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 (acting as a customs broker for what can loosely be described as a freight-forwarding situation) 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, Landmark's victory has resulted in headaches for businesses that use similar freight-forwarding structures, as the CBSA looks to re-assess them and hold them liable for additional duty on the basis they were the owners of the goods at the time of import. To understand why, one must understand what Landmark was doing.
January 1, 2015 was a big day for changes in the General Preferential Tariff (the "GPT"). On that day, Canada removed 72 countries from the list of nations that benefited from the GPT. Most notable among the list of countries removed from the GPT was China, an exporting superpower, but other significant countries on the list include Brazil, India, Russia, South Africa, and Turkey. The full list is provided at the bottom of this page.
Like many areas of law, in customs valuation there are cases that represent so-called high and low water marks – cases that represent the extremes of possible outcomes, given a set of facts. Every once in a while, a case comes along that moves these marks around – often surprising practitioners. The recent case of Skechers USA Canada Inc. v. CBSA is one of those cases, and the decision of the Canadian International Trade Tribunal (the “CITT”) has caught the attention of many practitioners.
The Canada Border Services Agency ("CBSA") recently issued Customs Notice N-13-011 ... well maybe not so recently ... in May ... but it sometimes takes that long to keep up to date with these pressing announcements :).
The changes relate to CBSA”) administration of customs Administrative Monetary Penalties(“AMPs”) which may apply to the most basic of errors by Canada’s commercial importers, and can in some instances be as high as $500,000. These penalties are often imposed in connection with CBSA customs verifications -- short terms of "audit" and are aimed at securing compliance with customs legislation.
The Canada Border Services Agency ("CBSA") publishes a list of its active trade compliance verification priorities twice a year, outlining the industries or goods that it is prioritizing for compliance verification. This year the Canadian Apparel industry has been targeted, and has been issued a spate of Trade Compliance Notification Letters. The five most critical things that Apparel importers need to know before responding to these Notification letters are as follows.