Summary of how to document origin according to the U.S.-Chile FTA.
Last Published: 10/18/2016
The importer is responsible for claiming preferential treatment for a given shipment at the time that the good is cleared through the customs authority. (For more specific information on this, see Article 4.14 of the U.S.-Chile FTA.) In order to claim eligibility for a preferential duty rate, the importer must provide to National Customs Service of Chile a written declaration in the importation document that the good is originating. The importer must also be prepared to provide Chilean Customs, upon request, with a certificate of origin (or other information demonstrating that the good qualifies as originating).

Certificate of Origin 
In general, a certification of origin can take many forms. For instance, it can be a statement on company letterhead, a statement on a commercial invoice, or a formal certificate of origin. While no official form is required in order to demonstrate origin under the U.S.-Chile FTA, the Chilean Customs issued a list of required data elements. These data elements can be found by clicking Sample Certificate of Origin. Shipments under $2,500 in value do not require a certificate of origin or other supporting information of a preferential claim unless the customs authority suspects a claim is fraudulent (see Article 4.13 of the Agreement).

Supporting Documentation
The information needed to support the declaration of origin will have to be provided by the producer/exporter, despite the importer being responsible for claiming preferential treatment. The supporting information (e.g., certificate of origin) behind the claim may be produced by the exporter, importer, or producer of the good. If this supporting information is not generated by the producer (i.e., the importer or exporter), it must be based upon either 1) a certificate of origin issued by the producer or 2) the exporter or importer's knowledge that the good qualifies as originating. The importer is heavily dependent upon the assistance and cooperation of U.S. suppliers in producing accurate and well-documented declarations of origin.

An importer claiming preferential treatment for a good is required to have the certificate of origin and/or other supporting documentation used for a period of five years from the date of importation.

Exporter's Obligations
A producer or exporter that generates a certificate of origin should maintain a copy of the certificate for five years, along with all records and supporting documents related to the origin of the good, including:
  • purchase, cost, value of, and payment for, the good;
  • where appropriate, the purchase, cost, value of, and payment for, all materials, including recovered goods, used in the production of the good; and
  • where appropriate, the production of the good in the form in which it was exported.
Filing a Correction (Exporter's Obligations)
In the case where a certificate was issued by an exporter or producer and contained incorrect information, it is the responsibility of the exporter or producer of the certificate of origin to immediately notify, in writing, every person to whom it was originally issued of any change that would affect the accuracy or validity of the certificate. While unpaid duties will have to be paid to the customs authority if a good no longer qualifies as originating, penalties may not be imposed by the customs authority on the issuer of the certificate of origin if such action is taken.

Special Cases
In some cases, the inputs used to produce the good are subject to a considerable amount of research in order to determine origin. To obtain the reduced duty rate immediately, the declaration of origin must be provided is at the time the shipment clears customs. The importer may, however pay the non-preferential duties at the time the goods clear customs. The importer then has up to one year from the date of importation to apply for a refund of excess duties paid as a result of the good not being accorded preferential tariff treatment. This may happen in cases where the information required to determine that the good is originating is not available at the time of shipment. At the time of the refund application, the importer is required to supply a written declaration of the goods' originating status, and, if requested by the customs authority, a certificate of origin or other information demonstrating that the good qualifies as originating.

In some situations, an exporter may find that multiple shipments of identical goods are being sent to the same Chilean importer. In these cases, it is not necessary to generate new supporting documentation (e.g., certificate of origin) for each individual shipment. The importer may maintain one "blanket" certificate of origin (or other information demonstrating that a good originates) to be presented to the customs authority at the acceptance of each shipment. It is recommended to identify the "blanket period" on the certificate of origin. Chilean Customs suggests that the "blanket period" not exceed a period of one year.

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