA Article 4.1(1)(c)

This methodology should be used for all tariff-shift free trade agreements (which are listed below) unless the agreement, regulations, or other officially published material provides for an alternate method. For example, NAFTA provides for criterion A, B and C.

Free Trade Agreements that use tariff-shift methodology:

  • Chile FTA
  • Singapore FTA
  • Australia FTA
  • Peru TPA
  • Colombia TPA
  • Panama TPA

Certificates of Origin

Instructions for and examples of certificates of origin.

Australia FTA

Bahrain FTA

Central America-Dominican Republic FTA (CAFTA-DR)

Chile FTA

Colombia TPA

Israel FTA

Jordan FTA

Korea FTA

Morocco FTA


Oman FTA

Panama TPA

Peru TPA

Singapore FTA


Share this article