A”BIG” update on the USMCA

It’s been more than a month since the USMCA was rolled out between the North American nations and the changes are starting to be felt beyond the borders. While we’re happy to report that BIG Logistics hasn’t had any issues, we are careful to note the border itself is not without delays. Luckily, the USMCA is close enough to its predecessor NAFTA in that a strong learning curve won’t be necessary. Following key points on rules of origin and the nine data elements necessary to create a Certificate of Origin, keeps processes flowing and issues at a minimum. BIG Logistics strives to be efficient and this changeover is no exception; unfortunately, we can’t create the Certificate of Origin for your cargo but we can advise on which products are eligible.

The best advice currently is to contact us early and let us determine eligibility on your cargo. Stock up on your inventory; we understand that many manufacturers work in a Just-In-Time organization, but delays are going to be inevitable, and having a cushion is a good idea right now. Be patient and prepared for documentation requests, supplier information, and other necessary information that might now be necessary for your cargo. We’ll do our best to mitigate your headaches at every opportunity.

It’s difficult to determine USMCA issues because of the unprecedented disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. That doesn’t mean disruption can’t happen, with the differences between the agreements well documented, be assured that customs is on the lookout for people using the wrong documentation especially in the case of the Certificate of Origin. Perhaps if we were dealing with a traditional peak season where traffic crossing the border was packed, we would see a higher level of issues complicating the process and causing delays for cargo, but so far that is not the case. Unfortunately, the reduction in traffic comes along fewer border patrol agents on duty to clear cargo so a normally two-hour wait can stretch to eight because of staffing, even with easy clearances.

If you’re moving cargo across the border and need a USMCA expert, BIG Logistics has you covered. We’re on the ground every day working with CBP and other companies to stay on top of the latest developments to ensure your cargo is always protected while in transit.