This top 10 mistakes blog article has been created with the
assistance of Vincent Gaudreau, a former Canada Border Services
Agency (CBSA) Officer in the Antidumping and Countervailing
After the CBSA initiates an antidumping investigation, the CBSA
issues an exporter request for information (RFI) that must be
completed by the exporter of the goods (and if the exporter is not
the manufacturer of the goods, the manufacturer of the goods must
be provided with a copy of the RFI to complete and submit
also). The CBSA sets a deadline that is between 30-35 days
after the initiation of the antidumping investigation.
Top ten mistakes in responding to CBSA
Waiting too long before hiring a Canadian antidumping
specialist. A Canadian antidumping specialist knows
why the CBSA is asking certain questions. Care must be taken
in completing the RFI response. The goal in completing the
RFI response is to receive a 0% dumping margin or the lowest
possible normal value based on the information provided. Too
many exporters do not understand why they are completing the RFI
(other than to be able to sell into the Canadian market).
Waiting too long to get started. In most
cases, the antidumping specialist is hired with only a week left
before the filing deadline. I have been asked many times to request
an extension of time. However, the CBSA refuses to grant
extensions of time.
The exporter fails to dedicate company personnel and
other resources to the investigation and the completion of the
RFI. The completion of the RFI is a lot of
work. It is necessary to dedicate a team, which includes
senior people knowledgeable about domestic sales, knowledgeable
about sales to Canada, knowledgeable about the financial accounting
system, knowledgeable about taxes, and knowledgeable about
The non-confidential version of the RFI response and
supporting documentation is prepared at the very end
(instead of identifying confidential parts and documents as
individual replies are prepared). As a result, highly
confidential information is made public.
The exporter does not understand what goods are within
the product scope and includes non-subject goods in the
response. This makes for more work. However, it
takes a little time discussing the subject goods and possibly a
communication with the CBSA to understand the product scope.
If the CBSA provides a ruling that certain goods are not subject
goods, that ruling may be useful at a later date. These
questions should be resolved early.
The exporter provides domestic sales documentation, tax
returns, financial statements and other documents written in the
original language and fails to provide English
translations. The CBSA instructions indicate that
all RFIs must include a French or English translation (Canada's
The exporter does not take time to properly identify
similar domestic goods. The exporter must complete
information concerning sales of like goods in the domestic
market. In many cases, there are no sales in the domestic
market that are identical to the goods sold to Canada. In
these circumstances, the exporter must select similar domestic
goods. Which goods are selected can impact the normal value
Costs have not been broken down to specific product
models for which the company wishes to receive normal
values. Exporters often consolidate information rather
than focusing the RFI response on specific models.
Sales and cost data in response do not
reconcile with information on financial statements.
Overhead and other general costs are improperly
allocated between subject and non-subject goods, export and
domestic sales. As a result, the normal values are
inflated. If this is done properly, normal values can be
within a reasonable range to permit sales after an antidumping
order is in place.
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.
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