Search terms: Trade & Customs, Canada
A recent decision illustrates a possible strategy available to an importer to delay implementation of a Canada Border Services Agency ruling that will have significant negative implications for its business. The court granted a stay of a revocation of an existing tariff classification ruling, thereby allowing the status quo to continue indefinitely until such time as a challenge to the replacement, negative ruling has been completed.
The recently released Budget 2009 includes a number of proposals that may increase the ability of Canadian industries and manufacturers to become and remain competitive in the international marketplace, including spending on border infrastructure, the availability of additional financing from Export Development Canada, amendments to the Customs Tariff and support for certain key sectors.
Canada and Colombia have officially signed a free trade agreement (FTA) which, when implemented, will significantly open up the markets of both countries. The FTA will provide Canadian and Colombian investors, importers and exporters with increased economic opportunities - a development which is viewed as particularly significant in light of the current economic turmoil in the world markets.
In October recently re-elected Prime Minister Stephen Harper and French President Nicolas Sarkozy met at a summit in Quebec City to discuss the possibility of a strategic partnership between Canada and the European Union, Canada’s second most important trading partner. Following this meeting, the leaders stated their intention to work together to define the scope of an ambitious economic agreement.
The Conservative government has proposed a number of measures to maintain and expand Canada’s international trade and investment relations. The government has indicated that it will continue to be outward looking from a trade and investment perspective and will focus on making Canadian companies more competitive in the global market.
The Canadian government has invited submissions from the public on its proposal to eliminate the most-favoured nation tariff on certain types of machinery and equipment. It is hoped that the tariff elimination initiative will reduce manufacturers' production costs and increase their competitiveness in the Canadian and export markets.
The Canadian government has announced the conclusion of free trade negotiations with Jordan. The Canada-Jordan Free Trade Agreement will open up new opportunities for importers, exporters and Canadian businesses seeking to participate in Jordan’s growing economy, and will permit Canadian businesses to take advantage of the immediate elimination of tariffs on a wide range of products.
The government recently announced that it would be accepting public feedback regarding proposed price and volume triggers to the application of above-quota duties under the special agricultural safeguard applicable to supply-managed products. To have their comments considered, interested parties had to submit their comments before September 1 2008.
In June 2008 significant developments were announced in connection with Canada’s cargo security programme, Partners in Protection. Current participants, including importers and carriers, as well as prospective participants, should take note of these developments and the opportunities and implications that they entail.
The Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade has released Canada’s 2008 International Market Access Report. This annual report is meant to inform businesses and investors of foreign market opportunities and existing trade barriers, as well as to describe the steps the Canadian government is taking to improve market access.
The recently signed Canada-France Joint Action Plan represents a commitment over the next two years towards further liberalizing trade and investment between the two nations and will potentially open the door to further trade deals between Canada and the European Union.
Canada recently announced the conclusion of a free trade agreement with Colombia as part of its Global Commerce Strategy. The Canada-Colombia agreement will offer a number of significant benefits to Canadian importers, exporters, service providers and investors.
The Canadian government recently entered into the Canada-Peru Free Trade Agreement, the Canada-Peru Agreement on the Environment and the Canada-Peru Agreement on Labour Cooperation. Canada’s newest free trade agreement offers significant benefits to Canadian importers, exporters and service providers, as well as to investors in several key sectors.
The federal government recently announced its 2008 Budget. With this budget the government aims to strike a delicate balance between further opening Canada’s borders to trade and investment and security measures which would seem to restrict the borders to trade, investment and travel.
The Canada Border Services Agency recently announced much-anticipated changes to the Administrative Monetary Penalty System (AMPS). The changes will result in a wholesale revamping of the existing AMPS penalty regime. While the current AMPS came into effect in October 2002, plans are in the works to replace the existing rules with an entirely new and improved system which should be more acceptable to traders.
Canada recently announced the conclusion of a new free trade agreement and the conclusion of free trade negotiations as part of its Global Commerce Strategy. The strategy has been described as an aggressive trade negotiations agenda aimed at securing competitive terms of access in markets that offer significant potential for Canadian products and expertise.
In a recent address to the Vancouver Board of Trade, Minister of Industry Jim Prentice indicated that the federal government intends to revise the Investment Canada Act. This update addresses the implications of these revisions for Canada's trade policies.
The increased economic activity in India has highlighted the potential for further growth in cross-border trade and investment both going into and coming out of India. Canada is in the final stages of concluding a bilateral investment treaty with India which is expected to increase significantly investment by Canadian companies in the Indian market.
