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Customs & Import Controls

Customs & Import Controls
Customs & Import Controls
Expertise / Practices / International Trade / Customs & Import Controls

Companies engaged in international trade need to ensure compliance with customs requirements and import controls or risk significant civil and criminal liability. However, regulations are often complex, requiring skilled counsel to advise on applicability, exemptions and compliance issues.

 Our International Trade lawyers are recognized as among Canada’s leaders for specialized expertise in customs and import controls. Clients know they can rely on our considerable experience dealing with the core areas of customs law, import controls law, customs litigation and trade remedy matters, including:

  •  Customs duties and taxes payable on imports, including goods and services tax/harmonized sales tax (GST/HST), Quebec sales tax (QST), provincial sales tax (PST), and duty- and tax-saving opportunities such as duty remission, drawback, relief and refunds
  •  Customs valuation, including advising on buying agent commissions, assists, royalties and subsequent proceeds

  •  Tariff classification

  •  Rules of origin determination, including qualifying for preferential tariff treatment

  •  Country of origin markings

  •  Customs administration at the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA), including voluntary disclosures, requests for advance rulings, customs verifications and audits, Administrative Monetary Penalty System (AMPS) rules, seizures and forfeitures, and enforcement action

  •  Dispute resolution and litigation at all levels within the CBSA, the Canadian International Trade Tribunal (CITT) and the Federal Court of Appeal

  •  Import quotas and import licences, including available exemptions

  •  Free-trade tariff benefits and compliance matters under Canada’s trade agreements, including the Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement (CUSMA) and its predecessor, the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA)

  •  Technical requirements of importing, including food labelling regulations, approvals of food and health products, and enforcement of intellectual property rights at the border against counterfeit goods and prohibitions on forced labour

  •  Trade remedies, including dumping and subsidy investigations and reinvestigations initiated by the CBSA, injury proceedings, public interest investigations, interim and expiry reviews, and safeguard actions undertaken by the CITT

  •  Interacting with relevant trade agencies, including Finance Canada, Global Affairs Canada, CBSA and CITT

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Recent Experience
  • A Fortune 500 energy company on customs and import issues with respect to the importation and exportation of coal.

  • An auto parts company on the customs and GST implications of a complex import transaction involving a "Big Three" auto customer.

  • A world leader in the energy industry in a single program customs audit involving its compliance with tariff classification rules, and also assisting the company with proposals to the NAFTA countries to implement a rule of origin on "disassembly" that will deal with how remanufactured goods are treated for NAFTA purposes.

  • One of the largest express carrier and package delivery companies in the world in respect of a large AMPS penalty.

  • A U.S. subsidiary of a European global manufacturer on negotiating a rare package of customs duty relief with the Canadian government.