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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 complicates the matter, making it difficult for new entrants to the Canadian market to determine their collection, remittance, and reporting obligations. This article provides a brief overview of the optional sales tax rules available to direct sellers.

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An oft-forgotten point in Trade and Customs disputes is the lack of legal weight courts will give to CBSA Administrative Policies (i.e., D-Memos) which set out CBSA’s interpretation of customs laws and procedures.

The recent case in Entreprise Robert Thibert Inc., 2021 CanLII 122329 (CA CITT) (“Entreprise”) serves as a useful reminder for importers that there is real risk in relying on these policies, especially in the tariff classification context, even when the CBSA’s published administrative position appears to be clear and unambiguous.

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