The January 2020 Canadian International Trade Tribunal (“CITT”) decision in Landmark Trade Services v. President of the CBSA (Case No. AP-2019-002) was a welcome relief for customs brokers because the CITT held that Landmark was not liable as the “importer” of the goods, despite the fact the import documentation described Landmark as the importer and purchaser. Accordingly, Landmark would not be on the hook for the additional duty owing from the incorrect tariff classifications used on those import documents.
Over a year later, however, Landmark’s victory has resulted in headaches for their customers, some of whom are now being reassessed by the CBSA and held liable for the additional duty as owners of the goods at the time they were imported into Canada. To understand why, one must understand what Landmark was doing.