There are three options for keeping electronic certificates of origin on file:

Scanned certificates of origin:

Scanned copies of signed certificates of origin are acceptable and may be submitted to the CBSA via e-mail. Scanned copies must be stored for 6 years following importation.

Certificates of origin with power of attorney:

The exporter can authorize the importer to complete and sign the certificate of origin with a vested power of attorney. The importer can maintain the certificate of origin electronically (for 6 years) and transmit it to the CBSA upon request. Importers utilizing this option must be able to prove to the CBSA that they have the legal authority to complete and sign the certificate of origin.

Electronic certificates of origin:

This option is only available to Customs Self-Assessment (CSA) program participants.

All CSA-approved importers may receive electronic certificates of origin. With this option, an alternative signature to the traditional cursive signature can be used on the certificate of origin, and no one is required to physically sign the document – it can be created and transmitted electronically without the need for a paper copy. This option is initially being offered to CSA participants to allow the CBSA to fully test the concept before determining the feasibility of expanding it to all importers.

Additional information concerning this and other recent developments is available from our technical consulting group.