Archive for the ‘Canada Customs’ Category


 

CBSA will use a new cargo inspection system to pre-screen northbound US cargo.

Cargo Inspection System - Pacific Crossing 2017

CBSA will open the first land border

Gamma Ray Vehicle and Cargo Inspection System to improve processing of US Cargo

at Pacific Highway sometime in the summer of 2017.

Contributed by Jan Brock,

Senior Trade Advisor
Former Chief of Commercial Operations Pacific Highway crossing

Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) announced in its Report on Plans and Priorities that it intended to invest in detection tools to assist the Border Services Officers with detecting high risk cargo.

Examinations may be performed with the use of specialized tools e.g. gamma ray imaging vehicle and cargo inspection system, ion scanners and detection dogs and may include a full or a partial offload of the goods to detect the presence of prohibited or restricted goods.” CBSA

 

Gamma ray imaging is a non-intrusive tool that cargo inspection services can use quickly and effectively to verify the presence of legitimate goods and to investigate suspicious and unknown materials. This technology assists with reducing border wait times and costs associated with cargo inspections.  

The Gamma Ray Imaging Vehicle and Cargo Inspection System being built at Pacific Highway is a stationary fixed location system contained within a building.

This technology performs the best for  detecting the presence of high density items  such as  steel or low density like narcotics.  It is capable of scanning an entire  semi truck and trailer ,intermodal shipping containers and automobiles for contraband.

This Cargo Inspection system  is a fast screening tool that will aid in facilitation of  cargo inspection at land borders. Large sized targets can be examined without unnecessarily opening or disturbing the contents of the load or incurring the cost of unloading or de stuffing the container.  

An offload will incur a cost to the importer, carrier and to CBSA cargo inspection services as it is very labour intensive.

The gamma ray image this system presents to the Border Services Officer (BSO) after the scan of the cargo and/or vehicle has been completed will assist in the officer’s decision on whether a more intrusive examination is warranted and the load may be redirected back to the warehouse for offload or destuffing by CBSA or the CBSA Contracted Cargo Inspection Service.

The efficiency, reduction in cargo inspection services and avoidance of costs associated with such action will make this new Cargo Inspection System a welcome addition to the Pacific Highway Port of Entry  and to Canadian Freight!

Have more questions on cargo inspection systems or cargo inspections services? Contact us and we are happy to assist.

For more detail please refer to the linked resource below :

Link: CBSA Report on Plans and Priorities

Want to learn more about the fundamentals of cross-border shipping? Attend a Customs Compliance Seminar hosted by Pacific Customs Brokers and learn from the experts.

Have questions or comments regarding importing to Canada? Leave them in our comments section below or email Ask Your Broker.

TOP 5 MISTAKES WHEN COMPLETING A NAFTA CERTIFICATE OF ORIGIN

Packing slips, commercial invoices, customs invoices they are all documents that can be easily completed unlike a NAFTA Certificate! What I mean is… you are simply taking shipping or invoicing data – shipper, consignee, carrier name, description of goods, etc. and plugging it into the respective area on one of these documents.

How about the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) Certificate of Origin? Can you use the same document completion philosophy?  There is much more to a NAFTA Certificate than just “completing another form”.

At a quick glance at a NAFTA Certificate, one might assume that the answer is yes. Exporter — yes. Producer — yes. Importer, description of goods, blanket period — yes, yes, yes. Sounds like we”re on a roll! We read the NAFTA completion instructions, understand what data is required and we”ll just finish this form off to satisfy the foreign purchaser’s request. Right?

Wrong!

The main difference between a NAFTA Certificate and the aforementioned documents is that all the products you list on this document must qualify under the NAFTA Rules of Origin. That’s right – do not simply complete the document. There are rules that must be observed.

As we already noted, some fields on the NAFTA Certificate of Origin are fairly basic and you can easily fill them in. The focus of this article is to provide clarification on the less understood areas to raise awareness of their complexity.

Field 6 — Harmonized System (H.S.) Tariff Classification Number

As emphasized in a previous article, it is very important that the H.S. tariff classification is correctly assigned to each product, as the first six digits will determine which of the NAFTA “Specific Rules of Origin” will apply. In order to correctly qualify the product under these Rules, you must be sure the tariff classification is correct. If you are unsure regarding the tariff classification, please contact a customs broker for assistance.

Field 7 — Preference Criterion

The completion of this field is going to depend on where a product was sourced or manufactured, the extent of the manufacturing and transformation process, and/or the source and place of manufacturing for any raw materials. Note that the preference criterion chosen for one product might not be the same as for another, and each situation will need to be evaluated on its own merit.

