The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) has released this summer its second trade verification priorities list for 2023. Trade verification is a post-importation audit process implemented by the CBSA to verify the accuracy of importers’ tariff classifications, valuation and origin declarations and their accounting for imported goods after the goods have been imported. These verifications may be random or aligned with CBSA priorities which are currently announced semi-annually.
CBSA releases second trade verification priorities for 2023
July 2023 trade verification priorities
Tariff classification refers to whether the importer is classifying the goods correctly under the Canadian Harmonized Tariff Schedule and attendant rules. The new tariff classification priorities are “Freezers and Other Freezing Equipment” and “Washers and Dryers.” The CBSA is also continuing to pursue tariff classification priorities in the areas of LEDs, indicator panels, parts of lamps, machinery, mechanical appliances and bicycles, certain animals and vegetables, and safety equipment including gloves and headgear, as well as “Furniture for Non-domestic Purposes” and “Cell Phone Cases”.
Valuation priorities are a consideration of whether importers are providing a correct value of the imported goods on which customs duties and import taxes are levied. The CBSA is conducting another round of valuation reviews for apparel products after they found non-compliance in more than 50% of the cases reviewed in the first three rounds of reviews.
The customs duties levied on an imported good may depend in certain cases on the origin of the goods and also if a tariff preference or beneficial rate is claimed. For example, an origin preference claim under an applicable trade agreement (Canada – US – Mexico Agreement (CUSMA) for example) or a tariff preference is claimed under a preferential tariff regime (Most Favoured Nation). Origin duty preferences may not be available in certain cases for reasons including, but not limited to, when importing an otherwise originating good through a third-party country and/or where the percentage of inputs used or manufacturing process isn’t sufficient to confer a tariff preference. While no origin priorities were announced in this most recent round, the CBSA did remind importers that Russia and Belarus originating goods no longer qualify for Most-Favoured Nation tariff treatment joining North Korea under the General Tariff regime. The General Tariff duty rate in most cases is 35% with limited exceptions.
The full list of trade verification priorities can be found on the CBSA website.
Though not included in the trade verification priorities released by the CBSA, importers should note new reporting requirements for certain parties related to forced and child labour and the prohibition of goods manufactured with child labour being imported into Canada comes into force Jan. 1, 2024.
Considerations for importers
Those importing goods which appear on the trade verification priorities list should review their records and ensure the accuracy of their trade data reported including tariff classification, origin and customs valuation. Should errors be uncovered, it may be possible to use correction methods under the Customs Act to proactively remedy non-compliance. Correcting and/or disclosing errors in the right format to the CBSA often leads to reduced interest assessments and penalty mitigation.