Canada-U.S. Blog Trade Lawyers Cyndee Todgham Cherniak and Susan K. Ross

Category Archives: Customs Law

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How to Avoid Problems at the Canada/US Border When You Return with Goods You Left With

Posted in Border Security, Canada's Federal Government, Customs Law, NEXUS

Many clients call me to inform me of a “disagreement” with a Canada Border Services Agency (“CBSA”) officer relating to goods from Canada that they took with them on a trip.  Often the problem relates to an expensive ladies purse or a piece of jewelry (sometimes a men’s watch). On November 13, 2015, the CBSA… Continue Reading

Alcohol And Tobacco: Two Things The Cause CBSA Officers To Not Apply Common Sense

Posted in Customs Law, NEXUS

I receive many calls from clients who have disputes with the Canada Border Services Agency (“CBSA”) at the Canadian border.  Some of the most amazing stories relate to seizures of alcohol (beer, wine, liquor) and tobacco (usually cigarettes).  In most of the cases, I wonder aloud why the CBSA Officer could not use common sense… Continue Reading

Canadian Customs Audit Targets – CBSA Releases H2 2016 Verification Priorities

Posted in Customs Law, origin, tariff classification, valuation

On July 7, 2016, the Canada Border Services Agency (“CBSA”) released “Tariff Compliance Verifications – July 2016”.  What are “Tariff Compliance Verifications”? Tariff compliance verifications are CBSA customs audits during which the CBSA ensures that importers are using the proper tariff classification (HS Code) numbers when completing import documentation. The Tariff Compliance Verifications – July… Continue Reading

What Is The Difference Between A Red/Green Olive And A Black Olive?

Posted in Agriculture, Customs Law, tariff classification

The answer to this question is found in the recent Canadian International Trade Tribunal (“Tribunal”) tariff classification appeal case of Délices de la Forêt Inc. v. President of the Canada Border Services Agency (“CBSA”), AP-2015-018. The issue is this case was whether green and red olives in brine in a glass jar were properly classified… Continue Reading

Appeal Process for Truckers/Carriers When The CBSA Issues ACI eManifest AMPs

Posted in AMPs, Canada's Federal Government, Cross-border trade, Customs Law

Truckers (highway commercial carriers) can appeal the imposition on administrative monetary penalties (AMPs) imposed by the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) for failure to meet advance commercial information (ACI) reporting requirements.  The appeals are filed with the CBSA, Recourse Directorate.  We spoke to a source at the Recourse Direcotrate this week who informed us that… Continue Reading

Why Should Importers Ask The CBSA If Goods Are Subject To Anti-dumping Duties?

Posted in Antidumping, origin, tariff classification

Is it better to seek permission or ask for forgiveness after the fact?  When it comes to imports of goods into Canada that may be subject to anti-dumping duties, it is better to seek an advance ruling from the Canada Border Services Agency (“CBSA”).  If you import goods and the CBSA believes that the goods… Continue Reading

A Hot Story: CBSA Seizes Drugs in Boxes of Hot Peppers

Posted in Border Security, Customs Law

On June 23, 2016, the Canada Border Services Agency (“CBSA”) intercepted two boxes of hot peppers attempting to conceal 17 bricks of suspected cocaine (approximately 20 kilograms).  The shipment was off-loaded air cargo from a flight from Port of Spain, Trinidad to Toronto Pearson International Airport.  The CBSA issued a Press Release on July 7,… Continue Reading

How To Apply For An Advance Customs Ruling in Canada

Posted in Cross-border deals, Cross-border trade, Customs Law, tariff classification

Many importers in Canada want to minimize the risk of an assessment of customs duties for getting a tariff classification incorrect. If an importer or exporter or foreign producer of goods cannot figure out how the Canada Border Services Agency (“CBSA”) would classify a good for customs duty tariff classification purposes, sometimes the best thing… Continue Reading

Do Your Employees Know Enough To Complete A Certificate Of Origin Properly?

Posted in Cross-border trade, Customs Law, origin, tariff classification, Uncategorized, valuation

Let’s face the truth, the legal department does not sign off on certificates of origin.  In most companies exporting their goods, it is the sales department or the logistics department that prepares and signs the certificates of origin.  In many companies, the certificate of origin is just a piece of paper that has to be… Continue Reading

Twelve Action Items Coming Out Of The Three Amigos June 29, 2016 NAFTA Meeting

Posted in Antidumping, Border Security, Canada's Federal Government, Cross-border deals, Cross-border trade, Customs Law, Exports, Immigration law, Imports Restrictions, NAFTA, NEXUS, Politics, Softwood Lumber, Trade Agreeements, Transportation, U.S. Federal Government

On June 29, 2016, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, U.S. President Obama and Mexican President Peña Nieto met in Ottawa, Canada for the North American Leaders’ Summit.  Many press releases were issued – but most of the outside press related to the North American Climate, Clean Energy and Environment Partnership.  The Action Plan is yet… Continue Reading

Canada has Implemented the WTO Information Technology Agreement and Eliminated Customs Duties on 201 Tech Products

Posted in Customs Law, World Trade Organization

On July 4, 2016, Canada’s Trade Minister Freeland announced that Canada implemented the World Trade Organization (WTO) expanded Information Technology Agreement (ITA). Pursuant to the expanded ITA, signatories agreed to eliminate tariffs on 201 information and communication technology (ICT) and related products. As of July 1, 2016, Canada permanently eliminated customs tariffs on many of… Continue Reading

What is an Ascertained Forfeiture by the Canada Border Services Agency?

