NAFTA Customs Documentation Seminar Coming to Cornwall

May 7, 2013
By Bob Peters

Cornwall Ontario – The key to growth for many Canadian companies is to look beyond borders and take advantage of the huge North American market. Exporting to another country means learning to navigate the regulatory landscape in order to ensure that your shipments make it past the border in an efficient and cost effective manner.

When Canada, the United States and Mexico signed the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) in 1994, it established one of the largest free trade areas in the world. By law, NAFTA requires that each country treats the goods and services of the other two partners as if they were domestically produced. These rules ensure that preferential tariff benefits are only available for goods substantially produced or transformed in North America.

So, is NAFTA old news? Not according to the level of audit activity taking place in both Canada and the United States. A poorly completed NAFTA certificate can represent risk for an exporter, resulting in a costly NAFTA audit. Many exporters only realize the importance of this after their goods are stopped at the U.S. border – which is obviously too late.

On June 25, a NAFTA Customs Documentation seminar will be held at the Ramada Inn and Conference Centre in Cornwall, Ontario. The seminar will address the requirements for clearing goods in to the United States as well as provide participants with an understanding of NAFTA, HS Classifications, Rules of Origin and NAFTA Certificates of Origin. The seminar will be of interest to any Ontario manufacturer involved in the export process.

“The seminar will focus on U.S. Customs Border Protection (CBP) requirements for Ontario manufacturers who are bringing goods into the USA,” said Debbie Walker of the Ontario Ministry of Economic Development, Trade & Employment. “We have delivered several of these sessions across Ontario – and we are especially pleased to partner with the Cornwall and Area Chamber of Commerce and the City of Cornwall’s Economic Development office to bring this information to Eastern Ontario manufacturers.”

“The Cornwall and Area Chamber of Commerce is pleased to sponsor this seminar,” said Kevin Hargreaves, Chamber President. “It is important that commerce flows as efficiently as possible, and a well informed and compliant exporter is a competitive exporter.”

“Cornwall has a sizeable manufacturing base, with a greater percentage of the workforce employed in manufacturing than the Ontario or Canadian average,” said Bob Peters , Senior Development Officer with the City of Cornwall. “We have some world-class companies and exporters that I am sure will find this seminar to be timely and of value.”

The seminar will start at 8:00 am with a hot buffet breakfast, with formal presentations scheduled to begin at 8:50am. The seminar is expected to run until 12:30pm. The cost to attend is $33.90 (inc. HST) per person which includes a breakfast and mid-morning coffee break.

Seating is limited so register early to ensure your spot. People can register for the Export Seminar online:


The Ministry of Economic Development, Trade and Employment (MEDTE) supports a strong, innovative economy that can provide jobs, opportunities and prosperity for all Ontarians. The ministry delivers a range of programs, services and tools to help businesses innovate and compete in today’s fast-changing global economy, including business support and youth entrepreneurship programs, strategic investments and international trade and export expertise. Learn more at


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