The Trade, Investment and Labour Mobility Agreement between the governments of Alberta and British Columbia applies to all government measures, including legislation, regulations, standards, policies, procedures and guidelines affecting trade, investment and labour mobility. It is designed to break down further existing barriers to inter-provincial trade.
A recent tariff classification decision by the Canadian International Trade Tribunal illustrated how an importer can lower customs duties and avoid anti-dumping duties by carefully structuring the importation of goods. The tribunal rejected the Canada Border Service Agency's position on how footwear components imported together should be classified for customs purposes.
The Canadian International Trade Tribunal (CITT) recently issued two decisions dealing with whether used recreational vehicles imported into Canada qualify for duty-free treatment pursuant to the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). The CITT denied preferential tariff treatment in both cases and, in so doing, created uncertainty where none existed before.
An arbitration tribunal has rejected a claim by United Parcel Service of America (UPS) under Chapter 11 of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) alleging that the Canadian government gives its state-owned postal service favourable treatment over UPS. However, while the tribunal's findings may lead to NAFTA governments heaving a collective sigh of relief, the respite could be short-lived.
The Federal Court of Appeal recently refused to interfere with a decision of the Canadian International Trade Tribunal (CITT), and in so doing recognized a high degree of deference towards the CITT in dealing with complaints of injury caused by subsidized and dumped imports. The case originated in allegations that dumped and subsidized US corn was causing injury to the Canadian corn production industry.
Canada has announced a free trade agreement with the European Free Trade Association (EFTA). Intermittent negotiations for the past nine years have resulted in a Canada-EFTA free trade agreement that is expected to be 'first-generational', meaning that it has an emphasis on goods.
Through long-term proposals in the areas of infrastructure, entrepreneurship and strengthening Canada's skilled and flexible workforce, the federal 2007 Budget indicates that the government recognizes the significance of international trade and investment to Canada's growth and prosperity. It remains to be seen whether this momentum will be sustained in the coming years.
Increasingly, manufacturers are planning to locate plants in Asian countries, such as China, to serve that market and the Canadian market. This trend raises a number of issues that should be considered by Canadian businesses and there are a number of measures that Canadian businesses can consider in order to contend with the onslaught of low-priced competition from Asian countries.
A recent Canadian International Trade Tribunal decision adds to the growing jurisprudence on Canada's customs valuation rules requiring dutiable value to be based on the sale for export to a purchaser in Canada and suggests that there is an opportunity for sales among related companies to be assessed for duties at a lower value.
Over the past decade China has become a significant importer of goods, services and technology. Canadian businesses exporting to China are presented with a wide range of opportunities, but must also navigate a complex set of export control laws and regulations.
With the continuing rise of the Chinese economy, achieving a Canada-China investment treaty has become imperative. Although negotiations recommenced towards the end of 2005 and are still ongoing, the case for the completion of a bilateral investment treaty between Canada and China grows with each passing year.
In 2006 the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) and the Canadian International Trade Tribunal have initiated, investigated and concluded various dumping and subsidy cases involving the People's Republic of China. In one case, Chinese exporters of certain copper pipe fittings were the subject of a dumping and unfair subsidization investigation by the CBSA.
Canada and the United States have recently signed a new softwood lumber agreement with the support of all major exporting Canadian provinces and a majority of companies in the industry. The agreement attempts to put an end to one of the longest trade disputes in history and to various proceedings before US courts, North American Free Trade Agreement panels and the World Trade Organization.
A recent ruling related to the ongoing softwood lumber dispute shows that while the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), including the investor-state rules in Chapter 11, has an inherently political dimension, it is first and foremost a legal document - and one whose terms will be interpreted according to the precisely worded formulations negotiated by the parties.
One in five Canadian jobs is linked to international trade; therefore, market access and investment issues are a high priority for the government. In light of this, the government recently published its annual summary of its priorities for improving access to foreign markets for Canadian traders and investors.
In the last few years, footwear importers have enjoyed a fair amount of success in defending against the imposition of new and/or continued anti-dumping duties on various kinds of footwear imported into Canada. In the latest development, the Canada Border Services Agency has initiated a reinvestigation into the two sets of findings that are still in place or yet to be reviewed.
The government has announced that Canada will not impose special safeguard duties on imports of bicycles and barbecues, despite the recommendations of the Canadian International Trade Tribunal (CITT). The decisions mark the third time in as many cases since the implementation of the Safeguards Agreement in 1995 that Canada has declined to adopt the CITT's recommendations.
