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A recent Federal Court of Appeal case dealing with standard form agreements is potentially welcome news for direct selling businesses which use standard, non-negotiable, distributor agreements for recruiting/managing their field force.

In the recent case Fédération des caisses Desjardins du Québec v. Canada (National Revenue), 2020 FCA 182 (CanLII) (“Desjardins”), the Federal Court of Appeal (“FCA”) overturned a Tax Court of Canada decision (“TCC”) which held that a person was an employee on the basis that the contract was not negotiated (i.e., a standard form contract) and that the individual had an obligation to work exclusively for Desjardins.

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One of the most hotly contested areas in trade litigation is the “value for duty” (“VFD”) of goods being imported to Canada. “Value for duty” is the base on which one calculates and pays duties and taxes. Canada Border Services Agency (“CBSA”) typically audits in this area with a view to increasing the VFD of the imported goods, increasing revenues.

In a recent Canadian International Trade Tribunal (the “CITT”) case, CBSA was forced to allow non-resident importer to use its ‘factory prices’ as the proper base for duties – which has potentially far-reaching implications for importers!

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The Supreme Court of Canada (“SCC”) has confirmed the advice we gave in our February eNewsFlash (and our previous blog) that arbitration clauses will NOT BE ENFORCED in Canada where they are viewed as unconscionable and effectively constitute a denial to the access to justice.

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With the passage of the Canada United States Mexico Agreement’s (“CUSMA”) implementing legislation on March 13, 2020, the Canada Border Services Agency (“CBSA”) has released several new Customs Notices which outline the specific implementation steps for when the agreement comes into force (which is scheduled to be July 1st, 2020).

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