A detailed adjustment statement (also called a “DAS”) is the term used by the Canada Border Services Agency (“CBSA”) for an assessment or reassessment of duties (customs, excise, anti-dumping, countervailing) or penalties.  A DAS may be issued with respect to the original assessment/reassessment by the CBSA or after a request for redetermination.  The same form of document is used and it is important to understand the stage of the disagreement with the CBSA.  A careful review of the DAS will indicate what type of DAS has been issued and the next steps in the process.

Let’s review some of the important areas on the DAS.

Box 1 indicates the name of the importer of record and their address.  Generally, this is the person who must pay the amount assessed/reassessed in the DAS.  Generally, this is the person who must file a request for redetermination.  That being said, there are circumstances where an exporter may file a request for redetemination (for example, an exporter in a NAFTA country may appeal certain origin determinations made by the CBSA).

Box 2 indicates the number assigned to the DAS.  This is the number that must be quoted when referring to the DAS.

Box 6 is the original transaction number.  This is the number issued by the CBSA at the time of the entry of the goods into Canada. Ask your customs broker to provide the information filed with the CBSA in connection with this original transaction number.  Usually this is the best method of matching the DAS to the commercial invoice and bill of lading.

Box 7 is the date of the original release of the goods by the CBSA.  This will help an importer determine the transaction that is being assessed/reassessed.  This date is also relevant for determining whether the DAS has been issued within the statutory limitation period.

Date of Decision is the date of the DAS.  This box is next to Box 14.  Start counting from this date.

The DAS will set out assessments/reassessment based on the line of the original B3 Customs Coding Form and the original information provided.  The assessed duties (not the original amounts declared as owing) will be indicated.

The DAS should set out the reason for the assessment/reassessment after the transaction line by transaction line assessment(s).  Often the reasons provided are limited and information must be obtained from the CBSA directly or by way of an access to information request.

The DAS indicates the statutory provisions pursuant to which the assessment/reassessment has been made.   Usually, the DAS indicates whether the DAS relates to customs duties, anti-dumping/countervailing duties or excise duties.  Usually, the customs duty DAS will indicate if the issue is a tariff classification issue (and the line items will show the CBSA’s tariff classification number in box 21), an origin issue (and box 12, 13 or 25 will provide more details about origin determinations by the CBSA) or a valuation issue (and box 31 usually indicates the changed value for duty). Usually, the DAS provides the statutory limitation period (such as 90 days), but does not give the date by which a request for redetermination or appeal must be filed. We strongly recommend diarizing the deadline as soon as the DAS is received.

The last page of the DAS summarizes the assessed/reassessed amounts.  This is the page that gives the total of the amount owing for customs duties, SIMA duties, GST, excise duties, interest and penalties. The last page also gives the deadline for paying the DASsed amounts at the prescribed rate of interest.  If the DASsed amounts are not paid by that date, the interest rate increases to the specified rate of interest (which is higher than the prescribed rate of interest).

As soon as a DAS is received, the importer of record identified in Box 1 should determine whether he/she wishes to file a request for redetermination or appeal.  It is at this time that the importer should start to gather the relevant documentation needed to support the request for redetermination/appeal.  The importer of record should not wait until the last day to consider the documentation to be provided to demonstrate that the CBSA is incorrect.  Often the DAS is sent by the CBSA to the customs broker and the importer of record does not receive the DAS immediately,  It is important for these documents to be provided to the importer of record as quickly as possible.

For more information about how to respond to a DAS, please do not hesitate to contact us at 416-307-4168 or at cyndee@lexsage.com.