Importer Obligations and Responsibilities

The Customs Act sets out the obligations and responsibilities for the importation of goods into Canada. Importers should familiarize themselves with the process of importing commercial goods into Canada and accurately account for all goods imported (Step-by-Step Guide to Importing Commercial Goods into Canada). Importers are also mandated to retain and, upon request, to provide various documents, including but not limited to: B3s, purchase orders, commercial invoices, packing lists, bills of lading, certificates of origin, technical documents, drawings, sales literature, etc., which the CBSA may require in order to determine the subjectivity of goods and the amount of duties to be paid.

Importers of goods subject to SIMA measures are also required to self-assess applicable SIMA duties. An importer`s or their agent`s failure to properly account for their importations may result in additional duty assessments, interest charges, Administrative Monetary Penalties (AMPS) or, in extreme cases of fraud or intentional evasion, criminal prosecution.

CBSA enforcement

The CBSA monitors importations of all goods subject to SIMA duties and to ensure full compliance with Canadian requirements and that all applicable duties and taxes are paid. CBSA compliance officers collect and review information respecting every importation transaction for goods potentially subject to a SIMA measure in force. Officers assess risk, develop targeted strategies for ongoing enforcement specific to each case and where necessary assess the proper amount of anti-dumping and countervailing duties on all subject goods by issuing a Detailed Adjustment Statement (DAS). They may also issue administrative monetary penalties (AMPS). The CBSA’s goal is to maintain up-to-date enforcement on 100% of SIMA findings and to review all relevant imports to ensure compliance.

Through the course of regular enforcement and/or tips from industry, customs brokers, the general public or exporting companies, the CBSA may discover potential instances of fraud or duty evasion. In such cases the CBSA employs a number of tools to compile information, conduct analysis and verify the potential issue. Where there is sufficient evidence, the case will be referred to the CBSA Criminal Investigations Program for further investigation and prosecution.

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