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Trade Talk | HELP! I've Been Chosen For A Trade Compliance Verification Audit!

Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) Verification List 2017 Is Out

Are You An Importer Of These Items?

As an Importer of goods into Canada, you may one day be faced with a terrifying reality of being chosen for a Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) Trade Compliance Audit. You may wonder what your next step should be.

Step 1: Breathe, it may not be as bad as you think. Contact your customs broker and discuss the situation. They will guide you through this process. You are not alone.

Step 2: Understand how an audit works. The CBSA uses Post Release Verification Audits as a tool to measure trade compliance with the various CBSA programs. Typically a trade compliance audit will focus on one of three major programs, Tariff, Origin or Valuation. In all cases, there are two processes by which your company may be chosen for an audit.

  1. Random Verifications - These verifications are typically focused on the type of goods being imported, the country of origin of the goods, the relationship between the purchaser and the seller, etc.   
  2. Targeted Verification Priorities - Targeted verifications are determined through a risk-based assessment. A list of verification targets is typically issued by CBSA in January and July of each calendar year. Each list will carry new items to be verified for compliance with tariff, origin and valuation, and, there will be some items that carry over from previous calendar years.

Step 3: Educate your team.

Trade Compliance Education:

Pacific Customs Brokers aims to keep importers and exporters informed on changing customs regulations while educating them on the consequences of non-compliance. Whether you are new to importing, exporting or are seeking training on the movement of international goods, our trade compliance program will aim to match your needs.

Related blog post: 7 Excellent Reasons To Invest In Trade Compliance Education

Trade Advisory Services:

If your company is chosen for a Trade Compliance Audit or Verification Audit, Pacific Customs Brokers is here to help. Please contact our office as soon as you are notified of your audit, and one of our Certified Trade Compliance Specialists will work with you to guide your business through the audit process. It is very important that we be brought in right at the beginning to ensure that we can represent your best interests with CBSA to mitigate the impact of any additional duty, penalties or interest that may otherwise be payable.

Our trade advisory services include but are not limited to:

  • Thorough HS database review with ongoing updates
  • Current industry training and education to review transactions completed by customs brokers thereby minimizing errors
  • Experienced counsel on valuation and origins
  • Strategic advice on withstanding a customs audit
  • Firm support through the challenges of the audit process

For more information about our trade compliance audit services, contact us today.

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About Author
Gloria Terhaar
CCS, CTCS, CBSA Professional Designate

Gloria Terhaar has over 17 years of Canadian customs brokerage experience. She currently works in our Canadian division as a Trade Compliance Supervisor and Regulatory Compliance Specialist. Gloria has extensive experience in all aspects of documentation and regulatory requirements as they relate to importing products into Canada. Gloria is often called upon to train industry with some recent talks for MNP, the Surrey Board of Trade, TFO Canada and the BC Produce Marketing Association. In 2018, Gloria also participated in the Canadian Produce Marketing Association and the Canadian Horticultural Council advocacy event "Fall Harvest" in Ottawa where she participated in advocacy efforts for the Canadain produce industry.

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.