Frequently Asked Questions

Basics by Free Trade Agreement: NAFTA

What exactly does "wholly obtained or produced" mean?

Preference Criteria tell Customs and the importer how the goods qualified as originating. It is impossible to choose an origin criterion without first reading and fully understanding the rules of origin frequently referred to as Article 401 of the NAFTA and Annex 401. There are six preference criteria: A through F.

Criterion A corresponds to goods wholly obtained or produced entirely in Canada, Mexico or the United States. "Obtained" does not mean "purchased," but is simply used to acknowledge that production is not the only way goods are created.

When qualifying products and determining the preference criterion, many exporters have difficulty answering the question of whether their product has been wholly or totally produced in a NAFTA territory.

For the purpose of NAFTA, “wholly obtained or produced” means that the goods contain no foreign parts, components or raw materials. Some examples of products wholly obtained or produced entirely in the territory of one or more of the countries are mineral goods; vegetable goods; live animals; and goods obtained through hunting, trapping, or fishing.

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