Posts Tagged ‘Canada’


 

Are You Eligible To Request Remission Of Canada’s New U.S. Surtaxes?

Surtax | Canadian Cash

Surtax Got Your Profits Down? You May Be Eligible For A Surtax Remission.

Many Canadian Importers of Record have experienced an increase in importation costs on items originating from the U.S. that appear on the surtax list. The surtax of 10% to 25% on a wide range of items, including steel and aluminum, was imposed on July 1st, 2018, in retaliation to the U.S. decision to increase tariffs on Canadian steel and aluminum imports into their country. There is a possibility that you could be relieved or refunded of the surtaxes you are currently paying.

Under What Circumstances Will You Be Relieved Or Refunded Your Surtax Paid?

The Federal Interdepartmental Committee may recommend to the Minister of Finance to grant relief under “exceptional and compelling circumstances that outweigh the primary rationale behind the application of duties and, in the current case, surtax.”

They continue with a list of three situations where a refund or relief may be applied:

  1. To address situations of short supply in the domestic market, either on a national or regional basis.
  2. Where there are contractual requirements existing prior to May 31, 2018, for Canadian businesses to use U.S. steel or aluminum in their products or projects.
  3. To address, on a case-by-case basis, other exceptional circumstances that could have severe adverse effects on the Canadian economy.


If you need assistance applying for a refund or possible relief of the surtaxes please
contact one of our expert Trade Advisors. With all of the pertinent import history details, they can help you write and apply for remission of surtax on your behalf.

To date, no timeline has been provided to let us know how long this review process will take. However, we will continue to provide you with details on the possibility of refund or relief as they develop. To ensure you do not miss any updates please subscribe to our mailing list.

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Will CPTPP Impact NAFTA Negotiations?

North America

Prior to the latest NAFTA negotiations, Canada entered into the new Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP). In this blog, we look at how this may impact the next round of NAFTA negotiations in late February, early March.

Before the January NAFTA Negotiations

The Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership

Canada and Mexico has agreed to the new CPTPP. An international trade agreement between 11 countries the U.S. previously withdrew from on January 23rd, 2017.

With the U.S. adopting a bilateral trade agreement philosophy, while Canada and Mexico have joined the multilateral CPTPP agreement. How will this impact the NAFTA negotiations going forward?

 

New U.S. Duties on Solar-Panels and Washing Machines

Also, the U.S. recently introduced new import duties on solar-panels and washing machines. Solar-panel duties have increased by 30%, while washing machines duties have increased by 50%. The new duty on solar-panels will have a minor impact on Canada and Mexico. The new washing machine duty will only impact Mexico.

 

January’s NAFTA Negotiations: Round Six

Tuesday, January 23rd, Canadian, American and Mexican representatives met in Montreal for the sixth round of NAFTA negotiations. Let us focus on the four main focal points surrounding the latest NAFTA negotiations. Chapter 19, the auto parts industry, the dairy industry and the sunset clause.

Chapter 19: Trade Disputes

The U.S. is looking to eliminate Chapter 19 in the NAFTA negotiations. Currently, Chapter 19 allows for trade disputes between two NAFTA countries to go through an independent third party arbitrator. This prevents Canada and Mexico from having to enter into the U.S. legal review process for anti-dumping and countervailing duties imposed by the U.S. government.

Previous Chapter 19 rulings have favored Canada. Most recently Boeing made a bid to increase import duties by 300% on Bombardier’s CSeries. An independent third party arbitrator, the U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC), voted 4-0 to reject the 300% duty because it did not have a negative impact on the U.S. aircraft industry.

The Auto Parts Industry

With the new CPTPP in place, the NAFTA negotiations are going to feel some extra pressure in the auto parts industry. At the moment, NAFTA allows for 37.5% of a cars parts to come from outside of Canada, the U.S. and Mexico. However, in the new CPTPP agreement, the percentage of allowable foreign composition is 55%. This difference will create a more competitive market for auto parts in Canada and Mexico, while at the same time acting as a disadvantage for Canadian and Mexican companies creating auto parts.

The U.S. is aiming to decrease the percentage of car parts that come from outside of North America to 15%. Translating to more job opportunities for Americans in the auto industry.

Canadians are trying to introduce a line of thinking that auto industry software and other high-tech equipment should be taken into consideration when talking about the net cost of auto parts since a higher percentage of software and high-tech equipment is created and produced in Canada, the U.S. and Mexico. Thus adding to the auto parts percentages.

The Dairy Industry

The CPTPP agreement has also opened up the dairy debate as well. Since there has been a small opening to Canada’s originally closed market, the U.S. wants greater access to Canadian consumers. Currently, if a U.S. dairy farmer was to export milk to Canada, they would face a 270% duty. Eliminating dairy trade barriers would be beneficial to Canadian consumers, but would deal a great blow to Canadian dairy farmers who presently enjoy the benefits of the ongoing trade barrier.

