CETA Origin Declarations and Electronic Signatures

CETA Origin Declarations and Electronic Signatures
Post date: 2017-11-14


Are CETA origin declarations with an electronic signature accepted by CBSA?


CBSA has advised that the provisions in Article 19, paragraph 7 of the CETA are consistent with their current administration for the electronic transmission of origin declarations.

This article reads as follows:

7. The Parties may allow the establishment of a system that permits an origin declaration to be submitted electronically and directly from the exporter in the territory of a Party to an importer in the territory of the other Party, including the replacement of the exporter's signature on the origin declaration with an electronic signature or identification code.

CBSA has also included the relevant parts of Memorandum D11-4-14 Certification of Origin Under Free Trade Agreements dealing with certificates of origin in electronic format.

Certificates of Origin in Electronic Format

5. The CBSA acknowledges certificates of origin in electronic format as an acceptable means of certifying the origin of goods. This allows importers to receive and maintain certificates of origin electronically and to transmit those certificates of origin by e-mail to the CBSA, upon request.

6. Acceptable formats for electronic certificates of origin include:
(a) scanned certificates of origin – The exporter may scan a completed and signed certificate of origin for electronic transmission to the importer;

(b) certificates of origin with Power of Attorney – The exporter provides the importer with vested power of attorney, thereby authorizing the importer to complete the certificate of origin for the goods. Under this option, the importer must be able to prove to the satisfaction of the CBSA that he/she has the legal authority to complete and sign the certificate of origin; and

(c) e-certificates of origin – The CBSA acknowledges an electronic representation of a cursive signature, or an alternative to the cursive signature, as an acceptable means to certifying the origin of goods. For example, an alternative could be a series of numbers that represents the exporter's signature. As no one is required to physically sign the document under this option, the certificate of origin can be both created and transmitted electronically, thereby enabling an entirely paperless process. It should be noted that e-certificates of origin must contain all of the prescribed data elements and statements, however they do not necessarily need to mirror the prescribed certificate of origin in terms of their layout and manner in which the data elements and statements are presented. Lastly, the importer is fully responsible for ensuring the secure transmission of e-certificates of origin to the CBSA.

7. The decision rests with the importer claiming preferential tariff treatment on the basis of that certificate or statement of origin, to determine whether or not he/she is willing to accept an official document provided by the exporter in an electronic format and/or featuring an electronic representation of a cursive signature, rather than an original document and/or signature.

8. As well, the onus rests with the exporter to ensure that the electronic signature that is used in certifying origin is adequately controlled, with limited delegation to subordinates, and is used only in respect of goods where the authorized user has sufficient knowledge of their origin.

Customs Fees to Adjust on January 1, 2018

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) announced in a recent Federal Register notice that the Merchandise Processing Fee (MPF) will be adjusted and increased to account for inflation effective January 1, 2018.

The new minimum MPF will be $25.67 and the new maximum MPF will be $497.99. The rate for calculating MPF (0.3464) remains unchanged. The MPF for informal entries will increase to $2.05.

To review the notice and other scheduled fee increases, please see the Federal Register notice:


IMPORTANT Reminder on Wood Packaging Material: Canada’s Draconian Rules for Non-Compliant Wood

Unwanted pests can kill our forests, and important regulations are in place to prevent insects sneaking into this country. However, the practical implications of some of the regulations are extreme.

Remember, wood packaging materials, including skids, container blocking, bracing and dunnage, on import to Canada must be ISPM 15 compliant and all wood so marked. And there are expensive, time-consuming consequences when inbound containers are examined and found to contain non-compliant wood packaging and/or evidence of live insects.

Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) officers at ports of entry enforce the Canadian Food Inspection Agency’s (CFIA) non-compliant wood packaging regulations.

Evidence of insects is enough for the officer to require the container be fumigated and exported back to the country of origin. And here is the important issue. The CBSA/CFIA requires the container to be fumigated with methyl bromide before it is exported. And right now, there does not seem to be any methyl bromide in Canada.

One CIFFA member has had a groupage container stuck at the Port of Halifax since October 6th. First, it took 10 days for the CBSA to conduct the examination. Then, the fumigation and export order was issued. And, since then, hours have been spent trying to find methyl bromide with which to do the fumigation. As of writing, the forwarder has been advised that the necessary methyl bromide may be imported only around mid-December. By that time, the container should have been reported to Queen’s Warehouse (after 40 days in the country) and the demurrage charges will probably be worth more than the container contents.

