Summer Musings about Canadian Customs Regulations

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These are relatively quiet times for new, impactful Canadian customs regulations, but a few recent postings are of note.

We have regulations amending the accounting for imported goods and payment of duties regulations which will, when in force, offer access to the CBSA’s CSA program to importers that ordinarily reside in either Canada or the United States. The addition of the US importers seems to be responsive to the several US non-resident importers who have expressed interest in joining the program. The CSA program is intended to facilitate trade by permitting the forwarding of trade data and reporting and remitting of payment of taxes and duties once per month using their own business systems and processes. US non-resident importers into Canada will receive all the benefits the program has to offer subject to meeting the CBSA’s requirements. One might expect an increase in the trend toward control of Canadian customs compliance in the US in the case of multi-nationally invested companies.

A clarification of the imported goods records regulations has been announced by the CBSA for commercial goods imported and released duty free under tariff item 9948.00.00. The CBSA will allow the importer of the goods to attest to the intended use to be made rather than require a certificate or other record signed by the user of the goods attesting their actual use. Relief from the requirement to obtain a certificate will be seen as essential by importers of consumer type electronic equipment and other goods that benefit from a use based tariff preference, which has been the subject of much debate recently. The importer will, however, remain obligated to advise the CBSA when it becomes aware of any diversion and to keep records sufficient to confirm that the full applicable duties have been paid in such circumstances.