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United States Mexico Canada Agreement Treaty United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement. Photo: Stuart Miles/Shutterstock.com

On July 1, the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) is set to go into effect, replacing the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). In this article, international trade lawyers from the United States, Canada and Mexico discuss practical aspects of USMCA’s implementation that affect all producers, exporters and importers of goods within the North American region, and what corporate counsel should know in order to discuss the USMCA with trade compliance personnel at their company. Failure to comply with the USMCA’s requirements can have drastic ramifications for companies from both a financial perspective and, just as importantly, the company’s reputation. Furthermore, the ability to participate in some customs facilitation programs can be impacted by a poor compliance record.

The key issues that corporate counsel should discuss with the company’s trade compliance personnel include the use of the correct rules of origin, new methodology for certification of origin, tapping into government provided resources, needed modifications to internal compliance programs, and getting ready for audits and investigations.

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