Oh, and never mind that the container was fumigated before leaving India, and there is a fumigation certificate from India. Fumigation is not acceptable for importation to Canada. So, tell your agents to stop having Canadian-destined containers fumigated – it is a waste of time and money. Do instruct your agents to load only ISPM 15 compliant and marked wood packaging.

U.S. Customs Plans to Update CTPAT Best Practices, Minimum-Security Requirements and Compliance Certification

The Customs Trade Partnership Against Terrorism, better known as CTPAT, has a new logo, new spelling (no hyphen in its name or acronym anymore), and a new tag line: "Your Supply Chain's Strongest Link." But that's not all that's new with the cargo-security program, according to Liz Schmelzinger, director of CTPAT programs in U.S. Customs and Border Protection's (CBP's) Office of Field Operations.

Outlining recent developments and future plans, Schmelzinger said she has asked her team to revamp CTPAT's best-practices recommendations, shifting from a catalogue of specific actions to a framework that could be adapted to companies of all sizes. About 30 percent of CTPAT members are small and medium-size companies with 70 employees or less, she said, noting that what would be achievable and affordable for a large company may not be for a smaller firm. "The notion of scalability will be critical to the best-practices framework," she said.

And, please advise your customers, Canadian importers, to instruct their suppliers to use only ISPM marked and compliant wood packaging.

We highly encourage members to share this information with their agents and customers and to clearly inform all parties of the risks and potential costs involved in non-compliant wood packaging materials. ISPM 15 compliant and marked wood is mandatory and shippers MUST include this information in their purchase orders and/or shipping requirements to all their overseas suppliers.


•                ISPM 15 standard

•                CFIA D-98-08: Entry Requirements for Wood Packaging Material into Canada

CSCB Daily Articles: CETA Q&A

Q12. Can a single statement of origin be used to cover multiple shipments of the same originating goods?

A12. CBSA confirmed paragraph 5 of Article 19 of the CETA Protocol on rules of origin and origin procedures enables the Party of import to allow the origin declaration to apply to multiple shipments of identical originating products that take place within a period not exceeding 12 months. The EU member states are not yet able to provide for this option on imports into the EU. Nevertheless, the EU has confirmed that they will not reject an origin declaration where a period has been provided, but will require the importer be in possession of the origin declaration upon claiming the CETA preferential tariff treatment.

Conversely, the CBSA will allow importers in Canada the ability to apply a single origin declaration to multiple shipments.

Ultimately, for this provision to be effective, it is likely that the exporter would provide the origin declaration on a commercial document, as allowed by Article 18, paragraph 2, rather than individual invoices.

CSCB Daily Articles: Decision Time!

Confusion seems to be hitting an apex. Political uncertainty is rife. Following a long run of disturbing natural events, this year’s storm season in the mid-Atlantic hit Biblical proportions. Then there are the structural weaknesses, a more-or-less permanent monument to the Great Recession – and the related sluggish growth, with which restless populations the world over are all too familiar. To make matters worse, there is a rising chorus of economists who believe we are on the verge of recession. If we’re really this shaky, how could it possibly be decision time?

Economists believe it’s decision time for policymakers. At their conferences, the hot topics are a lineup of today’s structural woes, and how to deal with them: fixes for the banking sector; fixes for fiscal policy; how to unwind (fix) extraordinary monetary stimulus; how to assess and address the economic effects of climate change; and how to make growth more inclusive. These are all key, relevant issues, and the proposals to address them, clever and noble. But they seem to universally appeal to a basic thread: that our long run of sluggish growth is our new, and absent a brilliant, original policy change, unending reality.

Regular folk have grown weary of waiting for the magic wand – just when it seems to be staring us in the face. No, it’s not an out-of-box policy solution. It’s an economic reality that has either been forgotten, or dismissed as dead: the business cycle. Slow post-recession growth might look permanent, but it was preceded by all the regular elements of the economy’s natural cycle: recovery, growth phase, peak and recession. What frustrates analysts is the absence of true recovery this time. But it’s not really absent, just delayed. Why? Well, it seems that globalization has stretched out the business cycle. Last time around, it produced a longer long, a higher high, and clearly a lower low. And a protracted recovery period.

If this is true, then the next phase isn’t recession; quite the opposite, it’s true recovery. And if that phase is here, there should be supporting evidence. Consider this first fact: after years of consistently revising forecasts downward, key international institutions have recently revised projections upward. A second development is the inclusion of workers – notably millennials – who until recently, were the casualty of meager global growth. A third occurrence is a notable improvement in key leading indicators. A critical fourth element is evidence of pent-up demand – both at the consumer level, which has been held back by a post-crisis neo-prudence, and at the business level, where investment has been on hold for a decade.

