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

Category Archives: Customs Law

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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

Costs of Compliance –The Missing Element

Posted in Aerospace & Defence, Agriculture, Antidumping, Border Security, Controlled Goods Program, Corporate Counsel, Criminal Law, Cross-border deals, Cross-border litigation, Cross-border trade, Customs Law, Export Controls & Economic Sanctions, Exports, FCPA/Anti-Corruption, Intellectual Property, Legal Developments, NAFTA, origin, tariff classification, Trade Agreeements, Trade Remedies, U.S. Federal Government, valuation

Originally published by the Journal of Commerce in May 2016 Only three (3) years ago, when Tom Winkowski was Acting Commissioner of Customs and Border Protection (“CBP”) and John Morton the Director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (“ICE”), both of them acknowledged publicly how their respective agencies had lost such significant depths of knowledge and… Continue Reading

Victoria Day Week-end: Survival Guide For Cross Border Travel

Posted in Border Security, Cross-border deals, Cross-border trade, Customs Law, NEXUS, valuation

Victoria Day is the start of the long week-end season.  Canadians travel outside Canada to visit friends and family and to shop.  The Canada Border Services Agency (“CBSA”) is on the lookout for contraventions of the Customs Act and other border laws. Here is our survival guide to make sure the CBSA is happy with… Continue Reading

Why Should SMEs Care About Incoterms® Rules?

Posted in Cross-border deals, Cross-border trade, Customs Law, GST/HST, origin, tariff classification, valuation

Small and medium sized enterprises mistakenly accept costs and financial risk when they agree to Incoterms without considering the consequences. SMEs should care about Incoterms because mistakes can be costly – very costly. What is an Incoterm? Answer:  Incoterms is an abbreviation of the phrase International Commercial Terms. The Incoterms rules or are a series… Continue Reading

What Are The Procedures For FTA Origin Verifications in Canada?

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

On May 12, 2016, the Canada Border Services Agency (“CBSA”) released revised D-Memorandum D11-4-20 “Procedures for Verifications of Origin Under Free Trade Agreements”. The overall objective of an free trade agreement verification is to confirm that products covered by a certificate of origin completed by the exporter or producer qualify as originating in accordance with… Continue Reading

The CBSA Signs Secure Supply Chain Mutual Recognition Agreement With Mexico

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

On May 13, 2016, the Government of Canada announced that on May 11, 2016 the Canada Border Services Agency (“CBSA”)  had signed a Mutual Recognition Agreement (“MRA”) with the Tax Administration of Mexican States. The MRA was signed at the World Customs Organization 3rd Global Authorized Economic Operators (AEO) Conference in Cancun, Mexico. This means that… Continue Reading

CBSA Announces Enhancements to Trusted Traveler Program

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

On May 12, 2016, the Canada Border Services Agency (“CBSA”) announced that it is expanding Free and Secure Trade (FAST) benefits for members of its trusted trader programs. The FAST Program is a joint Canada–U.S. initiative to enhance border and trade chain security and make cross-border commercial shipments simpler and subject to fewer delays. FAST… Continue Reading

Women Traveling With Expensive Purses/Handbags May Expect The CBSA To Ask Questions

Posted in Customs Law, NEXUS

There is a trend at Montreal Trudeau International Airport – Canada Border Services Agency (“CBSA”) officers are asking women who return to Canada with expensive purses (Dior, Prada, Coach, Channel, etc.) to go to secondary inspection.  In the Secondary Inspection Area, the CBSA officers accuse the woman of purchasing their purse/handbag on their most recent… Continue Reading

Canadian Manufacturers in the Agri-Food Sector Have an Opportunity to Eliminate Customs Duties

Posted in Agriculture, Canada's Federal Government, Customs Law

On April 22, 2016, the Federal Government of Canada (in particular, the Department of Finance) launched public consultations on the elimination of unrecoverable customs duties (MFN rate) payable on imported manufacturing ingredients by manufacturers in the agri-food sector.  The consultation were first announced in the 2016 Federal Budget. The submissions are due on or before… Continue Reading

