4.2 Country of Origin DocumentationExport Documentation
Commercial InvoiceThe country of origin is listed on two documents used during shipping: the commercial invoice and the certificate of origin. Every shipment must include a commercial invoice that lists the country of origin for each product it contains; the information on that invoice will be used to determine the tariff rates for exports. You can view samples of commercial invoices on export.gov in the “International Logistics” section.
Certificate of OriginA certificate of origin is an official document signed by the exporter certifying the country of origin for each product contained in the shipment. With lower-value shipments (e.g., those under USD 1,000) customs officials will accept the country- of-origin information on the commercial invoice. Shippers may want to include a certificate of origin with larger-value shipments to ensure that nothing is held up in customs as a result of insufficient documentation. You can find sample certificates of origin, including the NAFTA Certificate of Origin, on export.gov in the “International Logistics” section. Certificates of origin certified by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce or local chambers are now issued by ecertify.com for a nominal fee.
NAFTA Certificate of OriginNAFTA requires a specific certificate of origin; you should familiarize yourself with it, because you’re likely to send goods to either Mexico or Canada. You can find details on how and when to use this document on export.gov. Sometimes a certificate of origin is not required. If the goods are valued at USD 1,000 or less, the exporter may simply add an explanatory statement to the commercial invoice. You can find information about such statements on export.gov.
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