You've had your goods released by Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) and paid the duties and taxes. Are you free and clear from Customs inspections?

The short and quick answer is, not yet. The CBSA will verify and adjust commercial importations for origin, value for duty, or tariff classification for up to four years after importation furthering customs inspections.

What Are Customs Adjustments?

If the CBSA adjusts your accounting document, they will issue a Detailed Adjustment Statement (DAS) that will outline the adjustment to you (the importer) and allow up to 30 days for you to pay any duties and taxes owing.

If you discover any errors in the accounting document after the fact and before the CBSA makes any corrections, you must correct the information within 90 days of discovering the error even if it is revenue neutral.

Help! I've Been Chosen For A CBSA Trade Compliance Verification Audit

You must keep all records pertaining to your importations for six years following the importation of the goods, plus the year of import.

In addition, the CBSA uses Post Release Verification processes to manage trade compliance. These processes focus on tariff classification, valuation, and origin. The CBSA Trade Division may choose an importer for an audit by one of two methods:

Customs Audit Methods

1 | Random Verifications

Random Verifications are chosen randomly to measure compliance with a specific company or commodity. The risk assessment may or may not be revenue based.

2 | Targeted Verifications

Targeted Verifications are risk based and announced by CBSA twice a year. Some verification priorities carry over from year to year with new priorities added. The January 2018 Trade Verification Priorities.

Value Is The Most Commonly Overlooked Area Of A Customs Audit

How To Stay Compliant After Import

Your importation responsibilities do not end with the payment of duties and taxes. The best practice is to make sure you and your company are in compliance with current CBSA trade regulations. However, if you get it right to begin with, you mitigate your risk moving forward. Educate yourself and your team.

Pacific Customs Brokers informs importers and exporters of the ever changing CBSA regulations while also educating how to stay compliant with customs. Whether you are new to importing or seeking training on the movement of international goods, our trade compliance team will match your needs.

If your company is chosen by CBSA for verification process or audit, the experts at Pacific Customs Brokers can assist you through the audit process. Contact our Trade Advisory Team today to have a knowledgeable, experienced and skilled expert on your side.

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About Author
Jan Brock

Jan Brock joined Pacific Customs Brokers in 2015 as a Senior Trade Advisor. She retired from Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) in 2015 after serving more than 37 years. Jan started her career with CBSA as a summer student in 1976 and worked part-time until she graduated from U.B.C. with a Bachelor of Education Degree in 1980 . Shortly after graduating from U.B.C. Jan worked full time as an inspector with CBSA and within three years was promoted to Superintendent. She served some time in the Regional Operations office as an Operations Review Officer before she was promoted to Chief of Operations first at the Customs Mail Centre, then in the Metro District as the Commercial Chief and ending her career as a Chief at Pacific Highway Commercial Operations where she served as Chief from 1992 to 2015. During her career she was a member of the Customs Drug Team and a trainer in the National Enforcement Program. Jan also served as the Regional Coordinator Officer Powers and Use of Force for the Pacific Region. Jan served on many Commercial Program Reviews and committees both national and regional during her career and possesses an expansive knowledge of importing and exporting into and from Canada.

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While we strive for accuracy in all our communications, as the Importer of Record it is incumbent upon your company to ensure that you are aware of the requirements under the new regulations so that you maintain compliance as always.