Don’t Cross the Canada-US Border with a Fake/Real Grenade

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

I am not kidding – I should not have to write this blog post – The Government of Canada says “Please do not cross the border into Canada with a grenade in your vehicle.”  It does not matter if the grenade is fake/inert or real/live.  I am writing this because on April 21, 2016, three… Continue Reading

TFTEA – Export Focus

Posted in Aerospace & Defence, Border Security, Controlled Goods Program, Corporate Counsel, Cross-border deals, Cross-border trade, Customs Law, Export Controls & Economic Sanctions, Exports, Legal Developments

In earlier editions of this blog, we first summarized the new law and then addressed the intellectual property rights changes it contained. Now, we turn to the export focused provisions in the Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Act (“TFTEA”). Mainly those export provisions have to do with information collection for targeting.  However, new initiatives for… Continue Reading

TFTEA – CBP Organizational Structure

Posted in Aerospace & Defence, Border Security, Corporate Counsel, Cross-border deals, Cross-border trade, Customs Law, Export Controls & Economic Sanctions, Legal Developments

Among its many provisions, the Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Act (“TFTEA” or the “Act”), H.R. 644, formally establishes U.S. Customs and Border Protection (“CBP”) as a department within Homeland Security (“DHS”). Section 802(a) contains the key provisions. That section amends Section 411 of the Homeland Security Act and the U.S. Code to reflect the… Continue Reading

The Art of Self Defense

Posted in Aerospace & Defence, Anti-Trust/Competition Law, Antidumping, Border Security, Buy America, Constitutional Law, Controlled Goods Program, Corporate Counsel, Criminal Law, Cross-border deals, Cross-border litigation, Cross-border trade, Customs Law, Cybersecurity and Privacy, Export Controls & Economic Sanctions, Exports, FCPA/Anti-Corruption, Government Procurement, Imports Restrictions, Intellectual Property, International Arbitrations, Legal Developments, NAFTA, origin, tariff classification, Tax, Trade Agreeements, Trade Remedies, Transportation, valuation, World Trade Organization

Corporate compliance programs come in all shapes and sizes and apply whether your company is privately owned or publicly traded. These internal controls take the form of accounting and audit procedures, import-export/regulatory policies, employment guidelines, ethics/anti-corruption initiatives and so on. The intent of any compliance program is to ensure that employees know what is expected… Continue Reading

More Tariff Reductions Coming In Canada As Promised in The 2016 Budget

Posted in Cross-border trade, Customs Law

Today, the Canadian Government tabled the 2016 Budget.  Hidden in the middle of the long document is the following statement about tariff reductions: “Supporting Manufacturers Through Tariff Relief Canadian manufacturers need a wide range of inputs to produce their high-quality products. Some of these manufacturing inputs are imported and may face tariffs when entering Canada…. Continue Reading

New Customs Bill Is Now Law

Posted in Aerospace & Defence, Agriculture, Border Security, Corporate Counsel, Cross-border deals, Cross-border trade, Customs Law, Government Procurement, Intellectual Property, Legal Developments, Trade Remedies

Originally published in the Journal of Commerce in March 2016 On February 24, 2016, President Obama signed into law H.R. 644. Entitled the “Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Act of 2015,” it contains a good many technical revisions to existing Customs and Border Protection (“CBP”) processes, procedures, laws and regulations. Much more is included, so… Continue Reading

Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Act of 2015 and Intellectual Property Rights

Posted in Aerospace & Defence, Border Security, Corporate Counsel, Criminal Law, Cross-border deals, Cross-border trade, Customs Law, Government Procurement, Intellectual Property, Legal Developments, Trade Remedies

This article was co-authored with Kevin M. Rosenbaum of MS&K. On February 24, 2016, President Obama signed into law the Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Act of 2015, PL 114-125 (TFTEA), which includes an assortment of trade facilitation and trade enforcement provisions, including a number of provisions focused on intellectual property rights (IPR). Section III… Continue Reading