Posted in Customs Law

An ascertained forfeiture is a monetary penalty levied by the Canada Border Services Agency (“CBSA”) when a CBSA officer believes on reasonable grounds that a person has imported goods into Canada illegally (or without reporting the goods). An ascertained forfeiture occurs when the goods cannot actually be seized (because the good cannot be located or… Continue Reading

Canada Introduces More Preclearance Legislation For People and Goods

Posted in Border Security, Canada's Federal Government, Cross-border trade, Customs Law, Exports, U.S. Federal Government

On June 17, 2016, the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness introduced Bill C-23 “an Act respecting the preclearance of persons and goods in Canada and the United States” (to be known as the Preclearance Act 2016“) in the House of Commons.  This proposed legislation does not impose obligations in the United States and… Continue Reading

Canada To Add Export Smuggling Offence into Customs Act

Posted in Border Security, Canada's Federal Government, Controlled Goods Program, Customs Law, Export Controls & Economic Sanctions, Exports, Legal Developments

On June 15, 2016, the Government of Canada introduced Bill C-21 “An Act to amend the Customs Act” in the House of Commons. The amendments to the Customs Act focus on exports of people and goods.  Many of the amendments deal with the gathering of information about the export of goods and people.  However, one… Continue Reading

What Businesses Should Know About Bill C-21 Amendments to Customs Act (Canada)

Posted in Border Security, Canada's Federal Government, Cross-border trade, Customs Law, Export Controls & Economic Sanctions, Exports, Harmonization, Immigration law, Legal Developments, U.S. Federal Government

On June 15, 2016, Canada’s Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness introduced Bill C-21 “an Act to amend the Customs Act” in the Canadian House of Commons. It is a relatively short bill containing important and far-reaching amendments to the Customs Act.  Many people think that the Customs Act only affects them if they… Continue Reading

How Much Dairy Does General Import Permit #1 Allow?

Posted in Agriculture, Canada's Federal Government, Customs Law, Imports Restrictions, NEXUS

Many Canadians cross border shop but do not realize that not all groceries can be imported into Canada.  Most dairy products are subject to import restrictions.  Many businesses who import dairy products (and eggs and poultry) know about the import restrictions.  The average Canadian does not. Some individuals who cross border shop buy too much… Continue Reading

The CBSA Is Seizing Jewelry Imports Into Canada From The UAE

Posted in Canada's Federal Government, Cross-border trade, Customs Law, valuation

The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) has seized a number of shipments of gold jewelry imported into Canada from the United Arab Emirates (UAE).  In many cases, the CBSA has taken the position that the jewelry was undervalued.  In most cases, the importer declared the price paid or payable on the invoice for labour.  The… Continue Reading

Get Your News Here!: The CBSA Issues “CBSA Today: Commercial News For Stakeholders: Spring 2016”

Posted in Border Security, Canada's Federal Government, Cross-border deals, Cross-border trade, Customs Law, Export Controls & Economic Sanctions, Exports

On May 26, 2016, the Canada Border Services Agency (“CBSA”) posted “CBSA Today: Commercial News for Stakeholders: Issue 11: Spring 2016“. However, the CBSA did not list this publication as “Latest News” or “What’s New of the CBSA website” portion of it’s front page.  The document is rather difficult to find.  Bookmark the Border Commercial… Continue Reading

On What Basis Can I Appeal An Administrative Monetary Penalty (Customs)?

Posted in Customs Law

The Canada Border Services Agency (“CBSA”) uses the Administrative Monetary Penalty System (AMPS) to issue monetary penalties to commercial importers for violating CBSA’s customs and border laws. You make a mistake, there is a penalty for that. The mistake does not have to be intentional. The Master Penalty Document contains the infractions and the AMPS… Continue Reading

SOLAS: SAVES LIVES? CAUSES ULCERS?

Posted in Aerospace & Defence, Agriculture, Border Security, Controlled Goods Program, Corporate Counsel, Cross-border deals, Cross-border litigation, Cross-border trade, Customs Law, Exports, Government Procurement, Legal Developments, Trade Remedies, Transportation

On July 1, 2016, the Safety of Life at Sea (“SOLAS”) requirement for shippers to provide steamship lines with the verified gross mass (“VGM”) of each shipment takes effect internationally. While under development at the International Maritime Organization for years, these requirements caught many in the U.S. by surprise last summer when the deadline was… Continue Reading

CITT Issues Practice Notice of Agreed Statements of Fact

Posted in Customs Law, origin, tariff classification, valuation

On march 15, 2016, the Canadian International Trade Tribunal issued a Practice Notice entitled “Agreed Statement of Fact – Appeals”.  It is a very short statement from the Tribunal (produced in it’s entirety below): “As part of an effort to reduce parties’ costs and the time for the Canadian International Trade Tribunal (the Tribunal) to… Continue Reading

What To Do When USCBP Wants To Conduct a NAFTA Verification Of An Exporter/Producer in Canada

Posted in Cross-border trade, Customs Law, origin

Most Canadian businesses do not relish a visit from a Canadian tax auditor and also do not view with anticipation a fax from the United States Customs and Border Protection (USCBP) asking to come for a visit to conduct a NAFTA verification of their certificates of origin. NAFTA Article 506 sets out the authority for… Continue Reading