Does the NAFTA certificate of origin have to be in English?

NAFTA Cert

I am frequently asked if the NAFTA Certificate of Origin has to be in English.

The short answer is no –

The rule (in bold) states:

Section A – Certification of Origin

Article 501: Certificate of Origin

  1. The Parties shall establish by January 1, 1994 a Certificate of Origin (CO) for the purpose of certifying that a good being exported from the territory of a Party into the territory of another Party qualifies as an originating good, and may thereafter revise the Certificate by agreement.
  2. Each Party may require that a Certificate of Origin for a good imported into its territory be completed in a language required under its law.

For importations into the US, the NAFTA CO can be in English, Spanish or French, however, Customs does have the right to request any non-English certificate to be translated into English.

Let me know if you have any other NAFTA questions. If enough people ask I’ll post the reply on this blog.

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