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U.S. Australia Free Trade Agreement Frequently Asked Questions

Making a Claim for Preferential Tariff Treatment

How does an importer make a preference claim under the AUFTA?

An AUFTA claim is made by prefacing the tariff item on the entry summary with the Special Program Indicator "AU" (19 CFR 10.723) or as a post-importation claim via a Post Entry Amendment (PEA) or a Post Summary Correction (PSC).

May a post-importation preference claim be made using 19 USC 1520(d)?

No, 19 USC 1520(d) is not an option.

What responsibilities does an importer assume by making an AUFTA preference claim?

By making an AUFTA preference claim, the importer attests that the good is eligible for AUFTA preference and accepts responsibility for the truthfulness and accuracy of the claim. The importer is also responsible for providing the certification of origin and supporting documentation to CBP upon request.

Certification of Origin and Required Data Elements

If CBP requests a U.S.-Australia FTA certification of origin, which one should the importer provide to CBP – the exporter’s, the producer’s, or his own?

If the AUFTA claim is based on the exporter’s or producer’s certification of origin, the importer should provide that certification to CBP. If the AUFTA claim is based on the importer’s certification or importer knowledge, the importer should provide its own certification of origin.

Is there an official form or format for the certification of origin under the AUFTA?

Although there is no official certification of origin form or format required under the U.S.- Australia FTA, CBP encourages the use of the certification of origin template. Alternatively, a free-form certification with all of the data elements in 19 CFR 10.724 may also be made.

When must the importer provide a AUFTA certification of origin to CBP?

The importer must provide CBP with an AUFTA certification of origin upon request by CBP.

Can an importer make a AUFTA claim without an exporter or producer certification?

If the importer has knowledge that the goods originate and can provide documentation to substantiate the claim, then the importer need not possess an exporter or producer certification of origin.

Will CBP accept an unsigned or undated certification of origin?

No, the certification of origin must be signed and dated by an individual with knowledge of the facts and the authority to legally bind the company.

Will CBP accept a certification of origin if the HTSUS number is incorrect?

CBP may accept a certification of origin with an incorrect HTSUS number or request that an amended certification be submitted with a copy of the original certification as an attachment. The correct HTSUS number on the certification is an important indicator that the origination analysis was performed using the correct product-specific rule in HTSUS General Note 28(n).

Can an importer submit a certification of origin to CBP dated after the preference claim?

An exporter or producer certification of origin signed after the date of the preference claim could not have been in the importer’s possession at the time of such claim. However, if the preference claim is based on importer’s knowledge, no exporter/producer certification is required.

Requesting Documentation and Verification

CBP has requested that the importer provide documentation substantiating that the good originates. What information must be provided?

The information required to substantiate an origination claim depends on the rule of origin and the nature of the good. In the case of a manufactured good using a product-specific rule of origin in GN 28(n), at a minimum, the following documentation should be provided:

  • copy of the product specific rule of origin
  • descriptive literature, diagrams, etc. to support classification of the imported good
  • bill of materials (with a description, HTSUS number, and the originating status of each material)
  • affidavit or certification attesting to the originating status of all originating materials that would otherwise fail the product-specific rule
  • cost data, if the product-specific rule has a regional value content (RVC) requirement
  • the Build Up or Build Down computation, if the product-specific rule has a RVC requirement

CBP has requested manufacturing information to substantiate the originating status of a good, but as the importer, I do not have those records in my possession. Must I comply?

Yes, the importer is responsible for ensuring that CBP receives documentation substantiating that the good meets a rule of origin and otherwise complies with the terms of the AUFTA. If the importer hasn’t the information, he should contact the exporter and/or producer to ensure that the information is provided to CBP. To protect confidentiality, a manufacturer may provide documentation directly to CBP. Per 19 CFR 103.35, CBP is barred from releasing business confidential information to the importer or any other party without obtaining consent.

If  CBP requests a Supporting Statement, can the importer provide it via fax or as an email attachment?

Yes, CBP will accept a digitized certification of origin as long as it contains a handwritten signature or the image of a handwritten signature.


How does a good "originate" under the AUFTA?

In order to be an "originating" good, a good must meet a rule of origin and all other requirements (GN 28 and 19 CFR 10.730).

What are the rules of origin under the AUFTA?

Generally speaking, a good will originate if:

  • The good is wholly obtained or produced entirely in the territory of Australia or of the United States, or both; or
  • The good is produced entirely in the territory of Australia or of the United States, or both, satisfies all other applicable requirements of this subpart, and (1) Each of the non-originating materials used in the production of the good undergoes an applicable change in tariff classification specified in General Note 28(n), HTSUS, and (2) The good otherwise satisfies any applicable regional value content or other requirements specified in General Note 28(n), HTSUS; or
  • The good is produced entirely in the territory of Australia or the United States, or both, exclusively from originating materials. (19 CFR 10.730).

How does a producer know if a material used to produce his good originates?

Generally speaking, the producer will know that a material originates because his supplier will provide a certification or affidavit upon request. If a material supplier will not provide a certification or affidavit, then the producer should consider the material to be non-originating.

If the imported good is substantially manufactured in Australia, can the U.S. importer assume that it meets the terms of the U.S.-Australia FTA and make a preference claim?

No, the importer would not be exercising reasonable care and may be subject to penalties if the good were found not to originate. By making a preference claim, the importer is certifying that the good meets the terms of the agreement and that the importer/exporter/producer will provide CBP with substantiating documentation upon request.

