On April 28, 2018, the Canada Gazette published an invitation from the Department of Finance to submit views on proposed amendments to the NAFTA and Non-NAFTA Country of Origin Marking Regime that would align Canada’s country of origin marking regime with that of the United States for certain steel and aluminum products. Canada’s country of origin marking regime is set out in regulations, including

1. the Determination of Country of Origin for the Purposes of Marking Goods (NAFTA Countries) Regulations; and

2. the Determination of Country of Origin for the Purpose of Marking Goods (Non-NAFTA Countries) Regulations.

These regulations establish the scope of products and the criteria used to determine country of origin for the purposes of marking.

The Government of Canada is proposing amendments to the scope of products and criteria for country of origin marking for both NAFTA and non-NAFTA countries under the Determination of Country of Origin for the Purposes of Marking Goods (NAFTA Countries) Regulations and the Determination of Country of Origin for the Purpose of Marking Goods (Non-NAFTA Countries) Regulations.

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The objective of these amendments is to align Canada’s marking regime with the U.S. marking regime with respect to certain steel and aluminum products in order to address the transshipment and diversion of unfairly cheap foreign steel and aluminum, which poses a threat to Canadian jobs and the North American market.

On product scope, Canada requires that goods specifically identified in the regulations be marked with the country of origin, while the U.S. regime requires that all steel and aluminum goods of foreign origin be marked. The Government of Canada is proposing to expand the scope of the goods that must be marked to align with the treatment of certain steel and aluminum products under the U.S. regime. This will require amendments to both the Determination of Country of Origin for the Purposes of Marking Goods (NAFTA Countries) Regulations and the Determination of Country of Origin for the Purpose of Marking Goods (Non-NAFTA Countries) Regulations.

On criteria, Canada and the United States use substantially equivalent criteria to determine the country of origin for non-NAFTA goods. In Canada, the criteria are where goods are “substantially manufactured” and in the United States, the criteria are where work on the good effects a “substantial transformation.” However, the rules of origin set out in the Canadian and the U.S. NAFTA country of origin marking regulations vary. The Government of Canada is therefore proposing amendments to the Determination of Country of Origin for the Purposes of Marking Goods (NAFTA Countries) Regulations consistent with the current U.S. requirements.

The proposed amendments are set out in tables 1 and 2 to the Canada Gazette notice.

Interested parties wishing to comment on the proposed amendments to Canada’s marking regime should submit their views in writing by May 14, 2018. Submissions should include, at a minimum, the following information:

1. Canadian company/industry association name, address, telephone number, and contact person.

2. Reasons for the expressed support for, or concern with, the proposed amendments, including detailed information substantiating any expected beneficial or adverse impact.

3. Whether or not the information provided in the submission is commercially sensitive.