Background

The Canada Border Services Agency announced March 27 that the timeframe for all payments due to that agency has been extended to June 30. This includes customs duties; the goods and services tax (generally five percent) on regular imports, re-assessments, penalties, etc.; and charges on statements of account for March that are due April 1. Customs duty and GST payments on imports are typically due before the first day of the month following the month in which the statements of account are issued.

The CBSA notes that there is no change to the accounting timeframes prescribed by the Accounting for Imported Goods and Payment of Duties Regulations. As a result, importers must continue to submit accounting declarations for imported goods released on minimum documentation within the required timeframes.

However, the CBSA has also said it will provide a 45 business day grace period for late accounting penalties. This policy applies to transactions released from March 11 through May 14 and companies will not have to submit an application to have such penalties waived.

Finally, the CBSA has suspended trade compliance activity interactions with importers, exporters, and representatives until April 20. All deadlines imposed in connection with verifications are therefore automatically extended by 30 days, though CBSA may re-evaluate the length of this suspension at a later date. For example, the 90-day time limit for submitting corrections companies are making due to errors found during a trade compliance verification will automatically be extended by 30 days.

The CBSA notes that it is continuing to process drawback claims, applications for the duties relief program, and B2 requests for adjustments, which are unaffected by this temporary suspension.

For more information, please contact ST&R consultant Larry James at (613) 882-7190.

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