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The Canadian International Trade Tribunal (the “CITT”) announced an Order in Expiry Review RR-2021-004 on October 19, 2022 (the “Order”), continuing its order made on January 4, 2017, in Expiry Review NQ-2016-002, in respect of the dumping of certain gypsum board products originating in or exported from the U.S., imported into Canada for use or consumption in the provinces of BC, AB, SK, and MB, as well as NT and YK (the “Subject Goods”). 

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In a “bad news case” for unsecured creditors, the Federal Court has confirmed that the CRA’s deem trusts over things like unpaid GST/HST and income tax source deductions take precedence to prevent loan repayment to unsecured creditors.  This means that related and unrelated persons loaning money to Canadian small businesses on an unsecured basis (which is common - think about the loans being advanced by business partners, parents and spouses) are at risk when those businesses default on their tax obligations.

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On March 27, 2024, the Canada Border Services Agency ("CBSA") received a representation from Tenaris Canada ("Tenaris"), requesting a reinvestigation of normal values and subsidy amounts for oil country tubular goods ("OCTG1") and seamless casing ("SC") exported from China. Under the CBSA’s policy, other interested persons have the opportunity to respond to this representation by submitting comments to the CBSA.

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On March 8, 2024, the Canada Border Services Agency (“CBSA”) issued a Notice of Initiation of Investigation under the Special Import Measures Act (“SIMA”) in respect of the alleged dumping of certain wire rod from China, Egypt, and Vietnam.  This investigation was prompted by a complaint filed by an Ontario manufacturer. 

The goods under investigation are more specifically described as: 

Certain hot‐rolled wire rod of carbon steel and alloy steel of circular or approximately circular cross section, in coils, equal to or less than 25.5 mm in actual solid cross‐sectional diameter, originating in or exported from the People’s Republic of China, the Arab Republic of Egypt and the Socialist Republic of Vietnam (the “Subject Goods”). 

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In December 2023, the Supreme Court of Canada dismissed the Crown’s application for Leave to Appeal the Federal Court of Appeal (“FCA”) decision in Canada v. Dr. Kevin L. Davis Dentistry Professional Corporation 2023 FCA 76(“Davis”), leaving the FCA decision as the state of the law.  The FCA had upheld the Tax Court of Canada’s (“TCC”) judgment (2021 TCC 25) allowing Dr. Davis to claim input tax credits (“ITCs”) incurred in the course of suppling orthodontic appliances and services to patients.

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The direct selling industry poses a number of unique challenges for Canadian sales tax regimes.  The patchwork of separate federal GST/HST and provincial PST/QST regimes only further complicate the matter, making it difficult for new entrants to the Canadian market to determine their collection, remittance, and reporting obligations.  This revised article from our 2023 primer provides a brief overview these optional sales tax rules.

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Canada Border Services Agency (“CBSA”) has announced that the final iteration of its recent revamping of Canada’s import systems will arrive May 13, 2024.

Direct Sellers importing their products into Canada for further distribution or sale to their salesforce or customers (including with the assistance of a customs broker) – will be particularly concerned with these changes!

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Direct Sellers and the distributor and representative businesses that work closely with them should be no stranger to oversight and scrutiny from all levels of government, no matter where they operate.

The Canada Revenue Agency (“CRA”) recently added one more headache for in-house Law Departments and other Compliance Professionals with Direct Selling Companies, issuing a warning exclaiming: “Watch out for tax schemes involving multilevel marketing businesses!” (the “Warning”).

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Quebec’s controversial Bill 96, officially titled “An Act respecting French, the official and common language of Quebec” (“Act”), was passed in 2022. Bill 96 amends the Charter of the French Language (“Charter”) to try and ensure that French remains the predominant language in commercial activities within Quebec. Practically speaking, Bill 96 has made things extremely complicated for any English-based Canadian or US business trying to operate in Quebec, including both Canadian and US Direct Sellers.

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The Canadian International Trade Tribunal (“CITT”) announced an Order in Expiry Review RR-2021-005 on December 29, 2022 (“Order”), continuing its order made on April 7, 2017, in expiry review RR-2016-001, in respect of the dumping of Pup Joints products from the People’s Republic of China (“Subject Goods”). 

What is an Expiry Review

Expiry Reviews are conducted jointly by the Canada Border Services Agency (“CBSA”) and the CITT to review prior Anti-Dumping Duty (“ADD”) or Countervailing Duty (“CVD”) orders made by the CITT (“Orders”) under Special Import Measures Act (“SIMA”).  These Expiry Reviews generally occur every five years following the original Orders or a subsequent renewal.

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On January 18, 2024, the Canada Border Services Agency (“CBSA”) issue a Notice of Conclusion in the ongoing Expiry Review of Carbon Steel Welded Pipe 2 (“CSWP-2”) exported from the Separate Customs Territory of Taiwan, Penghu, Kinmen and Matsu (“Chinese Taipei”), India, Oman, South Korea, Thailand and the UAE (“Subject Goods”). The CBSA determined that the expiry of the Canadian International Trade Tribunal’s (“CITT”) order dated October 15, 2018, in Expiry ReviewRR2017005, is likely to result in the continuation or resumption of (i) dumping of Subject Goods (from all the above-noted countries) and (ii) subsidizing of Subject Goods (exported from India). A detailed Statement of Reasons for this determination was released on February 02, 2024.

