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NAFTA Rules Changes in Effect
Feb. 17, 2005


On February 9, 2005, the President issued Proclamation 7870 modifying the rules of origin under the North American Free Trade Agreement ("NAFTA").  The proclamation incorporates by reference an annex containing specific changes regarding tariff shift requirements, regional value content, and other rules of origin for the products of certain tariff provisions specified in General Note 12 of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule.

The new modifications retroactively apply to products from Canada from January 1, 2005. For products from Mexico, the proclamation states that the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) will establish a date for the modifications to take effect.  This date appears to be linked to the date when the Mexican government officially adopts the modifications.  Although the amount of time this will take remains uncertain, it is worthy to note that the last time the President modified the NAFTA rules of origin, it took approximately one and a half years for the USTR to make them effective for products from Mexico.

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