Customs officials strive to help importers clear their goods quickly, and to ensure that they respect Canadian laws. Due to the importance of trade statistics, compliance verification officers usually check to ensure that importers have declared their goods correctly.

Enforcement activities of the CBSA include:

  • Examinations
  • Compliance Assessment Reviews
  • Investigations
  • Seizures

Examinations are usually a routine check to ensure that goods have been declared properly. This places importance on the accuracy of customs invoices, commercial invoices, and supporting documents.

Compliance Assessment Reviews, sometimes referred to as audits, will occur either by way of correspondence and requests for documentation, or onsite visits. These reviews check the accuracy of import entries (B3 coding forms) – how closely they resemble commercial reality and whether or not they comply with customs classification, origin and valuation provisions.

The Investigations Program deals with suspected cases of duty evasion, smuggling, fraud and other offences against laws enforced by Customs.

Seizure and ascertained forfeiture normally apply to serious infractions, often associated with prohibited goods.

All compliance measures are supported by the Administrative Monetary Penalties Program (AMPS).

AMPS does not pose any new obligations on importers to comply with customs legislation and regulations, and will not affect businesses that continue to comply with customs requirements. However, monetary penalties will occur in proportion to the type, frequency, and severity of the infraction.

Importers should be well aware of the consequences of non-compliance.

Additional information concerning enforcement can obtained from our senior consultants.