Question: How can I apply for a NAFTA/USMCA advance ruling? What are these rulings for, and will NAFTA advance rulings continue to be applicable under USMCA?
Answer: An advance ruling is a written document from the customs authority of a NAFTA/USMCA country, providing binding information in the form of answers to specific questions. The USMCA requires advance ruling decisions, whether in full-length or redacted form, to be available for public review. The Canada Border Services Agency has stated that advance rulings issued under NAFTA will not continue to be applicable under USMCA.
Advance rulings address issues such as country of origin, product or tariff classification, and regional value-content requirements. If you are applying for an advance ruling, it's important to follow the procedures required by the country you're applying for a ruling from, and to ensure that you are submitting the proper request type for the issue you're asking about. Requirements typically include that a request be written and contain all relevant information, and may also call for photographs or illustrations, certain specific details, samples or laboratory analysis documentation, etc.
Resources and references:
- U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Customs Rulings Online Search System (to view past advance ruling decisions)
- U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Advance Ruling Procedures (including a discussion of procedures in the U.S., procedures in Canada, and procedures in Mexico)
- U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Advance Rulings: A Complete Review (including detailed requirements for request submission)
- Detailed advance ruling procedures can be found in the U.S. Code of Federal Regulations, 19 CFR section 181.91-181.102
- Canada Border Services Agency, Advance Rulings for Origin Under Free Trade Agreements
- Canada Border Services Agency, Advance Rulings for Tariff Classification
- Canada Border Services Agency, Past Advance Rulings for Tariff Classification Issued by the CBSA
This article is current as of 2020-07-08.