It is important for highway carriers to ensure that they are fully compliant to all CBSA requirements for eManifest to avoid AMPS penalties. In our earlier blog post, Hefty AMPS Penalties for ACI eManifest Non-Compliance, we broke down the various AMPS contraventions and the penalties which may be applied. A graphical representation can also be found in this Infographic: ACI eManifest AMPS Penalties in Effect. Of note is the point that the penalty for not filng ACI for the cargo carried and conveyance used to carry the cargo is also applied when cargo is found in Canada by the carrier and/or importer. The carrier must amend or submit the report via eManifest for this cargo immediately upon discovery regardless of the importer submitting a Voluntary entry to account for the duty and taxes on the cargo.
When you are issued a penalty under AMPS, you will receive a Notice of Penalty Assessment (NPA), from the CBSA describing the infraction and the penalty incurred.
Appealing A Penalty Assessment
If a highway carrier disagrees with a Notice of Penalty Assessment (NPA), you may want it reviewed. There are two types of reviews available:
Following the assessment of a penalty, a designated officer may, on behalf of the Minister, cancel or reduce the penalty within 90 days of its issuance if any errors in the assessment were made. Correction requests should be submitted to the issuing office. To improve access to the correction process, the fax number of the issuing offices has been added on the NPA.
The information required in a correction request is:
(a) the client identification number:
- Business Number (RM import/export account level);
- Carrier Code (carrier/transporter);
- Sub-office Work Location (warehouse operators);
(b) the name and address of the client;
(c) the penalty assessment number (a unique sequential identifier assigned by the AMPS automated system to each NPA);
(d) the proof of payment of the NPA, when applicable;
(e) an explanatory note, clearly identifying why the carrier believes that there is an error in the penalty assessment.
If a request for a correction is denied, the carrier still has the option of requesting a Minister's decision as described below in the redress process.
2. Redress (Minister Review)
If a client disputes the assessment of a penalty, a request for a Ministerial decision can be made. The CBSA's Recourse Directorate reviews these requests. The NPA contains information on the redress process. It is recommended that clients provide as much information as possible relating to their objection to the penalty.
Requests for a Ministerial decision must be submitted within 90 days from the day the NPA was served. In exceptional circumstances, this may be extended to one year. The requests should be sent to the CBSA Recourse Directorate, 1686 Woodward Drive, Ottawa ON K1A 0L8. The Ministerial decision will be communicated to the client in writing. If the penalty was justified by the facts and the law, the decision will confirm that the penalty assessment will be maintained and any money and/or interest owing on the account of the penalty are payable. If, on the other hand, the penalty was not justified by the facts or the law, the penalty assessment will be cancelled and any money paid on the account of the penalty will be refunded and any interest.
Further information on the correction and redress processes can be found on the CBSA website.
If a carrier requests a correction or redress, the payment can be deferred until a decision is rendered. However, if it is determined that there was a contravention and that the penalty was correctly issued, and the penalty is not paid within the 30 days, interest will apply and be calculated from the day after the date of the NPA being served until the date the amount owing is paid.
Penalty Reduction Agreement (PRA)
The CBSA has a program called the Penalty Reduction Agreement (PRA). This is a formal agreement between the CBSA and the client whereby the payment of the penalty is partially reduced by CBSA for the client to reinvest in the correction of the client's commercial information system.
A PRA must be approved first before penalties are reduced and information on how to apply for this program is in Memorandum D22-1-2, Penalty Reinvestment Agreement (PRA) Policy. The Agreement and reduction of penalty amounts are specific to the client's information system (eg. purchase of software, upgrade etc) and does not apply to ongoing costs for training employees, overhead and administrative costs, renovation costs, and salaries for hiring employees conversant with the CBSA policies.
Be sure to speak with a customs professional before agreeing to participate in a penalty reduction program.
What Carriers Can Do To Avoid AMPS?
A clear understanding of ACI eManifest requirements, comprehensive compliance monitoring and record keeping system will ensure that you avoid monetary penalties and high risk scoring.
Minimize Your Risk Of AMPS
Our ACI eManifest Seminars and Webinars are 90-minute sessions where we answer questions, offer practical solutions and help with the ACI eManifest regulations in effect. For details and to register »
Trade Advisory Services:
Pacific Customs Brokers can review and prepare AMPS appeals. Our Trade Advisors will work with you to guide your business through the appeal process and avoid incurring further penalties.
If you have any questions about ACI eManifest, please do not hesitate to contact our Carrier Relations Liaison at 855.542.6644 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.