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    Customs, Duty and International Trade Course

    I.E.Canada is hosting it’s Customs, Duty and International Trade Course in Toronto on November 24th through 26th at the World Trade Condominium Tower located at 10 Yonge & 10 Queens Quay. Day One will provide an overview of the legal… Read More

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    I.E.Canada is the voice of Canadian importers and exporters.

    Since 1932, I.E.Canada has served as the national trade association for importers and exporters. Add your voice – join us. “Trade compliance is more than just meeting legal requirements; it creates trust, and keeps you in business.” – Michael E. Farrell

I.E. Canada News

Canadian business is united: it’s time for TPP

 Posted on October 1, 2015

Download the full Press Release word_icon

Ottawa, October 1, 2015 — The undersigned organizations, representing leading companies, farmers and hundreds of thousands of small businesses from sectors and regions across Canada, call on governments to conclude the Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations.

Canadian companies depend on trade to expand their markets, create jobs and bring consumers more choice and better prices, which is why Canada has always been at the forefront of global trade cooperation. The TPP is the most important agreement of its kind in over 20 years and would position Canadian companies to compete on a level playing field in the world’s fastest growing region for generations to come.

We strongly believe that a high standard and comprehensive TPP covering 800 million people and 40% of the world economy will open new opportunities for Canadians. It will also build on the hard-fought advantages Canada has secured in past trade agreements with the United States, Mexico and Europe.

Failure to reach a deal in Atlanta would be a major disappointment for Canada. Even more damaging, however, would be for Canada to walk away while others complete a deal without us. The time for an agreement is now.

This is a joint statement from the following associations:

Canadian Chamber of Commerce
Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters
Canadian Council of Chief Executives
Canadian Services Coalition
Canadian Intellectual Property Council
I.E. Canada
Prospectors & Developers Association of Canada
Aerospace Industries Association of Canada
CAFTA (Canadian Agri-Food Trade Alliance):

Canola Council of Canada
Canadian Meat Council
Canadian Sugar Institute
Canadian Pork Council
Grain Growers of Canada
National Cattle Feeders’ Association
Canadian Canola Growers Association
Canadian Cattlemen’s Association
Barley Council of Canada
Cereals Canada
Alberta Cattle Feeders’ Association


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G. Will Dubreuil
Director, Public Affairs and Media Relations
Canadian Chamber of Commerce

I.E.Canada to Have Seat on Newly Formed CITT Advisory Committee

 Posted on August 15, 2015

There has been an exciting new development at the Canadian International Trade Tribunal (CITT). The CITT has created an Advisory Committee to assist the CITT by seeking recommendations related to the Tribunal’s accessibility, transparency and fairness. Even more exciting is the fact that I.E.Canada, along with other associations, has been asked to sit on the committee. This allows industry, for the first time, to have a seat at the table. And it allows you, our members, to have a say on how international trade law, regulation and policy is interpreted in Canada.

The new CITT Advisory Committee will be replacing the Bench and Bar Committee. The new committee will be made up of a broad range of stakeholders including industry associations, legal associations and government departments. If necessary, the Advisory Committee will strike subcommittees to address specific issues as they arise.

The CITT says that it is specifically looking for “…recommendations about the degree to which its rules and procedures are practical and reflective of the commercial realities in which its stakeholders operate.” The committee will not be discussing specific cases, nor will its members advocate. Rather, the committee is a way for the CITT to better engage with trade and to ensure that CITT has a pipeline to the issues most relevant to trade.

I.E.Canada is very encouraged by this move and is optimistic that the Advisory Committee will serve as an important conduit through which both CITT and industry can communicate with each other. CITT has opened a direct communications channel with trade, and this is a tremendous opportunity for I.E.Canada. Expect us to be coming to you over the next few months for input on the issues and opportunities that we can bring to the attention of this new committee.


From left to right: Suzanne Trusdale (TELUS) and 
Joy Nott (Canadian Association of Importers and Exporters)

 Posted on July 14, 2015

Export Trailblazers Recognized

Joy Nott, President & CEO, I.E.Canada (The Canadian Association of Importers & Exporters), is this year’s recipient of the JoAnna Townsend Excellence Award for Leadership in International Trade, presented at the Organization of Women in International Trade (OWIT) – Toronto Annual Awards Gala. The award recognizes an outstanding woman in Ontario who, through her business and personal networks, creates opportunities to actively support Canadian women-owned businesses in expanding globally and succeeding in the international marketplace. Nott has been a long time supporter of international trade in general, and of women in the field of international trade in particular. Her achievements in the field of international trade are widely recognized by both industry and government, who often rely on her expertise, and throughout her career, she has actively given of her time and expertise to other women in the field of international trade, serving as a mentor to many.

From left to right: Suzanne Trusdale (TELUS) and Joy Nott (Canadian Association of Importers and Exporters)

Click here to read the OWIT press release.

I.E. Canada Blog

Canadian Importers Travel “Back to the Future”

 Posted on November 4, 2015

Canadian Importers Travel “Back to the Future” and Gain Fair, Transparent and Free Trade

If you are a fan of the movie trilogy “Back to the Future” you know that the dates October 25th, 26th and 27th, 2015 are the three days in time in which each of the centres on. The premise of the trilogy is that wrongs from the past can be fixed by simply traveling backwards and forwards in time, with the goal being to build a better future.

