On the first business day of the new year, the 6th of
January 2015, the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) issued its
customs compliance verification priorities for 2015. After first
noting that trade program verifications of tariff classification,
customs valuation and origin are not limited to targets but rather
are also initiated randomly to assess risk and revenue, and to
promote voluntary compliance, the CBSA shared its priorities for
each of its customs compliance programs. In some cases, targets are
experiencing a second round of trade verification, and in other
cases, the CBSA is either continuing an existing round of
verification or is planning a new round.
Brand new tariff classification verifications will be conducted
for cereals, geophysical and oceanographic instruments, articles of
apparel, clothing accessories, parts for power trains, and
First round verifications will continue in 2015 on certain
imports of furniture for non-domestic purposes, various chemical
products, batteries, apparel samples, bags of polymers of ethylene,
footwear "customs valued" at $30 or more per pair, hair
extensions, machinery for public works, sacks and bags, special
purpose motor vehicles, and polyurethanes in primary forms.
Importers of fresh cut flowers, pickled vegetables, curling
irons, spectacle lenses, palm oil, safety headgear, seaweed,
dextrins and other modified starches, disposable and protective
gloves, wheel rims and spokes, coconut milk (Asian countries), and
gazebos will experience a second round of customs audits of tariff
Customs valuation audits will be commenced or continue for fresh
cut flowers, apparel, footwear, and preparations and
Finally, origin verifications will continue or be initiated on
mattress upholstery, t-shirts and jewellery.
Importers of the indicated goods would be prudent to prepare
themselves for CBSA trade verifications by conducting internal
reviews of their compliance practices, thereby getting out in front
of audit results that may include application of administrative
monetary penalties. Given the random application of CBSA
audits, the same would apply to all other importers. As business
priorities and judgments necessarily colour decisions as to whether
or not to become compliant retroactively or prospectively, if at
all, it is very important that internal reviews be conducted under
the auspices of solicitor-client privilege to retain
confidentiality. This is achieved by retaining actual legal
counsel; no other professional advisors can offer the same
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guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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While that agreement mandated export measures on Canadian softwood lumber exports destined for the United States, it also protected those lumber exports from the potential imposition of onerous import measures by the U.S.
On September 29, 2016, the Supreme Court of Canada issued its first tariff classification decision since Canada signed the International Convention on the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System in 1998.
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