In this issue:

1. NAFTA Certificates create problems for exporters
2. Canada – Europe FTA Negotiations - Update
3. Credit Update from National Apparel Bureau
4. Apparel Quebec Membership

Cross Border issues confound Canadian Exporters

U.S. Customs and Border Protection has identified substantial problems concerning certificates of origin which accompany goods shipped from Canada to the United States under NAFTA. These certificates provide the information needed by US Customs to verify that goods meet the rule of origin.

In the course of these verification activities many Canadian exporters cannot fully substantiate the origin of their raw materials.  In simple terms companies that have exported goods and claimed NAFTA duty-free status are now being forced to pay duties on those shipments - duties which are often in excess of 20% of the value of the goods. In addition penalties may also be assessed.

Earlier this year the Canadian Apparel Federation (CAF) hosted a webinar on certificates of origin and the verification processes.  Any company that currently exports NAFTA qualifying apparel to the US should view that webinar.  It is available here.  Any CAF member company that needs to better understand the NAFTA rules of origin should contact Bob Kirke at

For more details on this and related issues go to the International Trade Update section of CAF website. Access is restricted to AQ and CAF members; login/password required. Retrieve password here

Canada-Europe – Free Trade Negotiations

Canada and the European Union held a negotiating session during July to further progress on a Free Trade Agreement between Canada and Europe.  The rules of origin for apparel were discussed, and there are important developments for Canadian exporters

For more information on this and other breaking trade issues (Honduras and Colombia FTA etc.) see the articles in the International Trade Update section of the CAF website. Access is restricted to AQ and CAF members; login/password required. Retrieve password here.  

Credit Update from NAB: Hart Stores in Protection from Creditors

Hart Stores Inc. has obtained an initial order for court protection from creditors under the Companies' Creditors Arrangement Act. Hart Stores received approval from the Quebec Superior Court for protection under CCAA until Sept. 29, though extensions could be granted. RSM Richter Inc. was appointed as the monitor.

The company will also be able to borrow $20 million from Wells Fargo Capital Finance Corp. Canada to meet its liquidity requirements.  "Hart Stores believes that restructuring under the CCAA will provide the Company with the best opportunity to develop a viable business plan to ensure successful operations in the future," the company said in a release.

Hart operates a network of 92 mid-sized department stores under the Hart, Bargain Giant and Geant des Aubaines banners in secondary and tertiary markets throughout Eastern Canada.

The National Apparel Bureau (NAB) is advising suppliers to cease shipping immediately until the situation is clarified. For further information, contact David Schachter at the NAB (514) 483-6223 x 239. 

Join Apparel Quebec!

If you are not already a member, consider joining today. Apparel Quebec (AQ) is the provincial association for Quebec's apparel industry. AQ stands up for the industry, and is your source for information and advice on national and international issues, and industry-specific services.

Apparel Quebec is made up of firms from across the province of Quebec, and represents the full range of firms that make up the industry, from small suppliers to national brands and vertically integrated retailers. Under AQ, the different sectors of the industry can work together to meet the business challenge of today.

Our specialty is based on:

  1. Business Development – including trade missions to new markets, access to government subsidies.
  2. Financial Information – to allow firms to secure the financing they need and operate efficiently.
  3. Sourcing Opportunities and overseas partnerships – our extensive network of international contacts and knowledge in logistics can save you time and money.
  4. Operations – information on a range of issues from R&D tax credit, design, resources and quality.
  5. Regulatory Compliance – we keep you updated of any regulations on trade, sourcing, product safety and social compliance.

Apparel Quebec is affiliated with the Canadian Apparel Federation (CAF): Members of Apparel Quebec benefit from full membership in both a local association that works on the ground with its members, and  a national group able to address national and international issues.  Through our association with the CAF we have a valuable collective voice with policy makers at the national and provincial levels. Beyond our association with CAF, we work in partnership with the Apparel Human Resources Council and many other trade associations.

Click here to become a member of Apparel Quebec online! For more information about the organization, visit our website or contact us at . Note that you can always register your business in our online directory, in order to be listed and that your profile be viewed by many companies in search of business partners!

This bulletin is distributed to companies in the apparel industry and other interested parties. The material in this newsletter may not be otherwise reproduced, distributed or presented in any other form, without the express permission of Apparel Quebec and the Canadian Apparel Federation.

Apparel Quebec
T. 514-382-3846