The Ministry of Economy published an agreement on uniform regulations on Thursday to clarify provisions of rules of origin and other matters of the Treaty between Mexico, the United States and Canada (T-MEC) related to textiles, clothing, customs and trade facilitation.
The T-MEC entered into force on July 1 and is the most relevant trade agreement for Mexico, considering the proportion of imports and exports that it regulates.
The agreement was published in the Official Gazette of the Federation and will enter into force this Friday.
This is the Agreement by which the Ministry of Economy publishes the Uniform Regulations regarding the interpretation, application and administration of Chapter 4 (Rules of Origin), Chapter 5 (Procedures of Origin), Chapter 6 (Textile Goods and Garments of Dress), and Chapter 7 (Customs Administration and Trade Facilitation) of the T-MEC.
Rules of origin
In Section 3 of the Agreement, the following are defined as originating goods, under the classification “Fully obtained goods”.
A merchandise originates from the territory of a country Party to the T-MEC if it meets all the other applicable requirements of these Regulations and is:
(a) a mineral good or other substance of natural origin extracted or taken from the territory of one or more of the T-MEC countries;
(b) a plant, product of a plant, vegetable or fungus, grown, harvested, gathered or collected in the territory of one or more of the T-MEC countries;
(c) a live animal, born and raised in the territory of one or more of the T-MEC countries;
(d) a good obtained from a live animal in the territory of one or more of the T-MEC countries;
(e) an animal obtained from hunting, catching, fishing, gathering or capturing in the territory of one or more of the T-MEC countries;
(f) merchandise obtained from aquaculture in the territory of one or more of the T-MEC countries;
(g) fish, crustaceans and other marine species obtained from the sea, sea bed or subsoil outside the territories of the T-MEC countries and, in accordance with international law, outside the territorial sea of non-T-MEC countries , by vessels registered, listed or registered in a T-MEC country and with the right to carry the flag of that T-MEC country;
(h) a good produced from the goods mentioned in paragraph (g) on board a factory ship where the factory ship is registered, listed or registered in a T-MEC country and entitled to carry the flag from that country of the T-MEC;
(i) a good other than fish, crustaceans or other marine species obtained by a T-MEC country Party or a person from a T-MEC country from the seabed or subsoil outside the territories of T-MEC countries , if the T-MEC country has the right to exploit the seabed or subsoil;
(j) waste and scrap derived from:
(i) production in the territory of one or more of the T-MEC countries; or
(ii) used merchandise collected in the territory of one or more of the T-MEC countries, provided that such merchandise is suitable only for the recovery of raw materials; and
(k) merchandise produced in the territory of one or more of the T-MEC countries, exclusively from a merchandise mentioned in paragraphs (a) to (j), or its derivatives, at any stage of production.
Other forms are required in the uniform regulations to obtain origin and enjoy the original preferences of the T-MEC.
Also, examples are given on how to comply with the rules of origin in some specific cases.
Importance of uniform regulations
Composed of 34 chapters and 12 parallel letters, the T-MEC retains most of the market opening measures of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), while making notable changes to the rules of automotive origin, the Dispute resolution provisions, public procurement, investment and protection of intellectual property rights.
The rules of origin refer to the criteria agreed in a treaty to define when a good is considered originating (due to its regional content level) in order to enjoy tariff preferences. rules of origin are one of the most relevant aspects of a trade agreement.
Specifically in the T-MEC, the rules of origin were one of the most complicated points in the negotiations between the three countries.