Field 8 — Producer

Hey, you get a lucky break! This is one of the easier ones. YES, NO(1), NO(2), and NO(3) are your options. The ‘NO’ options of (1), (2), and (3) refer to what you are basing your NAFTA claim on — whether you ‘just know it is NAFTA eligible’ (1), or you have documentation from the producer that it is NAFTA eligible (other than an NAFTA) (2), or you have a voluntarily provided & accurately completed NAFTA Certificate from the manufacturer (3). We respectfully advise that you go for (3), as this assures that the actual producer has done his due diligence in confirming NAFTA eligibility of the product he is providing to you.

Field 9 — Net Cost

In order to properly complete this field, you will need to understand the NAFTA Specific Rule of Origin applying to a product to determine if Regional Value Content is a factor and whether the Net Cost method will be used. In this field, you will either show ‘NC’ if the Net Cost method was used, or ‘NO’ (all other situations). By the way…NEVER place a dollar amount in this field, as this merely indicates to a customs agency that you did not read the instructions!

Field 10 — Country of Origin

This one sounds simple, doesn”t it? You would be amazed, however, at the number of NAFTA Certificates we receive that indicate countries other than the U.S., Canada or Mexico (remember, it’s the North American Free Trade Agreement). Another common mistake is for someone to automatically assume that just because certain products are made in Canada, the U.S., or Mexico they qualify for NAFTA. In fact, if they do not qualify, they must not be listed on this document.

Sound complicated? In some cases, it is straight forward, but in so many others (for example, products with many foreign components), NAFTA qualification can be an onerous task. The point we are making is for companies and individuals to realize that much care needs to be exercised (before signing, please read the disclaimer at the bottom of the form so you understand your responsibilities).

Repercussions

Lets say we have a NAFTA Certificate that has all the boxes completed with what appears to be correct data.  We clear and account for the goods and bill you.  No duty is paid.  Then 11 months later or more (up to 4 years after the date of release),  Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA)  decides to audit that NAFTA.  They will go to the exporter with a NAFTA Verification questionnaire.  Let’s say CBSA comes to the decision that the goods actually do not qualify.  Guess who suffers for the exporter incorrectly completing the NAFTA?  Your Company.  You get the penalty applied to your importing profile and you have to remit the unpaid duty with interest.

 

So keep that in mind when you see NAFTA Certificates that are not properly completed.  Its a red flag that the supplier actually has no clue whether or not the goods qualify.

 

It should be noted that similar rules apply for any Certificate of Origin relating to a free trade agreement. For instance, if you grab a copy of a Canada-Chile FTA Certificate of Origin, you will notice many similarities.

Still baffled over the completion of this document, or whether or not your goods qualify under NAFTA? If you require advice or have questions related to NAFTA,   feel free to contact our Trade Compliance Department.

 

Moving back to Canada and bringing Personal Goods

Do your personal goods have authorization to return to Canada with you?There are lots of reasons to move to Canada. If you are a resident that is moving back home after living or working abroad you are someone with authorization to return to Canada and you need to bring your Personal Goods back with you. That is what this article will cover in more detail.

It is good to know what the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) Regulations are with respect to Canadian Residents making the move to Canada after living abroad for at least one year and  bringing your personal and household goods back into Canada free from duty and taxes.

Former Residents of Canada returning to live in Canada are entitled to certain benefits when it comes to their goods. All the goods returning must have been acquired by the person for personal and household use only and been actually owned, possessed and used abroad for at least six months before returning to Canada.

The following goods are exempt from the six month ownership, possession and use requirements:

  • Alcohol and tobacco products
  • A bride’s trousseau, owned by and in the possession and imported by a recently married person or a bride-to-be whose anticipated marriage is to take place within three months of the date of her return to Canada
  • Wedding presents owned by, in the possession of and imported by the recipient
  • Any goods imported by a person who resided abroad for at least 5 years immediately prior to returning to Canada and who prior to the authorized return to Canada owned and possessed the goods.
  • Any goods acquired as replacements for goods that were destroyed or stolen while away. Evidence of loss will be required.

Move to Canada | Other exemptions for personal goods.

Other exemptions:

Some exceptions exist to this regulation and some require clarification:

  • If you established yourself as a resident of another country for at least one year you can make return visits to Canada only as a non-resident visitor without jeopardizing the benefits of doing so.
  • If you do NOT establish yourself as a resident of another country and are absent for at least one year you can benefit as long as your absence is continuous and you do not return to Canada at all for at least one year.
  • Persons who study or work abroad for periods of less than one year are not eligible at the time of their final return to resume residence in Canada. These people can not aggregate their time away.
  • Goods imported by a Returning Resident can not be sold or otherwise disposed of for twelve months after import.
  • Personal and household goods can include mobile trailers up to 9 feet in width, motorhomes, tool sheds or garages that do not attach to or form part of a building.
  • Commercial vehicles that have been and will continue to be used solely for personal transportation.