The Sunset Clause

The U.S. also wants to implement a sunset clause. A sunset clause would allow any of the three NAFTA countries to walk away from the proposed agreement after five years. If the sunset clause was to be implemented it would almost certainly mean the end of the current NAFTA agreement in five years, since it would be unlikely for all three countries to be happy with the state of the agreement in five years.

 

NAFTA Negotiations and Trade

Despite all of the uncertainty with NAFTA, trade between the three countries has remained steady and consistent. Everyday airplanes, trains, cargo ships, and trucks transport essentially everything you use daily. If you would like to explore international trade opportunities, give us a call. We can provide you assistance with customs clearance, freight forwarding, trade education and trade advisory services.

 

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Why Am I Losing Money When Shipping to Canada?

Frustrations arising from cross-border shipping to Canada are always showing up in  my Google Alerts.  Most are from online auction type sellers who really do not understand the customs clearance process. Some try to save the customer’s money by  placing a false value on the goods which can result in even more costs for false declaration and lengthier delays for the receiver in Canada. Some e-sellers  refuse to ship to Canada altogether as they feel it is too much hassle and have lost money in  the transaction or received bad feedback from buyers.

Have you been faced with this situation?

1. Why do my customers in Canada want me to ship USPS?

This could be because it is cheaper to do so.

2. When I ship via postal service why does my customer in Canada send me a message four weeks later informing me they did not receive the package and I should resend it?

It could be because there is no traceability and it might be lost or stolen.

3. When I ship using a small parcel courier why do they hold my package hostage until the customer pays all the customs charges? Often the customer refuses to pay and the parcel company ships the package back and charges me for it.

Using the small parcel courier now provides you with the ability to track your package, but does your customer in Canada know what to expect to pay in  extra customs charges when the goods are delivered? If they don’t they may feel the charges are too high and it is no longer worth buying the product.

4. When I ship using the “other” small parcel company, why do they bill me all kinds of customs charges but the customer still gets their package?

The small parcel courier is on a customs program called the Low Value Shipment Courier program (LVS), in which the courier is allowed to declare and deliver the package and then that small parcel company sends out a letter stating how much they owe in duty, taxes and brokerage. If the Canadian customer does not respond, the “other” small parcel courier’s service guide directs them to bill the charges back to the shipper for any unpaid customs charges.

“Regardless of any payment instructions to the contrary, the sender is ultimately responsible for payment of duties and taxes if payment is not received.”

5. Why is my business losing so much money when selling to Canadians?

See 2, 3, and 4 above.

Have you explored all your options when shipping and selling to customers in Canada?

Before you ship or sell your products to customers in Canada, do your homework and consider calling a Canadian customs broker who can assist you in:

  • understanding the complexities of the cross-border transaction
  • save you money in fees
  • avoid unnecessary hassles at the border and with angry Canadian customers
  • streamline your shipments for a speedy delivery and a less costly transaction

The Non-Resident Importer option may be one solution. Preparing your Canadian customer on what to expect and having a solution in place may be another. Contact us before you finalize your next sale, and we will work with you and your Canadian customer to help both of you make a smooth cross-border transaction.

Do you have further questions about shipping to Canada? Feel free to ask them in the comment section below.

Help! My Shipment is Stuck at the Border

Always OpenMany times, we as customs brokers receive phone calls from importers, shippers, dispatchers and carriers frantically trying to find out why their shipment is “stuck at the border”. Lucky for them, we are ALWAYS Open 24/7, with live reception and no voice mail.

Sometimes it is a very simple answer and other incidence’s are more complex. Below are some of the most common reasons why a shipment may be stuck at the border.

1. Documents make no mention of who the customs broker is to assist with the clearance.  “Customs Clearance- contact Pacific Customs Brokers 888.538.1566”

2. Documents are hard to decipher who the actual Importer of Record is. The Importer of Record (IOR) can be;

  •  The receiver of the goods – usually called “consignee”
  • The shipper (acting as a “Non-Resident Importer” (NRI) and already set up with a Canadian customs broker)
  • A third party having their shipments drop shipped from another location and in most cases will also be acting as a “Non-Resident Importer

3. Neither the shipper or the consignee have not set up anything formally with a Canadian customs broker to effect customs clearance.

4. The driver/freight company picking up freight only has a Bill of Lading and is not given any other documents such as a commercial invoice or Canada Customs invoice.

