On July 10, 2019, Bill C-21 “An Act to amend the Customs Act” entered into effect. On July 10, 2019, the Governor in Council published in the Canada Gazette, Part II, SI-2019-44 “Order Fixing the day on which this Order is made as the day on which that Act comes into Force” (PC-2019-904) and fixed the date of entry into force as the date of the Order. The Government of Canada issued an announcement entitled “Coming into force of Bill C-21 strengthens border management” on July 11, 2019.

All amendments to the Customs Act contained in Bill C-21 entered into effect on July 10, 2019.  The key changes to the Customs Act contained in Bill C-21 are as follows:

  1.  Canada may collect information relating to persons leaving Canada (this is possible at airports, rail stations, ports and bus stations);
  2. Canada may collect information from conveyance leaving Canada (this is possible from when you travel across a land border or by pleasure craft);
  3. Every person who is leaving Canada shall, if request-ed to do so by an officer, present themselves to an officer and answer truthfully any questions asked by an officer in the performance of their duties under Canadian federal law.
  4. All exports of goods shall be reported in the prescribed manner.
  5. Any goods that are to be exported (including those that have been reported) can be detained if the goods are, by or on behalf of a debtor, are subject to a lien or hypothec for the amount owed by the debtor.  The goods can be released if the debt is paid.
  6. Amendments are made to smuggling rules.
  7. An offence provision for smuggling exported goods is added – for example smuggling prohibited or controlled goods out of Canada.
  8. The Department of Employment and Social Development are able to receive exit and entry information solely for the purpose of administering or enforcing the Employment Insurance Act and the Old Age Security Act.

On December 13, 2018, Bill C-21 received royal assent. However, the provisions did not enter into effect that day.

On March 16, 2019, the Governor in Council published the Exit Information Regulations in the Canada Gazette, Part 1.  The regulations indicate how exit information will be gathered.

For more information about Bill C-21, please contact Cyndee Todgham Cherniak at 416-307-4168 or at cyndee@lexsage.com.

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

Canada To Add Export Smuggling Offence into Customs Act