New Customs Bill Becomes Law

Posted in Antidumping, Border Security, Corporate Counsel, Cross-border deals, Cross-border trade, Customs Law, Exports, Government Procurement, Intellectual Property, Legal Developments, NAFTA, origin, tariff classification, Trade Agreeements, Trade Remedies, Transportation, valuation

On February 24, 2016, H.R. 644 was signed into law by the President. While yet another trade-related bill was signed without any public ceremony, this new law contains a number of timely provisions. The first section deals with trade facilitation side-by-side with trade enforcement. The CBP Commissioner is directed to coordinate with the Director of… Continue Reading

The CITT Does Not Like Messy Appeals

Posted in Customs Law, Legal Developments, Legal Writing, origin, tariff classification, valuation

The Worldpac Canada v. President of the Canada Border Services Agency case (AP-2014-021) released by the Canadian International Trade Tribunal (“CITT”) on March 8, 2016 contains a few paragraphs that do not hide the CITT’s frustration with the appeal paperwork in this case.  Member Downey states in the Reasons: “… the Tribunal also wishes to… Continue Reading

What Is A “Blanket Authorization” And Why Does It Matter?

Posted in Customs Law, origin, tariff classification, Uncategorized, valuation

According to the Canadian International Trade Tribunal (“CITT”) in Worldpac Canada v. President of the Canada Border Services Agency, AP-2014-021 (Order and Reasons released on February 18, 2016 and posted on the CITT website on March 8, 2016), a “blanket authorization” is a “mechanism involving a specific process by which an importer can apply to… Continue Reading

A Mistake That People Make After Getting Into Trouble With The CBSA

Posted in Customs Law, NEXUS

I often receive calls from individuals who have had their NEXUS membership cards cancelled or confiscated by the Canada Border Services Agency (“CBSA”). Many of these individuals believe that the CBSA was sympathetic  to their situation and was trying to help when the CBSA officer suggested that they write a letter explaining their side of… Continue Reading

Trans-Pacific Partnership: Bane or Boon?

Posted in Agriculture, Antidumping, Border Security, Corporate Counsel, Cross-border deals, Cross-border trade, Customs Law, Exports, Imports Restrictions, Intellectual Property, Legal Developments, origin, Trade Agreeements, Trade Remedies

Originally published by the Journal of Commerce in November 2015 As every international trader worth his/her salt knows, the text of the Trans-Pacific Partnership was released on November 5th. Given word from the Executive Branch is the agreement is still being “scrubbed”, it is reasonable to conclude the text is not yet final, but is… Continue Reading

Trans-Pacific Partnership Negotiations Concluded – Now What?

Posted in Corporate Counsel, Cross-border deals, Cross-border trade, Customs Law, Government Procurement, Imports Restrictions, Intellectual Property, Legal Developments, origin, Trade Agreeements

Originally published by the Journal of Commerce in October 2015 With the news the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations have been successfully concluded, the obvious question is what is next? The Republican leadership in the House of Representatives is in chaos. As we go to press, the presumptive new Speaker has withdrawn, the caucus is coming… Continue Reading

U.S. Customs and Border Protection Has ACE Up Its Sleeve

Posted in Aerospace & Defence, Agriculture, Antidumping, Border Security, Corporate Counsel, Cross-border trade, Customs Law, Exports, Government Procurement

A version of this article was also published by the Journal of Commerce in February 2016. What a difference a few days make! Up until Monday, February 8th, it was understood that on February 28th, CBP entries, and those filed with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and… Continue Reading

ACE Deadline Reminder for Imports and Exports

Posted in Aerospace & Defence, Agriculture, Antidumping, Border Security, Corporate Counsel, Criminal Law, Cross-border trade, Customs Law, Exports

On February 28, 2016, those involved with imports and exports are preparing to undergo a major transition. As of that date, all entries must be filed using the new Automated Commercial Environment (ACE) system. ACE not only replaces the current Customs and Border Protection (CBP) system, but is designed to reengineer CBP’s operational processes; develop… Continue Reading