Authorization to return to Canada - Goods not admissable

Goods not admissible:

The following are examples of goods not admissible;

  • Goods for the accommodation of others
  • Goods for sale or hire or for use in a business
  • Livestock
  • Machinery or equipment for use on a farm
  • Houses and buildings used as dwellings or residences
  • Company owned or leased vehicles
  • Goods that are shipped to Canada while the owner continues to live abroad

 

Goods that exceed the value of $10,000.00 Canada will be assessed and the owner will be responsible for duty and tax on the portion above $10,000.00. This includes vehicles.

It is important to list all the goods returning with person and list all the goods “to follow”. Both lists must be presented at the time the person returns to take up residency in Canada.

Ensure you are clear on what you can and can not bring back to Canada. Case in point is an Appeal decision. Briefly the case is as follows:

Ms. G. Theriault appealed a decision with CBSA in March 2013 when CBSA would not allow her to return to Canada with her 2003 BMW Vehicle Model 325i. (Appeal No. AP – 2012-2013)

Ms Theriault normally resided in Nova Scotia and in January of 2010 she started to study in the U.S. in Louisiana. After arriving in Louisiana she purchased a vehicle. Ms. Theriault returned to Canada to work during the summer of 2010 and 2011. During these times she left the vehicle in Louisiana. In the fall of 2011 Ms. Theriault decided to import her vehicle into Canada and CBSA charged her duty  and tax of $608.93. In December of 2011 Ms. Theriault requested an informal adjustment to her charge stating she should be allowed to import it duty and tax free as a returning resident and she had requested clarification from CBSA via a telephone call and was told the vehicle would qualify for duty and tax free import.  The Tribunal upheld the CBSA decision on the basis that Ms Theriault broke her absence by returning to Canada as a resident for the summers of 2010 and 2011. The Tribunal also ruled it can only determine the assessment based on the Tariff and not what a possible conversation may have been with an Officer on the phone. There are no exceptions to the Tariff classification based on advice given over the phone.
This case demonstrated how it is important to clearly state your situation when seeking advice on what can be imported under which Tariff. Pacific Customs Brokers can assist with all your questions regarding Tariff classification on goods returning with Former Residents.  


Have one of our experts provide a quote to manage your import for you below:


 

 

Update C-TPAT Benefits Increase

Update C-TPAT Benefits Increase

Since shortly after September 11, 2001, amazingly over sixteen years ago, we have all heard the buzz about the Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (C-TPAT).

To date, over 11,400 carriers, importers, customs brokers and other supply chain partners have become voluntary participants in this initiative to combat terrorism in the ever-expanding evolution of international trade. You may wonder “Only 11,400 members?” However, consider that approximately 52% of cargo (by value) entering the United States is C-TPAT approved.

Since our last update on this initiative wherein we stated that as this program evolves, more benefits would be seen by members, it is great to see more benefits come emerge. C-TPAT has become a much more dynamic program.

As the sophistication of security has increased, according the US Customs Website, the benefits of membership have also. 

Benefits of C-TPAT participation include:

  • Reduced number of CBP examinations
  • Front of the line inspections
  • Possible exemption from Stratified Exams
  • Shorter wait times at the border
  • Assignment of a Supply Chain Security Specialist to the company
  • Access to the Free and Secure Trade (FAST) Lanes at the land borders
  • Access to the C-TPAT web-based Portal system and a library of training materials
  • Possibility of enjoying additional benefits by being recognized as a trusted trade Partner by foreign Customs administrations that have signed Mutual Recognition with the United States
  • Eligibility for other U.S. Government pilot programs, such as the Food and Drug Administration’s Secure Supply Chain program
  • Business resumption priority following a natural disaster or terrorist attack
  • Importer eligibility to participate in the Importer Self-Assessment Program (ISA)
  • Priority consideration at CBP’s industry-focused Centers of Excellence and Expertise

Are you interested in learning what this initiative is all about, but have been deterred from moving forward based on how difficult it is to obtain certification, the tremendous resources it will take, and how the costs appear to outweigh the benefits? There may still be some truth to this these perceived obstacles, but most anything worth obtaining comes with a price and required effort.

So we ask ourselves, is C-TPAT certification worth pursuing? As C-TPAT continues to evolve it becomes richer and more rewarding for members. The challenges that come along with developing your procedures and policies will be quite unique to your company, as will the benefits of participation.

Benefits translate into valuable practical considerations including:

  • Cost savings – A full Customs exam can cost upwards of $500-$1000 per container. This excludes the loss of time for both carriers and consignees and could be paramount to a shipment of perishable goods.
  • Less inspections – The more parties involved in a transaction who are C-TPAT members the lower the likelihood of a cargo inspection.
  • Penalty mitigation – C-TPAT membership is considered a mitigating factor in the case of potential penalty matters.
  • Increased compliance – Ongoing familiarity with the program decreases the necessary time spent and resources involved in assuring compliance.

