AUDITOR GENERAL’S REPORT AFFECTS IMPORTERS

 

The 2010 Fall Report of the Auditor General of Canada, tabled in the House of Commons October 26, 2010, contains findings that may cause concern about systems related to the release and accounting of imported goods.

 

Key findings from the chapter entitled Facilitating the Flow of Imported Commercial Goods—Canada Border Services Agency include:

 

The Agency does not have reasonable assurance that the information provided electronically by commercial clients at various stages of the importing process is accurate, complete, and timely. Its monitoring process is unsystematic and limited in scope, which has an impact on the Agency’s ability to effectively assess risk. The Agency has recognized this gap and has plans designed to provide it with better information about the extent to which the data it receives is accurate, complete, and timely.”

 

The Agency does not have reasonable assurance that commercial clients’ assessments of duties and taxes owed are based on accurate information. Without such assurance, the Agency cannot verify that assessments are correct and that it is collecting the correct revenues owed. It also risks providing other government organizations, such as Statistics Canada and the Department of Finance Canada, with inaccurate and incomplete trade and revenue information. The Agency has recognized this gap and is working on a strategy to address it.”

 

The CBSA has responded by stating:

 

“We are implementing a compliance strategy to increase assurances that duty and tax information provided by importers is accurate and complete. This will allow the Agency to identify specific causes of non-compliance so that effective corrective measures can be put in place.”

 

“Much like Canada’s income tax system, whereby Canadians file income tax information that is later assessed by the government, the CBSA has a vigorous program to review and verify duty and tax information that is declared by importers. We have also designed a detailed program to help improve how we monitor non-compliant importer activities.”

 

Chapter 8 of the Auditor General’s report concerning the Canada Border Services Agency is at:

Facilitating the Flow of Imported Commercial Goods