5. Documents/commercial invoice does not have enough information to be able to prepare the entry for presentation and clearance with Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA). Some of the information that can hold this up is:

  • not enough information to  classify the goods (Tariff Classification)
  • total value or individual values are missing
  • country of manufacture is missing
  • total number of pieces is missing
  • weight is missing
  • commercial invoice document only shows product numbers or abbreviated number & item name (no general description of what the goods are). See below for examples.

For example: — 1956842ftp clr scn/cpy/prnt (not an acceptable description)

–   1956842ftp — Scanner/copier/printer unit (an acceptable description)

6. The document is not the correct document to obtain a customs clearance (i.e. purchase order or pick ticket)

7. A few more reasons freight crossing the border is often delayed may be due to the actual commodity being shipped. Perhaps there are other government agencies that are involved in approving the goods for Customs clearance, such as items that are under control of Canadian Food Inspections Agency (CFIA).

They require CFIA approval and some commodities are under quota and require an Import Permit. Perhaps the goods are listed on the Import Control List and require an Import Permit, such as some steel items.    Meat shipments and those requirements are also extensive.

It is always a good idea to check with a customs broker for any special requirements or extra documentation and / or extra steps that may need to be taken to properly clear the goods across the border prior to ordering or shipping.

When in doubt, be sure to contact your customs broker. They’ll properly advise on what you need to do and what they need in order for your shipment (s) to avoid delays and have a seamless Customs clearance process.

 

 

 

CBP VS CBSA Valuation History

Shipments to Canada - Non-Resident Importers The direct to market program for Non-Resident Importer’s (NRI) can be key if you have the sales volume. While this is an excellent way to take advantage of lower duty rates for importing directly from an offshore country,valuation for Customs declaration remains a critical component of your customs compliance.

The United States and Canada differ on interpretation of the valuation rules. Lets take a look at the history and review how we arrived with customs valuation rules as they are today.

History:

Governments have collected customs duties since the beginnings of international
trade. It is recorded that Athens applied 20 percent import duties on
corn and other goods, while the Romans, from well before the time of Julius
Caesar, depended upon customs revenues to support the expansion and maintenance
of their empire. And, where a tax must be collected, there will be
disputes over rates and methods….

Today: In 1947, the General Agreement on Tariffs & Trade (GATT) negotiations concluded that the customs value should not be arbitrary or fictitious. Since then, there are agreements on how to determine the value for customs declarations.

Currently the valuation rules on are based on the implementation of the GATT Agreements. In 1994 the World Trade Organization established and implemented (based on those existing GATT agreements) the Customs Valuation Agreement (CVA) that all WTO members must abide by.   Valuation rules are necessary for many reasons and are valuable for use in:

  • Determining and collecting revenue
  • Producing trade statistics
  • Implementing and monitoring trade agreements
  • Monitoring quantitative restrictions (quota)

Still the interpretation of these rules are different for different countries.

The basic method for determining value is the transaction value method: the price paid or payable of goods being imported with certain adjustments when sold for export to the country of importation. This is where the interpretation has been the subject of many reviews and debates.

This is another significant difference between Canada and the USA with respect to a US company acting as a NRI and thinking they can use the ‘first sale rule’ for their direct imports into Canada.

In the US the “first sale rule” allows (under certain conditions) for the importers to use the price payable by the buyer (middleman) for imports into the USA. For example: a buyer (middleman) secures a sale of merchandise bought for $20,000. and then in turn sells the goods to the retailer for $30,000. The goods in the meantime are being exported from China into the USA with the final buyer being the importer. The value used meets the condition for using the valuation under the first sale rule. (lesser value of $20,000.).

Some countries in the World Trade Organization (WTO) have legislated and refined the interpretation of these valuations rules successfully while some have not.

Take the USA, Japan and the European Union, while they have had much discussion and even congressional reviews and debates, these countries still allow (with certain conditions met ) the “first sale rule”. Canada and Australia have already abolished the “first sale rule” through legislation 10 years ago.

Canada deems under the transaction value method that the value for customs be: the price paid or payable (with adjustments) by the first purchaser IN   Canada. In other words the value should be the last sales value before import and not the first sale. How does this change the example given above ?

In order to declare the lesser value ($20,000.) the importer must be the middleman and must reside in Canada.   If the middleman happens to be a USA company acting as a NRI for their sales to Canada and has their goods shipped directly from the offshore country they buy from, the value used for customs must be the price paid or payable by the first Canadian purchaser, not the price paid by the middleman under the “first sale rule”

This is critical to the NRI and compliance under valuations rules for doing business in Canada. Many USA companies do not realize this difference and declare the sales price they paid, leaving them at risk in the event of an audit by CBSA.

If you are a NRI selling to Canada, review your procedures and ensure you are using the correct valuation for Canada. When in doubt contact Pacific Customs Brokers for a complete review of the valuation methods and regulations for your imports into Canada.