The Canadian International Trade Tribunal (CITT) has clarified the circumstances in which the various 'end-use' provisions apply to imported goods. In Jam Industries Ltd v President of the Canada Border Services Agency the CITT determined that the duties relief provisions do not apply when musical instruments are connected to a computer, and thereby have enhanced functionality.
Recent rulings by the Canadian government on imports of US grain corn, while in some ways simply the latest manifestation of a 20-year battle, point to two often overlooked responses that US exporters and their Canadian and US trade advisers can use in the appropriate situation to counter this market-closing strategy.
A US-owned exporter of dairy products has filed a request for arbitration under Chapter 11 (on investment) of the North American Free Trade Agreement, alleging that the restrictions that Canada has placed on exports of milk from Ontario is tantamount to expropriation.
The greatest value of a bilateral investment treaty (BIT) is the ability of an investor to pursue a claim for monetary damages directly against the offending state without the involvement or consent of its own government. Like Chapter 11 of the North America Free Trade Agreement, BITs provide investors with powerful rules protecting their investments in many far-flung corners of the world.
The Canadian International Trade Tribunal has issued its decision in a case involving the importation of a used tugboat purchased in Greece that underwent a series of repairs both before and after importation into Canada. The tribunal had to determine the value for duty of the tugboat.
The Canadian International Trade Tribunal decision in Cherry Stix Ltd v President of the Canada Border Services Agency is the first to consider a provision which specifies the circumstances in which a non-resident importer's acquisition cost could qualify as the appropriate value for duty of imported goods.
The Canadian International Trade Tribunal has released a statement of reasons for continuing, with amendment, an anti-dumping order on whole potatoes imported from the United States for use or consumption in British Columbia. The tribunal decided that, after 21 years of anti-dumping protection, the British Columbian potato sector was still at risk of being injured by low-priced US imports.
The Canadian International Trade Tribunal (CITT) has published its final report in the global safeguard inquiry into bicycles. The CITT determined that imports of bicycles cause serious injury to Canadian bicycle manufacturers and has recommended a surtax be imposed on certain imported bicycles.
Pursuant to Canada's trade remedies legislation, unfairly traded goods may be subject to an anti-dumping duty if the dumped goods cause or are likely to cause material injury to similar goods produced in Canada. Recently the Canada Border Services Agency has ceased applying the zeroing methodology historically applied in making these calculations.
The Canadian International Trade Tribunal has rescinded its material injury finding covering women's boots from the People's Republic of China. As a result, for the first time in 15 years women's boots from China are no longer subject to anti-dumping duties.
The federal government has tabled an international policy framework, which it was hoped would provide a detailed blueprint for a new Canadian foreign policy. However, the commerce policy statement within the framework falls far short of laying out a new comprehensive road map in the area of international trade and commerce.
The US market is Canada's top trade priority, but there are several simmering disputes, including the notorious softwood lumber dispute, that may require Canadian business to reconsider purchasing strategies, cost projections for inputs and sources of supply if they are not resolved.
The Canadian International Trade Tribunal (CITT) has announced the commencement of a global safeguard inquiry into imports of bicycles and bicycle frames into Canada. It will be the CITT's first safeguard investigation since the Canadian steel industry's disastrous attempt to obtain protection in 2003.
While some countries have been active in entering into free trade agreements, Canada is proceeding more cautiously. The government's current trade policy strategy prefers broader trade negotiations in the short to medium term, such as the recently established framework for a trade and investment agreement with the European Union.
The World Customs Organization recently changed its tariff classification rules to prevent birthday candles being classified as festive articles following a controversial ruling by the Canadian International Trade Tribunal. The amendments have left importers confused over classifications and awaiting further government guidance.
Importers and traders need to monitor closely the developments taking place to the administrative monetary penalty regime. The Canada Border Services Agency has made numerous changes to 250 contraventions that may be assessed against traders, and more are expected in the future.
The Canadian government is consulting on a proposed range of trade measures regarding retaliation authorized by the World Trade Organization against the United States for not repealing the Byrd Amendment legislation. US exporters to Canada and importers of US goods should review the proposals and submit comments by December 20 2004.
This year marks an important opportunity for women's boots importers from China. Women's boots from China have been subject to anti-dumping duties for over 14 years, currently at an advance of 29%. On June 23 2004 the Canada Border Services Agency initiated a re-investigation of the normal values and export prices of these boots.
In a string of recent decisions on tariff classification, the Canadian International Trade Tribunal (CITT) has shown a willingness to break away from international consensus and to adopt a 'made in Canada' approach. In particular, the CITT has shown little regard for the World Customs Organization's Explanatory Notes to the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System.