The Canada Border Services Agency (“CBSA”) permits importers to make a “no-names” disclosure in order to request advice from the CBSA as to the possibility of a successful voluntary disclosure (like a prior disclosure in the USA). In the case of a no-names voluntary disclosure, the CBSA does not require the importer’s representative to give the importer’s name (if the importer attempted a no-names disclosure, the identity is given to the CBSA in the process of coming to chat). Discussions are informal, non-binding and general in nature Often the CBSA requests a psotal code of the importer and have accepted the name of the town if the postal code given a single building or the identity of the importer can be determined by way of a simple address search.
The no-names voluntary disclosure process is primarily intended to provide insight into the voluntary disclosure process. The importer or their representative may obtain a better understanding of the risks and relief available. For example, an importer may determine how may years of information the CBSA will require (and for how many years back they are going to have to calculate duties and goods and services tax payable).
The CBSA will respond to written requests for no-names disclosures based on information provided and will be bound by the response for 90 days after the opinion is provided (See D-Memorandum D-11-6-4 “Relief of Interest.or Penalties Including Voluntary Disclosure)
It is important to note that a decision to not proceed with a voluntary disclosure leaves open the risk of a verification and the CBSA assessing customs duties and GST (and interest and penalties). If a no-names voluntary disclosure is not undertaken with care, the CBSA may commence verifications of a particular H.S. code under a targeted verification strategy/priority.