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Duty exemption: Don't pay if you don't have to!

Paying duty on imported goods is a fact of life. Or is it?
You may already be aware of duty exemptions under Free Trade Agreements or Most Favoured Nation status among WTO countries, but duty breaks don't end there. There are actually more opportunities for duty exemption than many importers realize. Oftentimes, declaring the end-use of your imported goods will qualify goods that are normally dutiable for duty relief.
Importers can apply for duty relief based on end-use of the goods by completing an End Use Certificate. The specific end-uses of qualifying goods include provisions such as: “for use in,” “to be employed” or “which enter into the cost of manufacture of” to name a few.
Duty exemption
In most cases, an End Use Certificate must be completed and signed by the end user of the goods and must include details such as the end user’s name, address and occupation, a description of the goods, and a description of the actual use of the goods. In few circumstances, an importer may attest to the intended use of the goods.
The certificates can then be applied to future shipments of those same goods, saving you additional time and money. Knowing up front what goods can be duty exempt will help you to be more competitive since you can pass on the duty savings to your customers.
The primary sectors whose goods may qualify are the Agricultural, Electronics, Chemical, Automotive and Medical industries. There are more, however, and you’d be well advised to discuss any potential for duty exemption with a qualified professional.
What can you do to maximize your duty exemption opportunities?
  • Enlist the help of a customs broker or other expert to make sure you are aware of the duty relief opportunities available for your imported goods.
  • Ongoing and thorough communication with your broker is key.  The more information you share, the better your chances of identifying opportunities for reducing or eliminating duty.
  • Some goods may be eligible for post-importation refunds, if they have qualifying end-uses. Again, discuss this with your broker.
Our Trade Compliance professionals are available to answer your questions and assist with both retroactive and future duty savings. Email us today to start saving more!
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Information provided by: Canadian Customs Consulting Dept. - Cole International
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