Auditor General report – March 2017
As previously reported in this space, the Auditor General of Canada completed a review of Canadian customs duties last March. In response to that report’s recommendations, the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) will be making changes to its compliance and enforcement regime over the next two or so years.
Upcoming changes will impact the areas of reporting obligations, duty recovery and compliance – and the trade community should do what they can to be prepared.
Specifically… duty recovery
Currently, importers have up to four years after importing goods to file retroactive self-adjustments to their import forms, making changes to the tariff classification, origin or valuation of the goods.
However, the Auditor General’s report noted that the longer an importer took to file an adjustment, the more likely it was that the changes would be inaccurate. It recommended that CBSA review the period allowed for retroactive changes in order to improve compliance.
In response, the CBSA committed to conducting a review of the current framework for retroactive changes to the import form and to developing options to reduce the period allowed for the importer to make corrections.
CBSA will complete these actions by December 2019.
What should importers do now?
As an importer, you should review the tariff classifications for the goods you import to ensure accuracy. This will allow you to take advantage of duty relief and make the most of the current four year refund window. And, since Canada has dozens of free trade agreements with other countries that mean reduced or eliminated duty, importers should also be sure they know when these agreements apply.
Knowing your goods’ composition, end-use and origin are a good start. And refer to our blog on tariff classification for more information.
Our Consulting department offers technical skills in customs self-adjustments and can assist with database review, database construction and ongoing refund reviews. We also have experienced professionals who can help with tariff classification and help you make the most of existing free trade programs.
Information provided by: Canadian Customs Consulting Dept. - Cole International