U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and the U.S. Treasury Department today jointly issued a notice of proposed rulemaking that is intended to liberalize provisions of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) preference rules of origin that relate to certain goods, including food and certain spices. The change would allow NAFTA treatment of certain imports into the United States when there is “minor processing” conducted in Canada or Mexico.
As explained in the preamble to the proposed regulations [PDF 224 KB], the United States, Canada, and Mexico agreed to liberalize the NAFTA preference rules of origin relating to certain goods, including certain spices, but in the United States, this first requires amendments to the CBP rules to allow the NAFTA preference override to apply to certain spice products and other food products. Today’s release proposes this amendment.
This proposed change, if finalized, will give effect to the intentions of the NAFTA signatory countries by extending NAFTA preferential tariff treatment to certain goods imported from Canada and Mexico that, under the liberalized rules of origin, are considered NAFTA originating as a result of minor processing operations (e.g., packaging) performed in a NAFTA party.
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