The CBSA may seize commercial goods in the foreign exporter's name
The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) may seize commercial goods in the foreign exporter's name where it finds evidence that an exporter significantly undervalued shipments made via the CBSA's Courier Low Value Shipment (CLVS) program. This new policy, which was announced on January 28, 2015, is intended to deter exporters from undervaluing shipments destined to Canada.
The CBSA notes that goods that are destined for a Customs Self-Assessment (CSA) importer are excluded from this new policy.
The CLVS Program is intended to help simplify the process to import low value goods. The program streamlines the customs processing of shipments valued at $2,500 or less and is intended to provide the courier industry with expedited release.
The CBSA is authorized to seize commercial goods under subsection 110(1) of the Customs Act.
The CBSA says it will verify that the untrue statement concerning the value of the goods originated from the foreign exporter of the goods, and was not due to an error by the CLVS program participant.
Once a seizure is made, the CBSA will send a Notice of Seizure to the affected Canadian importer. This notice informs the importer that they can, within 90 days of the seizure date, request a decision of the Minister on the seized goods, where there was a transfer of ownership or if it paid the terms of release. In addition, the importer may, within 90 days of the seizure date, present a third-party claim to protect his or her interest in the seized goods. The Minister of Public Safety's Recourse Directorate will review the file and may decide whether the importer's interest in the seized item should be protected.
Alternatively, the importer can also take possession of the seized goods, where it has received a written authorization from the foreign exporter, by paying the Terms of Release noted on the seizure receipt.
Note that, like the Canadian importer, a foreign exporter has 90 days from the seizure date to request a decision of the Minister on the seizure. The exporter may also obtain the release of the seized goods by paying the indicated Terms of Release. Making this payment would not affect the exporter's right to request a decision of the Minister, but would remove the importer's third-party process right (since the importer would then take possession of the seized goods).
For more information, contact your KPMG adviser.
Information is current to February 03, 2015.
The information contained in this publication is of a general nature and is not intended to address the circumstances of any particular individual or entity. Although we endeavour to provide accurate and timely information, there can be no guarantee that such information is accurate as of the date it is received or that it will continue to be accurate in the future. No one should act upon such information without appropriate professional advice after a thorough examination of the particular situation.
For more information, contact KPMG's National Tax Centre at 416.777.8500