These developments and others have led us to remain upbeat in EDC’s latest Global Economic Outlook. Leading the charge is the vibrant US economy, forecast to rise 2.7 per cent in 2018 following this year’s 2.2 per cent performance. The European Union is projected to maintain growth above its long-term potential, rising 2.2 per cent this year and 1.9 per cent in 2018, with a ‘risk’ that growth will actually be higher. Increasingly, this developed-market growth is expected to spill into the emerging world, and there are already nascent signs of uptake. Our forecast calls for emerging markets to post 4.7 per cent growth for 2017, with next year reaching 4.9 per cent. Notably, India is taking the lead.

Increased momentum has generally favoured the outlook at the industry level. In the commodity space, which has been wracked by the mid-2014 price plunge, tightening growth has not only put a solid floor under prices, but has given them some recent – and needed – lift. An investment revival will not only benefit the construction industry, but also producers of machinery and equipment. The auto sector, already booming, is expected to continue at a high level.

Improved world growth has led to another key change: higher interest rates. Many think of this as an economy-killing, recession-inducing move. Not at this phase of the cycle; rate hikes are actually meant to keep the expansion orderly, and if you like are one of today’s clearest signals of true recovery.

The bottom line? If true recovery really is here, then now is decision time. After a long lull, time to make that key new investment. Time to make that foray into a new foreign market. Time to lock in financing before it gets more expensive. And time to move before everyone else catches on.

This was written by Peter G. Hall, EDC Vice President and Chief Economist.

U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) - Extension of Compliance Dates | Food and Drug Administration (FDA) des États-Unis - Reportation des dates limites de conformité

In the last few weeks, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) released two proposed rules that would extend the compliance dates of multiple regulations.

Nutrition Facts Label Final Rules

On September 29, 2017, the FDA proposed to extend the compliance dates for the Nutrition Facts and Supplement Facts label final rule and the Serving Size final rule from July 26, 2018, to January 1, 2020, for manufacturers with $10 million or more in annual food sales. Manufacturers with less than $10 million in annual food sales would receive an extra year to comply until January 1, 2021.

The proposed rule only addresses the compliance dates and the FDA is not proposing any other changes to the Nutrition Facts label and Serving Size final rules.

Pending completion of this rule-making, the FDA intends to exercise enforcement discretion with respect to the current July 26, 2018, and July 26, 2019, compliance dates.

Comments on the extension of the compliance dates must be submitted on or before November 1, 2017.

More information on the changes to the nutrition facts label can be found on the following link.

Food Safety Modernisation Act (FSMA) Agricultural Water Compliance dates

On September 12, 2017, the FDA proposed to extend the compliance dates for the agricultural water requirements by an additional two to four years (for produce other than sprouts). The new agricultural water compliance date the FDA is proposing for the largest farms is January 26, 2022. Small farms and very small farms would have until January 26, 2023, and January 26, 2024, respectively.

The FDA does not intend to take action to enforce the agricultural water requirements for produce other than sprouts while the rule-making to extend the compliance dates is underway. Sprouts, because of their unique vulnerability to contamination, remain subject to applicable agricultural water requirements in the final rule and their original compliance dates.

Comments on the extension of the compliance dates must be submitted on or before November 13, 2017.

The Market Access Secretariat would appreciate if you could share comments you submitted or intend to submit on the proposed rules. Thank you, MAS -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Chers intervenants de l’industrie,
Au cours des dernières semaines, la Food and Drug Administration (FDA) des États-Unis a publié deux règles proposées pour reporter les dates limites de conformité à divers règlements.

Règles finales sur le tableau de la valeur nutritive

Le 29 septembre 2017, la FDA a proposé de reporter la date limite de conformité à la règle finale sur le tableau de la valeur nutritive et à la règle finale sur les portions du 26 juillet 2018 au 1er janvier 2020 pour les fabricants de produits alimentaires qui ont un chiffre de vente annuel de 10 millions de dollars ou plus. Les fabricants qui ont un chiffre de vente annuel inférieur à 10 millions de dollars auront une année de plus, c'est-à-dire jusqu'au 1er janvier 2021, pour se conformer.

La règle proposée a trait seulement aux dates limites de conformité. La FDA ne propose aucune autre modification aux règles finales sur le tableau de la valeur nutritive et les portions.

En attendant la fin du processus d'établissement de règles, la FDA entend exercer son pouvoir discrétionnaire pour faire respecter les dates limites de conformité en vigueur, à savoir le 26 juillet 2018 et le 26 juillet 2019.