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On January 22, 2024, the CBSA issued a Notice of Retroactive Assessments in respect of certain Corrosion-Resistant Steel Sheet (“COR-2”) goods imported into Canada from Türkiye (formerly Turkey) and Vietnam.

Canadian importers of these COR-2 goods may soon find themselves on the receiving end of these retroactive assessments in respect of imports into Canda between December 2021 and November 2022!

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A recent Federal Court of Appeal (“FCA“) decision in Pillon v. Canada (2024 FCA 24) highlights the difficulties that Tax Debtors will face if trying to avoid GST and income tax debts.  Both the Excise Tax Act (“ETA”) and the Income Tax Act (“ITA”) have extremely powerful collections tools allowing the Canada Revenue Agency (“CRA”) to assess certain non-arm’s length persons (think spouses, children, relatives, close friends and associates) that have been transferred a Tax Debtor’s property for less than fair market value (“FMV”).  These rules can even apply to corporate shareholders receiving dividends from delinquent corporations.

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The new year brings an important new reporting obligation likely affecting many Canadian and some US-based Direct Selling businesses – and sadly, the in-house Law Department and other Compliance Professionals they employ!

New Canadian Forced Labour Legislation / Reporting Requirements

Canada’s Bill S-211, Fighting Against Forced Labour and Child Labour in Supply Chains Act (the “FCLA” and “Forced Labour”), came into force on January 1, 2024.  These new Forced Labour rules are broadly aimed at eradicating Forced Labour from Canadian supply chains, by establishing annual reporting requirements, banning related imports and increasing non-compliance penalties.

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The recent decision of the Tax Court of Canada (“TCC”) in Refind Environment Inc. v. The King (2024 TCC 2) is a poignant reminder of the importance of filing deadlines.

In Refind, the TCC dismissed an application for an extension of time to file a Notice of Objection against assessments under the Excise Tax Act (“ETA”) because the Registrant was one (1) day late in filing their application for an extension of time to the Minister of National Revenue (the “Minister”)!

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Canada’s furniture industry was seemingly upturned in late 2020 with the Canada Border Services Agency (“CBSA”) investigation and then its Notice of Preliminary Determination that certain upholstered domestic seating (“UDS”) being imported to Canada from China and Vietnam was being dumped.  Almost overnight, it seemed, the cost of Canadian leather sofas and recliners skyrocketed (some under dumping and subsidy duties set as high as 188%) – with CBSA’s imposition of provisional and then final anti-dumping duties, levied under Canada’s Special Import Measures Act (“SIMA”), being to blame.   (Canadian industry might suggest NOT “to blame” BUT to “protect”, Canadian competitiveness that is).

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On August 21, 2023, the Canadian International Trade Tribunal (“CITT”) announced an Expiry Review of its finding made on October 15, 2018, in Expiry Review RR-2017-005, continuing its finding made on December 11, 2012, in Inquiry No. NQ-2012-003 in respect of Carbon Steel Welded Pipe exported from Chinese Taipei, the Republic of India, the Sultanate of Oman, the Republic of Korea, the Kingdom of Thailand and the United Arab Emirates.

On January 23, 2024, the CITT released a Revised Notice of Expiry Review RR-2023-003, updating certain elements of the Expiry Review Schedule.  Relevant Questionnaires have also been posted.

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The Canada Border Services Agency (“CBSA”) resets its “audit priority areas” twice per year. Essentially, the CBSA designates certain products as priority areas for customs verifications (i.e., “audits”) based on the program areas that the CBSA believes pose a significant risk for import non-compliance in terms of tariff classification, valuation, and/or origin of goods.

The CBSA has now released its January 2024 Trade Compliance Verification priorities, setting the stage for the next six (6) months. While there are no new audit priorities in this round, the CBSA has announced its intention to engage in new rounds of verifications on a number of historic issues, and updated its statistics on existing verifications. As is often the case, most of the focus is on tariff classification!

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The Canadian International Trade Tribunal (“CITT”) has announced an Expiry Review in respect of the dumping of corrosion-resistant flat-rolled steel sheet products of carbon steel from China, Chinese Taipei, India and the Republic of Korea.

What is an Expiry Review

Expiry Reviews are conducted jointly by the Canada Border Services Agency (“CBSA”) and the CITT to review prior Anti-Dumping Duty (“ADD”) or Countervailing Duty (“CVD”) orders made by the CITT (“Orders”) under Special Import Measures Act (“SIMA”). These Expiry Reviews generally occur every five years following the original Orders or subsequent renewal.

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On January 22, 2024, the Canada Border Services Agency (“CBSA”) issued a notice of conclusion of expedited review in respect of certain hollow structural sections (“HSS”) exported to Canada by Histeel Co. Ltd. (“Histeel”) from South Korea.

What is an Expedited Review?

Under subsection 13.2(1) of the Special Import Measures Act (“SIMA”), an exporter or producer may request the CBSA conduct an expedited review where:

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