On April 3, 2020, the Canada Border Services Agency ("CBSA") published Customs Notice 20-14 "Implementation of the Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement (CUSMA)" in which the CBSA makes it clear that NAFTA origin advance rulings will no longer be valid when CUSMA enters into effect. As a result, importers should take steps to obtain updated CUSMA origin advance rulings sooner rather than later.
Importers who have an existing NAFTA advance ruling might not be able to rely on the NAFTA advance ruling after the implementation of CUSMA. The CBSA is requiring NAFTA advance rulings to be updated. The CBSA wants to review the facts in the context of CUSMA and issue replacement CUSMA advance rulings. In Customs Notice 20-14, the CBSA writes:
"Advance rulings for origin issued under NAFTA, will only remain valid for goods imported under NAFTA's preferential tariff treatment. Therefore, an applicant wishing to have an advance ruling for origin under CUSMA, will need to submit a new application to the Canada Border Services Agency. For more information, please consult Memorandum D11-4-16, Advance Rulings for Origin under Free Trade Agreements."
What this means is that if the CBSA disagrees with a past NAFTA advance ruling during a CUSMA origin verification, the CBSA may issue a retroactive assessment and take the position that the NAFTA advance ruling is no longer valid. This could be very costly to an importer. The CBSA might refer to Customs Notice 20-14 and take the position that Canadian importers were notified that they should have applied for a new CUSMA advance ruling.
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