Les commentaires sur le report des dates limites de conformité doivent être soumis au plus tard le 1er novembre 2017.

Vous trouverez ici d'autres précisions sur les modifications apportées au tableau de la valeur nutritive.

Dates de conformité pour l'eau à usage agricole selon la Food Safety Modernisation Act (FSMA)

Le 12 septembre 2017, la FDA a proposé d'ajouter deux à quatre ans à la période pour se conformer aux exigences visant l'eau à usage agricole (pour les produits frais autres que les germes). La nouvelle date limite de conformité que la FDA propose pour les grandes exploitations agricoles est le 26 janvier 2022. Les petites et les très petites exploitations auront jusqu'au 26 janvier 2023 et au 26 janvier 2024, respectivement, pour se conformer.

La FDA n'a pas l'intention de prendre des mesures afin de faire appliquer les exigences visant l'eau à usage agricole pour les produits frais autres que les germes pendant le processus d'établissement de règles sur le report des dates limites de conformité. En raison de leur vulnérabilité particulière à la contamination, les germes demeurent assujettis aux exigences de la règle finale visant l'eau à usage agricole et aux dates de conformité originales.

Les commentaires sur le report des dates limites de conformité doivent être soumis au plus tard le 13 novembre 2017.

Le Secrétariat de l'accès aux marchés vous saurait gré de lui faire part des commentaires que vous avez soumis ou projetez de soumettre au sujet des règles proposées.

Nous vous remercions de votre collaboration.


Market Access Secretariat | Secrétariat à l'accès aux marchés
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada | Agriculture et Agroalimentaire Canada
1341 Baseline Road, T5-3-346 | 1341, chemin Baseline, T5-3-346
Ottawa, Ontario | Ottawa (Ontario) K1A 0C5
E-mail Address | Adresse courriel: mas-sam@agr.gc.ca
Facsimile | Télécopieur 613-773-0199
Government of Canada | Gouvernement du Canada

Analysis: Fourth Industrial Revolution will disrupt shipping

Wolfgang Lehmacher, head of supply chain and transport industry, World Economic Forum | Oct 16, 2017 6:41AM EDT

The digital transformation that has overtaken much of the global economy is set to transform container shipping.

Wolfgang Lehmacher, head of supply chain and transport industry, World Economic Forum, outlined six trends of the Fourth Industrial Revolution that are disrupting the Shipping Industry at the JOC’s TPM Asia conference in Shenzhen.

SHENZHEN — Disruption is unavoidable for container shipping as multiple technologies converge with unprecedented speed, requiring a complete revision of strategies to deal with the opportunities and threats facing the transport industry.

In a keynote address to TPM Asia in Shenzhen, Wolfgang Lehmacher, head of supply chain and transport industry at the World Economic Forum, described six trends caused by what is known as the Forth Industrial Revolution (4IR) that is disrupting world shipping.

“The world will significantly change,” he said. “The shipping industry has been impacted by the previous industrial revolutions: It moved from sail-powered shipping to steam-powered shipping in the First Industrial Revolution, to oil-powered shipping in the Second, to satellite guided navigation and digital transport in the Third. The [4IR] is expected to bring to the sector networks of autonomous vehicles.”

Lehmacher quoted World Economic Forum founder and executive chairman Klaus Schwab, who said, “The changes unleashed by the [4IR] are so profound that, from the perspective of human history, there has never been a time of greater promise or potential peril.”

Although disruption would be unavoidable, Lehmacher said in the past, it came largely from within the industry where new players with new technologies took market share from less advanced players.

“In the 4IR, not only the changes within shipping, but also the changes in other industries will have significant impact. Let’s take the automotive industry. The move towards electric vehicles will disrupt the world in a big way. Electric vehicles have less moving parts and run more mileage than combustion engine powered vehicles. This means less maintenance, less spare parts, less cars sold, less parts and cars to be transported; of course also less oil needed, sold, and transported,” he said.

Lehmacher outlined six 4IR trends that would bring opportunities and threats to the shipping industry: digital society and platforms; visibility and transparency; advanced manufacturing; e-commerce and omni-channel; automation and electrification; and new modes, new systems.

“Society has become digital. Now, we are moving towards the experience economy. Businesses must orchestrate top class events for customers where the resulting experience, the memorized event, becomes the offer,” he said.

The shipping industry was a core component of the value chain and needed to support such orchestration, which had data management at its core. Lehmacher said it was the data that enabled the design and delivery of the offer, from the status and condition of the order to the ability to change the delivery address. Transparency and the ability to respond was part of the experience.