Can a chemical reaction result in origination?

Yes, there is a chemical reaction rule of origin for goods of HTSUS Chapters 27 – 40. A chemical reaction is defined in General Note 28(m)(vii).

Can purification result in origination?

Yes, there is a purification rule of origin for goods of HTSUS Chapters 28 – 35, 38 and 39. Purification is defined in General Note 28(m)(vii).

If a good undergoes a chemical reaction or purification, does it also need to meet a product- specific rule of origin?

No, the purpose of the chemical reaction and purification rules is to provide producers an alternate method of establishing origination.

What is remanufacturing and can it result in origination?

Remanufactured goods, classified in HTSUS Chapters 84-85, 87, or 90, or under heading 94.02, are entirely or partially comprised of recovered goods, and have a life expectancy and factory warranty similar to such new goods. The AUFTA allows recovered goods derived in the territory of one or both of the Parties from used goods and utilized in the territory of one or both of the Parties in the production of remanufactured goods to be considered originating in accordance with General Note 28(c)(ii).

Is there a provision to allow for goods to originate even if they have been commingled with non-originating goods? What if originating materials have been commingled with non- originating materials?

Yes, see General Note 28(i) and 19 CFR 10.737 provide for the use of an inventory management system to constructively segregate originating and non-originating fungible goods and materials.

What does it mean when a producer says that a good meets a product-specific rule of origin?

It means that all non-originating materials, with the possible exception of a small de minimis value, used to produce the good undergo a tariff shift prescribed in General Note 28(n).

What is de minimis?

The de minimis provision allows a good to originate, as long as all non-originating materials that do not meet the prescribed tariff shift are not more than 10 percent of the adjusted value of the good (for non-textiles). However, if the good must meet a regional value content requirement to originate, the value of such non-originating materials must be taken into account when calculating the regional value content (General Note 28(g) and 19 CFR 10.732).

What if the good in question does not have a product-specific rule of origin?

Some tariff items do not have product-specific rules of origin because the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) has been modified and the U.S.-Australia FTA product specific rules of origin have not yet been updated to account for these changes. If the good in question corresponds to a tariff item without a product-specific rule, the origination analysis should be performed using the most recent HTSUS that has an alternate tariff item for that good and its corresponding product-specific rule. Previous copies of the HTSUS are available at

Regional Value Content (RVC)

When can the RVC formula be used under the AUFTA?

The RVC formula may be used only when the product-specific rule of origin in General Note 28(n) provides for it.

When performing the RVC calculation, how is the value of the good and the materials used to produce it determined? What adjustments can be made?

The value of a good and its constituent materials is determined in accordance with General Note 28(e)(iii) and General Note 28(g), and 19 CFR 10.734(a). For permissible adjustments to the value of materials, see 19 CFR 10.735.

Indirect Materials

How does the AUFTA treat indirect materials?

An indirect material is an originating material without regard to where it is produced. The term "indirect material" means a good used in the production, testing or inspection of a good but not physically incorporated into the good, or a good used in the maintenance of buildings or the operation of equipment associated with the production of a good, including–

  • fuel and energy;
  • tools, dies and molds;
  • spare parts and materials used in the maintenance of equipment or buildings;
  • lubricants, greases, compounding materials and other materials used in production or used to operate equipment and buildings;
  • gloves, glasses, footwear, clothing, safety equipment and supplies;
  • equipment, devices and supplies used for testing or inspecting the goods; catalysts and solvents; and
  • any other goods that are not incorporated into the good but the use of which in the production of the good can reasonably be demonstrated to be a part of that production. GN 28(k), (19 CFR 10.729 (h)) & (19 CFR 10.740).
Third Country Transportation

May an AUFTA claim be made on goods that entered the commerce of a non-party or that were further processed while under customs control in a non-Party country?

Yes, goods may enter the commerce of a non-Party, but they may not be further processed outside of the territories of the Parties per General Note 28(c)(iii) and 19 CFR 10.741.

Goods Subject to Tariff Rate Quotas

Does the AUFTA provide for Tariff Rate Quotas?

Yes, the AUFTA has Tariff Rate Quotas for beef, dairy, avocados, peanuts, tobacco, cotton, sugar, chocolate and animal feed. These are found in Chapter 98 and 99 of the HTSUS and are available on the Quota Enforcement and Administration webpage.

United States Goods Returned

May U.S. goods returned from Australia to the United States be claimed under the AUFTA?

No, U.S. goods returned cannot be claimed under the AUFTA, but may be exempt from duty under HTSUS 9801.00.10.

Merchandise Processing Fee (MPF)

Are originating goods exempt from MPF under the AUFTA?

Yes, originating goods are exempt from MPF per 19 CFR 24.23(c)(8).

Can unconditionally free goods obtain the MPF exemption even though the "AU" Special Program Indicator is not listed in the "Special" column of the HTSUS?

Yes, the importer can still make an AUFTA claim on unconditionally free goods to obtain the MPF exemption. All of the same requirements apply.

What is the value of the MPF exemption?

MPF is 0.3464% of the adjusted value of the goods with a $25 minimum and $485 maximum.

Are Tariff Preference Level (TPL) goods exempt from MPF?

No, TPL goods are not "originating" and thus are not exempt from MPF.

Last modified: 
Friday, June 19, 2020 - 09:22