The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) has posted its updated list of verification priorities for the period commencing January 2021. Verification priorities are established throughout the year and reflect the CBSA's assessment of non-compliance risk with customs rules for categories of imported goods.

Audits cover tariff classification, customs valuation and origin, and during verification will focus on one of these customs programs for a defined "verification period" (generally the last complete fiscal year). The importer faces the requirement to amend non-compliant past import entry declarations made commencing up to four years prior to the date of amendment.

The following summarizes the CBSA's verification priorities:

Tariff Classification
Spent Fowl Headings 02.07, 16.01 and 16.02
LED Lamps Heading 85.39
Furniture for Non-Domestic Purposes Headings 94.01 and 94.03
Batteries Heading 85.06
Footwear ($30 or more per pair) Heading 64.03
Articles of Apparel and Clothing Accessories Heading 39.26
Parts of Lamps Heading 94.05
Pasta Heading 19.02
Cell Phone Cases Headings 39.26, 42.02 and 85.17
Pickled Vegetables Heading 20.01
Gloves Headings 39.26 and 42.03
Safety Headgear Subheading 6506.10
Bags Heading 42.02
Import Permit Numbers (i.e., for goods subject to tariff rate quotas under Canada's supply management system) Chapters 2 and 4
Other Mountings and Fittings, Suitable for Furniture Heading 83.02
Air Heaters and Hot Air Distributors Heading 73.22
Flashlights and Miner's Safety Lamps Heading 85.13
Stone Table and Counter Tops Heading 94.03
Disposable and Protective Gloves Subheadings 3926.20 and 4015.19
Parts of Machines and Mechanical Appliances Heading 84.79
Other Chemical Products Heading 38.24

Apparel Chapters 61 and 62
Footwear Chapter 64

Bedding and Drapery Various Goods of Headings 63.01, 63.02 and 63.03

Since we last reported on the CBSA's verification priorities, they have added "Spent Fowl" and "LED Lights" to the tariff classification priorities.

A detailed list of all current verification priorities is available on the CBSA website.

Businesses that import goods listed as verification priority items should prepare for the possibility of a CBSA trade compliance verification in the near future, the results of which may include payment of additional duties, GST, interest and penalties. Importers of goods not included on this list should nevertheless be aware that the CBSA conducts random or complaint-based verifications. Best practices recommend that importers review their customs compliance practices to make sure they are compliant and can withstand audit by the CBSA. Our International Trade and Investment Practice group is available to help client importers assess their compliance/non-compliance and to assist them in the steps that should be undertaken to correct errors resulting from past non-compliant practices and improve these practices going forward.

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.