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Ascertained Forfeitures & Seizures


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MILLAR KREKLEWETZ LLP is a boutique Canadian law firm with lawyers who have significant expertise in customs and trade matters involving seizures and ascertained forfeitures under Canada's Customs Act.

The following is a short introduction to seizures and ascertained forfeitures under Canada's Customs Act.

Ascertained Forfeitures & Seizures

The Customs Act provides for various civil penalties and criminal prosecution for contraventions.

Ascertained Forfeitures

Ascertained forfeiture is used as an alternative to seizure where the goods cannot be found or if seizure would be impractical, and allows the CBSA to demand payment of up to the value of the goods plus applicable duties. The CBSA does so by issuing a Notice of Ascertained Forfeiture.

Civil Penalties

Civil penalties take the form of seizures and ascertained forteitures and can be triggered by simple non-compliance with customs legislation, with no requirement for willful default or neglect on the part of the importer.

Criminal Prosecution

The Customs Act also imposes large criminal fines and possible imprisonment for certain offences. For more information on Criminal Prosecution for customs laws violations, return to the Practice Area Index.

Importers facing criminal charges under the Customs Act are entitled to be presumed innocent until proven guilty, and also entitled to other Charter rights. However, they are also generally required to provide defences to the issues on which they have been charged.

Assistance with Ascertained Forfeitures or Seizures

Millar Kreklewetz LLP is well-placed to provide guidance and counsel on customs law matters, and persons facing ascertained forfeiture or seizure situations, or wishing more information on criminal prosecutions or civil penalties under the Custom Act are encouraged to use the form on this page to contact us for specific legal advice applicable to their unique fact situation.



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