On June 15, 2016, the Government of Canada introduced Bill C-21 "An Act to amend the Customs
Act" in the House of Commons. The amendments to the Customs Act focus on exports of people and
goods. Many of the amendments deal with the gathering of
information about the export of goods and people. However, one of
the hidden changes relating to export smuggling may be more
important for businesses.
New subsection 159(2) of the Customs Act creates a new
offence of smuggling out of Canada. Subsection 159(2) provides:
"Every person commits an offence
who smuggles or attempts to smuggle out of Canada, whether
clandestinely or not, any goods that are subject to duties, or any
goods the exportation of which is prohibited, controlled or
regulated under this or any other Act of Parliament."
This provision must be read in conjunction with many other
statutes, such as the Export and Import Permits Act, the
Special Economic Measures Act, the United Nations
Section 160 of the Customs Act is amended to extend the
punishment to export smugglers. If a person commits an offence
under new Subsection 159 (2) of the Customs Act, the person may,
upon summary conviction, be fined up to $50,000 and/or face up to
six (6) months in prison. Upon indictment, the person may be be
fined up to $50o,000 and/or face up to five (5) years in
The Canada Border Services Agency and the Royal Canadian Mounted
Police will enforce the new export smuggling provision in the
The new smuggling offence will not be in effect until Bill C-21
completes the legislative process. The date that the amendments to
the Customs Act will come into effect will be established
Canadian businesses should be mindful of this new export
smuggling offence because it layers the punishment for exporting
controlled or prohibited goods without proper paperwork. Canadian
business persons are the most likely to run into difficulty by
traveling with the controlled or prohibited goods in their luggage.
This would include traveling with samples that are on the Export Control List.
Based on our experience, the CBSA x-rays luggage leaving Canada.
In addition, the Canadian Air Transportation Security Authority
(CATSA) x-rays luggage that travelers take with them. If CATSA sees
large sums of cash in a person's carry on luggage, they report
the cash to the CBSA and the person is removed from the flight. The
same can hold true for goods within a person's luggage. This
means that if a traveler does not have the proper paperwork
relating to the permissibility of an export of goods (e.g., an
export permit or Ministerial Authorization), it could delay travel
of the person or the goods. As a result, it will be more important
to ask questions about Canada's export controls laws.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
To print this article, all you need is to be registered on Mondaq.com.
Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.
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.
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).