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Canada Expands Customs Self-Assessment Program to U.S. Importers

Thursday, June 27, 2013
Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg Trade Report

The Canada Border Services Agency has amended its regulations to allow U.S. resident importers to participate in Canada’s Customs Self-Assessment program. Under the new rules, the CSA is now open to importing individuals who ordinarily reside in the U.S., importing partnerships in which at least one partner ordinarily resides in the U.S., and importing corporations that have their head offices in or operate a branch office in the U.S. (Carriers with their head offices in or operating branch offices in the U.S. are already eligible.)

The CBSA states that under the CSA, which was launched in December 2001, participants receive streamlined clearance of eligible goods in situations involving a CSA authorized importer, CSA authorized carrier and registered driver. Benefits also include streamlined accounting, payment and adjustment processes for all imported goods. According to the CBSA, U.S.-resident CSA-approved importers will receive all the benefits the program has to offer; i.e., they will be able to use their own business systems and processes, which must meet the CBSA’s requirements, to forward trade data and to report and remit payment of taxes and duties once a month to their own financial institutions. As a result, they will no longer have to provide data at the time of each shipment to get their goods released.

This change represents Canada’s implementation of a joint commitment with the U.S. under the Beyond the Border Action Plan to expand membership in their respective self-assessment programs. U.S. Customs and Border Protection took a similar step last fall when it opened its Importer Self-Assessment program to Canadian resident importers who have been importing into the U.S. for at least two years and meet all other ISA application requirements.

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