“While visibility is required internally, transparency is what companies make visible externally, mainly to governments, customers, and media. Visibility helps to steer, respond, anticipate, learn, plan, and share with partners to contribute to the fluidity and protection of the entire supply chain ecosystem,” he said.

A good example, Lehmacher said, was the Flex Pulse Center in San Diego from which the technology company manages its global production network with a base of about 14,000 suppliers. Thanks to advanced manufacturing technology, companies such as Flex can swiftly switch production from a shoe to a phone, from China to Mexico. This requires flexibility from all partners.

But swift responses required swift technologies, and Lehmacher said there was no other sector that adapted technology as fast as manufacturing.

“One technology that is starting to change production is 3-D printing. 3-D printing enables not only totally new designs but also manufacture-to-order in a new way. With 3-D printing, manufacturing becomes more distributed. Last year, Adidas launched its first speedfactory in Germany; an event seen by many as a major step in mass production 3-D printing, an example of more distributed manufacturing.

Lehmacher said seaports and airports were also natural entry points to markets. “They are attractive locations for cross-dock and distribution warehouses. Seaports are platforms of departure for different modes of transport, for the longhaul and last-mile delivery. New modes, from truck platoons to drones to rolling robots, need to be integrated in more traditional models.”

He said the discussion around automated transportation of cargo was no longer alien, particularly for those ports that are seeking to become mega-hubs, which have no choice but to embrace the world of automation to its maximum extent.

Existing modes of transport will change, and this will find its way into ports. “The 4IR will help the integration of new modes of transport, such as the hyperloop. Traveling at 600 mph, with a top speed of 760 mph, it will be able to carry autonomous clean vehicles, such as rolling robots. In these emerging new systems, ports need to remain the integral and pivotal part of the global world of commerce,” Lehmacher said.

Lehmacher said change would come rapidly, giving as an example the 10 years it took engine-power to replace horsepower in cities.

“The only thing which could slow down developments is cyber risk. Cyber crime could force the public and private sector to take extra precautions, which cost time and money. Nevertheless, 4IR technologies might also help to make the connected spaces resilient,” he said.

CSCB Daily Articles – CETA

CETA: Originating Status
The following question was sent to CBSA:

If EU originating goods are shipped to Canada from Italy, then are subsequently exported from Canada to France in the same condition, do the goods “originate” upon their entry into France? Or did the goods lose their originating status once they entered Canada?

CBSA: The goods would not lose their originating status on entering Canada as they have never entered a third country, defined in “Article 1.1 Definitions of general application” of “Chapter one: General definitions and initial provisions of the CETA” as follows:
“third country means a country or territory outside the geographic scope of application of this Agreement;”

CETA: REX Program
Several members have noticed that there is information related to the REX program that states there is a requirement for an exporter to be a REX participant if certifying the origin of goods that are valued at greater than 6 000 Euros.

CBSA has confirmed that the registered exporter (REX) program is an EU program that entitles exporters to make out a statement on origin once they are registered in a database by their competent authorities.

They have also added: Nevertheless, regardless of whether this requirement is in place in Europe, we can confirm that there is no requirement for an exporter from the EU to be registered under the REX program (or be subject to its 6000 Euro value limitation) in order to be entitled to the benefits of the CETA here in Canada.

CETA: Origin Declaration
Several members have asked if the CETA Origin Declaration can include only words such as “Canada”, “Norwegian”, or “EU” in field 3 of the declaration. CBSA has responded with the following:

The short answer is no.

The purpose of the origin declaration is to certify that the goods are of CETA preferential origin. Simply stating “EU preferential origin” is akin to a Canadian exporter stating “Canada preferential origin”, which would be meaningless as there is no indication that the relevant products meet the Canada-EU CETA rule of origin. Consequently, originating goods are not “EU preferential origin” (as this could mean that they meet the requirements of any FTA that the EU has), but rather “Canada/EU” (or “CM”) origin as they need to meet the particular rules of origin for the Canada-EU CETA.

The text of the declaration is very clear, the statement is either “Canada/EU” or “CM”, nothing else is acceptable. Please refer to footnote to field 3.

The CETA negotiators sought to make this requirement as simple as possible and it is important for exporters to understand that their declaration pertains to this particular trade agreement. The alternative would be the much more burdensome certificate of origin with the trade agreement printed on it. The CETA declaration, however, was an attempt by negotiators to make things easier for the trading community. As a result, two simple sentences are all that is being asked under CETA.