It is January 1, 2014 and time for Cyndee’s top 10 predictions for 2014. There will be a number of border issues for Canadians and persons doing business with Canadians.

1. The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) will confiscate and cancel an increasing number of NEXUS passes.  In 2013, we saw many NEXUS pass holders run into difficulties at the border and NEXUS passes being confiscated and cancelled for minor infractions.  This trend will continue in 2014.

2. The CBSA will increase enforcement action with respect to antidumping and countervailing duties.  Canada has antidumping and/or countervailing duty orders against screws, aluminum extrusions, copper pipe fittings, copper tube and other goods.  There will be more mistakes made by exporters in the United States and other transshipment countries. these mistakes will result in significant assessments.  The CBSA will scrutinize the adjustments more quickly and more frequently – and the disagreements will result in more AMPS penalties and additional assessments (above the amount of the voluntary adjustments).

4. Subsequent proceeds will be a focus of more verifications and detailed adjustment statements. Subsequent proceeds are amounts paid from an importer to an exporter (often between related parties and as a result of year-end payments). For example, if as a result of a transfer pricing agreement, the importer pays and amount to the exporter, the CBSA may consider the amount to be a subsequent proceed and expect additional customs duties to be paid.

5. The CBSA will increasingly detain and seize counterfeit goods at the border. Canada’s laws are improving and will be shown to have teeth.

6. The CBSA will conduct more examinations of computers and smartphones.  The CBSA has the power to examine these items.  However, what will be new for 2014 is that the CBSA will be looking for non-compliance with Canada’s laws (and not just prohibited materials and false invoices).

7. Canada will make changes to its customs laws relating to non-resident importers.  We have been waiting for legislative amendments since Cherry Stix, which is a Canadian International Trade Tribunal case that has resulted in confusion.  The valuation rules with respect to non-resident importers appear to be more favourable than resident importers. I predict the legislative changes will be announced in 2014 and non-resident importers will have to adjust their practices.

8. Canada will make changes to its customs laws and other laws to implement promises in the Canada-EU CETA and the TPP.  Both of these trade agreements will not yet be ratified in 2014.  However, I predict that the Canadian legislature will start implementing the changes necessary to give effect to what has been agreed.  This will allow changes to be in place (and businesses to have adjusted) at the time of ratification.

9. Due to the WTO Appellate Body decision relating to U.S. Country of Origin Labeling rules and the U.S. failure to implement changes to their laws, Canada will retaliate against imports from the United States.  Canadian manufacturers will see the opportunity for protectionism and there will be some surprises.

10. In 2014, CBSA officers will come under greater scrutiny just as Canada Revenue Agency employees have been the focus of news stories in 2013.  I predict the television show “Border Security” will create another controversy – but the main prediction will be that one or more CBSA officers will be exposed for inappropriate use of powers. I am sorry to write this prediction because the majority of CBSA officers are diligent workers.  I am saying a few bad apples will be exposed by main stream media.