On June 3, 2020, the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative released the Uniform Regulations elaborating on the rules of origin in the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (“USMCA”). As the USMCA is slated to enter into force on July 1, 2020, the Uniform Regulations reflect the three parties’ consensus on how the USMCA’s rules of origin should be interpreted, applied, and administered, with especially noteworthy provisions relating to the automotive and textile and apparel industries.

The USMCA’s Uniform Regulations provide additional definitions and illustrative examples that demonstrate how the USMCA’s rules of origin are applied and are aimed to help ensure consistent and uniform treatment of the rules among the parties. Regarding automotive goods, the Uniform Regulations provide additional calculation rules and examples for use in complying with regional value content requirements, along with more precise steel and aluminum purchasing requirements. The Uniform Regulations do not, however, provide additional illustrative examples for the labor value content requirements and the labor certification requirements. Nor do the Uniform Regulations shed additional light on the status of the NAFTA Marking Rules, which U.S. Customs and Border Protection (“CBP”) will continue to enforce for now, though generally not as a condition for preferential treatment under the USMCA.

The Uniform Regulations are slated to take effect together with the USMCA on July 1, 2020. In the United States, CBP will amend Title 19 of the Code of Federal Regulations to implement the new substantive requirements of the USMCA and the Uniform Regulations. Until those regulations are promulgated, CBP issued “Interim Implementing Instructions” on April 16, 2020 to provide temporary guidance.

Our full analysis of the Uniform Regulations is available here. The links below enable easy access to each section: