Blog Posts

Compliance Verification Trends Issue #8 - April 2020

Posted by Audit Response Unit (ARU) - Cole International on Apr 1, 2020 9:00:00 AM

SPECIAL NOTICE: The CBSA has put off all verification related activities until at least April 20, 2020. The length of this suspension period may be re-evaluated at a later date. We will update you as soon as more information comes available. 


Canada Border Services Agency prioritizes certain industries and products for audits to ensure ongoing compliance. The Agency keeps their verification priority list current on their website. Cole’s Audit Response Team also keeps track of trends we see in CBSA verifications, which we share with you regularly so you can feel secure about your customs compliance.

Forewarned is forearmed

Preparation is key if you’re importing targeted items.

Items on the CBSA’s priority list are very likely to be audited. So it’s important that you know which goods are being targeted, and that you ensure customs compliance when importing those items.Being prepared gives you the chance to adapt, account for added costs, adjust selling prices, and generally soften the impacts to your business.

If you aren’t prepared and CBSA finds non-compliance, you may be facing duties, taxes, and additional penalties. It’s worth staying on top of the targeted items and making sure you comply with all customs requirements.

Target update – March 2020

This month our Audit Response Unit is not talking about verification trends. This is due to the majority of verifications this past quarter has been one-offs.

What we do want to mention is that there have been a couple of verifications for products that are new and not mentioned in CBSA Verification Target Lists in the past.

These are:Paint_41699821_s

Pigments and paints

CBSA is looking at pigments of heading 3212.90 and wanting to reclassify these products under 3208.90 as paints and varnishes. This means a change of duty rate from 0% up to 6.5% duty.

CleaningProducts_78009717_sCleaners under 3402.20

CBSA has reviewed the NAFTA qualification of certain chemicals that are classified as cleaning preparations. If the NAFTA certificate is found to be invalid, it could mean a jump in duty rate from 0% to 6.5% duty.




What to do

If you import any of the targeted goods, or goods close in nature to those on the target list, our audit specialists recommend:

  • An internal review to ensure your imports have accurate and complete documentation
  • Detailed technical information on your products, and copies of any past rulings, verification results, or custom opinions so your customs broker or consultant can help review your product classifications
  • A voluntary disclosure if your review reveals any errors or omissions

We can help

Our dedicated Audit Response Unit is staffed by professionals who keep current on verification trends and have decades experience managing customs verifications. They understand the potential risks and costs to a business facing an audit—and work with you to both avoid being audited and to respond effectively if an audit does happen.

Information provided by: Audit Response Unit (ARU) - Cole International

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Watching audit trends. It's what we do.