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Determine the NAFTA Preference Criterion for Your Product

The NAFTA preference criteria designated by the letters “A” through “F” show how your product qualifies for a NAFTA tariff rate. A preference criterion is required in Field # 7 of the Certificate of Origin for each export product. The NAFTA preference criteria are as follows:

Preference Criteria

The six preference criteria A-F tell Customs authorities and the importer how the goods qualified for preferential treatment under the NAFTA.


Preference Criterion A

Preference Criterion A corresponds to goods wholly obtained or produced entirely in Canada, Mexico, or the United States.

For a good to qualify under this criterion, it must contain no non-North American parts or materials anywhere in the production process. It is generally reserved for basic products such as those harvested, mined, or fished in the NAFTA territory, although it would include a manufactured good with no non-NAFTA inputs.

As a general rule, however, Preference Criterion A rarely applies to manufactured goods. If the good contains any non-NAFTA materials, it will not qualify under Preference Criterion A.


Preference Criterion B

Even if your good contains non-NAFTA materials, it can qualify as B if the materials satisfy the Rules of Origin. The Annex 401 Rules of Origin are based on a change in tariff classification, a regional value-content requirement, or both.

The updated Rules of Origin are located in HTSUS General Note 12(t) of the NAFTA. Agreement. Preference Criterion B is used when the good being certified is produced using materials that the producer/exporter is unable to prove qualify as originating goods in their own right. The finished product will be originating if the requirements of the applicable rule of origin are met. The requirements of the NAFTA Rules of Origin differ from good to good.


Preference Criterion C

This criterion corresponds to goods produced entirely in Canada, Mexico, and/or the United States exclusively from NAFTA materials.

Preference Criterion C is used when the producer/exporter is able to document that the finished good is produced entirely in the NAFTA territory using only materials that would qualify in their own right. The producer/exporter should have documented proof that every raw material and component is a NAFTA good.


Preference Criterion D

In a very few cases a good that has not undergone the required tariff transformation can still qualify for preferential NAFTA treatment if a regional value content requirement is met.


Preference Criterion E

This criterion applies to certain automatic data processing goods and their parts, specified in Annex 308.1.


Preference Criterion F

Preference Criterion F concerns specific agricultural goods that are exported from the U.S. into Mexico.  For further information, you can contact the Bilateral and Enforcement Division of the Foreign Agricultural Service at the U.S. Department of Agriculture at 202-720-3798.