As the program continues to evolve, we will continue to see that the benefits outweigh the costs or perceived obstacles and disadvantages of becoming a trusted trader. While there are no commitments from Customs, the trade community has requested that Customs consider a number of new benefits for the “next generation” of C-TPAT.

Next generation benefits of C-TPAT could include:

  • Basing cargo release on 10+2 data and permitting monthly entry of cargo aligned with the periodic monthly statements
  • Expedited responses to ruling requests
  • Enhanced penalty mitigation
  • Prior disclosure benefits
  • Further lowering of the number of inspections
  • Tax incentives for supply chain security and safety enhancements
  • Mutual recognition with other countries’ approved security programs

What is involved in becoming C-TPAT certified?

  • Complete and submit the Agreement to Voluntarily Participate in C-TPAT
  • Complete and submit the Supply Chain Security Profile Questionnaire – be aware that it is possible that Customs will request or require changes and upgrades to your current processes
  • Assure that your stated procedures are followed through on, and updated as necessary

Some of the absolute must-haves or must-dos for becoming C-TPAT certified, and effective participant in the program include:

  • Having the full commitment and support from high-level company management
  • Integrating C-TPAT participation into your overall supply chain security program
  • Assigning dedicated staff to manage the certification on a continuing basis

Attend an upcoming C-TPAT Seminar:

To benefit from overall cost savings, expedited border crossings and fewer cargo inspections, it may be of interest to attend our in-class seminar on becoming a Trusted Trader. Owners, Managers and Signing Officers of companies seeking eligibility information and how to get started on the application process are recommended to take part in this two-hour course.

Feedback from a recent attendee:

“I have a better understanding on what it takes to become C-TPAT or PIP certified.” – Zori Kitanova, Global Logistics Supervisor, Whitewater West Industries

You can register to attend our C-TPAT Seminar Here:

 

This blog is a brief summation of the C-TPAT certification program. For more detailed information, please : CLICK HERE

Trade Talk – HELP! “I’ve been chosen for a (CBSA) Trade Compliance Verification Audit!”

Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) Verification list 2017 is out – Are you an importer of these items?

As an Importer of goods into Canada, you may one day be faced with a terrifying reality of being chosen for a Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) Trade Compliance Audit. You may wonder what your next step should be.

Step 1: Breathe, it may not be as bad as you think. Contact your customs broker and discuss the situation. They will guide you through this process. You are not alone.

Step 2: Understand how an audit works.

The CBSA uses Post Release Verification Audits as a tool to measure trade compliance with the various CBSA programs.  Typically a trade compliance audit will focus on one of three major programs, Tariff, Origin or Valuation.  In all cases, there are two processes by which your company may be chosen for an audit.  

  1. Random Verifications – These verifications are typically focused on the type of goods being imported, the country of origin of the goods, the relationship between the purchaser and the seller, etc.   
  2. Targeted Verification Priorities – Targeted verifications are determined through a risk-based assessment.  A list of verification targets is typically issued by CBSA in January and July of each calendar year.  Each list will carry new items to be verified for compliance with tariff, origin and valuation, and, there will be some items that carry over from previous calendar years.

The January 2017 Trade Compliance Verification Priorities can be found at the following link:

http://www.cbsa-asfc.gc.ca/import/verification/menu-eng.html

 

CBSA Verification Audit

 

 

Step 3: Educate your team.

Trade Compliance Education:

Pacific Customs Brokers aims to keep importers and exporters informed on changing customs regulations while educating them on the consequences of non-compliance. Whether you are new to importing, exporting or are seeking training on the movement of international goods, our trade compliance program will aim to match your needs.

Related blog post: 7 Excellent Reasons to Invest in Trade Compliance Education

 Trade Advisory Services:

If your company is chosen for a Trade Compliance Audit or Verification Audit, Pacific Customs Brokers is here to help.  Please contact our office as soon as you are notified of your audit, and one of our Certified Trade Compliance Specialists will work with you to guide your business through the audit process.  It is very important that we be brought in right at the beginning to ensure that we can represent your best interests with CBSA to mitigate the impact of any additional duty, penalties or interest that may otherwise be payable.

Our trade advisory services include but are not limited to:

  • Thorough HS database review with ongoing updates
  • Current industry training and education to review transactions completed by customs brokers thereby minimizing errors
  • Experienced counsel on valuation and origins
  • Strategic advice on withstanding a customs audit
  • Firm support through the challenges of the audit process

For more information about our trade compliance audit services, contact us today or learn more at Canada Customs Trade Compliance.

 

Do you have questions about CBSA’s   trade compliance verification priorities? Use the comments section below to leave us your thoughts or email Ask Your Broker .