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How do SIMA expiry reviews work for Canada imports?

How do SIMA expiry reviews work for Canada imports?
Canada enforces the Special Import Measures Act (SIMA) to help protect local businesses and maintain a fair competitive landscape for Canadian industries. Typically, orders and findings undergo a SIMA expiry review every five years, resulting in potential market changes for Canada’s importers.

The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) and the Canadian International Trade Tribunal (CITT) work together to administer SIMA. When an order is up for an expiry review, the CBSA and CITT collaborate to determine the status of a wide variety of imports, ranging from refined sugar and whole potatoes to steel grating and small power transformers. 

What is a SIMA expiry review?

The expiry review process is a collaborative effort between the CBSA and the CITT to determine the outcome of a finding or an order imposed under SIMA. These two organizations work together to ensure that decisions are well-informed and thorough. Expiry reviews for SIMA orders and findings often occur because these determinations typically expire after five years. 

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Findings and orders don't automatically expire after this period of time. Instead, the Tribunal starts an expiry review to determine the status of the order or finding.

What’s the CBSA’s role in an expiry review?

The CBSA begins an investigation when the Tribunal posts a notice of a SIMA expiry review. An investigation focuses on determining if dumping or subsidizing will resume if the order expires. The main objective of this process revolves around protecting the Canadian market against:

  • A flood of goods sold at prices lower than normal value
  • Goods subsidized by financial assistance from foreign governments to foreign exporters

Anti-dumping and countervailing measures help to maintain fair competition for domestic businesses. Export dumping can damage local industries, such as the difficulty faced by Brazilian companies when their market was overwhelmed by cheap imports of sheet metal, chemicals, and tires from Chinese manufacturers.

What’s the CITT’s role in an expiry review?

If the investigation by the CBSA concludes that dumping or subsidizing would resume if an order expires, the Tribunal then starts to assess the potential damage to Canada’s businesses and industries. The Tribunal’s examination focuses on the impact to domestic producers and growing Canadian industries. This step is crucial in deciding whether to continue the order or finding to protect Canadian businesses.

What's the expiry review process?

The expiry review process for SIMA anti-dumping and countervailing measures can take months to complete. In some cases, the Tribunal may decide to compress or expedite the review process.

The three main phases consist of initiation by the CITT, an investigation by the CBSA, and then the likelihood of injury review by the CITT:

  1. CITT initiation phase - The Tribunal automatically starts an expiry review and issues a notice prior to the expiry of an order.
  2. CBSA investigation phase - The CBSA investigates if dumping or subsidizing would likely continue if the measure ends. This phase must finish within 150 days.
  3. CITT injury review phase - If the CBSA finds a likelihood of resumed dumping or subsidizing, the Tribunal determines the potential impact on Canadian businesses and industry. This phase can take up to 160 days.

These three phases of the expiry review will determine the status of the order under SIMA regulations.

Key insights for Canadian importers

Expiry reviews for SIMA orders can create significant change to the business landscape for Canadian importers and companies across many industries. Rulings made by the CBSA and CITT can rapidly alter the domestic market for all sorts of imported goods.

Cole International has more than a half-century of experience as customs professionals with deep insight into the Canadian import markets. Connect with us to get the latest insights into SIMA and important developments that can impact your imports.

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