For years now, importing into Canada from countries where free trade agreements have been negotiated has become more CBSA created fiction rather than the transparent application of the Customs Act to help international traders build a better future for Canada. It seems to all have started when corn chips were imported more than eight years ago. That seemingly innocent series of import transactions set forth a chain reaction in the fabric of the international trade/time continuum that only Marty McFly and Doc Brown could understand.

Last week, the CITT released its decisions on BRI-CHEM SUPPLY LTD.(AP-2014-017), EVER GREEN ECOLOGICAL SERVICES INC.  (AP-2014-027) and SOUTHERN PACIFIC RESOURCE CORP. (AP-2014-028), each of which was an appeal in the same vein as the now infamous FRITO-LAY CANADA, INC. V.PRESIDENT OF THE CANADA BORDER SERVICES AGENCY (AP-2010-002).

While the story is too complicated to explain in this brief blog, it’s important to understand that one of the biggest issues Canadian importers have had with CBSA’s logic, and the issue at the heart of all of the above cases, was the fact that CBSA applied what seems akin to science fiction from the movie screen to Canadian ports of entry. The concept of “zero refund position” is not written or defined anywhere in the Customs Act or any free trade agreement (FTA) legislation, yet CBSA argued that if an import entry originally declared as MFN and duty-free became dutiable due to a change in tariff classification at some point in the future, and more than a year had passed since time of entry, the importer had no right to claim duty free treatment under a FTA by filing a revenue neutral correction on that shipment.

Instead of the entry in question transitioning seamlessly in a revenue neutral correction from one duty-free transaction (duty free under MFN tariff treatment and tariff classification “a”) to another duty-free transaction (duty free under a FTA tariff treatment and corrected  tariff classification “b”), the CBSA argument was based on the false assumption that the import entry would have to go through a Nano second of time where the goods were dutiable (MFN tariff treatment and tariff “b”) – in other words, a rip in the fabric of the international trade/time continuum!

If that Nano second of time (where goods were dutiable) took place after the period where refund claims could be filed under a FTA, the importer was stuck in a time warp. In a “Back to the Future” style scenario, they were trapped in the future with goods that qualified for a FTA (in the past, the present and the future!), but no way to file the corrected entries in the present without having to pay nonrefundable duties. The CBSA argument contradicted everything importers thought to be true about correcting revenue neutral entries that qualified for FTA benefits.  For many years into FTAs such as NAFTA, revenue neutral adjustments were allowed, but suddenly, there was a rip in the fabric of time and what was true in the past was not true in the present nor the future!

It is somewhat fitting that the CITT released these decisions on October 26, 2015, one of the key dates in the movie “Back to the Future”, where  Marty McFly and Doc Brown go back to the past to fix what’s wrong with the future.  This entire “zero position refund” debacle has left Canadian importers stuck in a similar type of time warp for years now. We can only hope that the recent ruling of the CITT in favour of importers yet again ends this whole sad story.

Traditionally, when CBSA has been asked to defend their Nano second logic, they have responded that “NAFTA trumps a CITT decision”, making CITT rulings seem irrelevant and undermines the very foundation of the Tribunal. Through their actions, CBSA seemed to imply that the CITT did not understand NAFTA and had ruled incorrectly, but rather than right the wrong and challenge the decision at Federal Court level of appeal, CBSA simply ignored the ruling as being applicable only to the specific importer named in the case. If you take time to read the above rulings, CITT has taken a clear stand on the issue and has clearly stated how they believe CBSA should administer future transactions for any and all importers with the same fact patterns as the original Frito Lay Canada case. The CITT views are the polar opposite of those of the CBSA and it is obvious CITT members are not impressed with CBSA’s positioning on this issue.

The CITT should be applauded for drafting a plain language ruling that contains words that seem stronger and crisper than those originally used in the Frito-Lay Canada case. In Bri-Chem Supply Ltd., the CITT clearly reprimands the CBSA for “abuse of process” and points out that their argument of “zero position refund” is as much a work of science fiction as the hover board ridden by Marty McFly.

I think it is fair to state that Canadian importers are not looking forward to any sequels, prequels or reruns of this Frito-Lay “series” of arguments with the CBSA. Enough is enough. Let’s get “back to the future” of building Canadian prosperity through fair, transparent and free trade.

The Supply Chain Echo ®

 Posted on September 4, 2015

Canada has many strengths that increase our competitiveness as a nation. We are politically and economically stable, we have an educated workforce and high standard of living, and we are an attractive source for business and trade investment. Yet our competitive position, when ranked against other nations, does not reflect our potential.
Canada has significant room for improvement when it comes to understanding global supply chains and implementing policies and procedures that make it easy for companies to do business in and with Canada. The biggest issue is that Canadian policy makers fail to consider the impact importation procedures have after the goods have cleared customs- I.E.Canada has coined this the supply chain echo®.

Current thinking in Canadian trade policy leads us to believe that the supply chain ends at customs clearance. This is not accurate, and our economy suffers because of it.

The supply chain echo® refers to the fact that imports continue to be regulated and can be affected by our trade policies, procedures and penalties long after the goods have crossed the border and been released. Current customs regulations demonstrate that the supply chain echo® remains for up to five years after the customs clearance occurs. An import file is touched many times after import and often by multiple parties other than the importer. Years after the import has cleared customs, audits may be conducted, refund claims submitted, and requests for further information made to name only a few actions. In fact, a review of Canada Border Services Agency’s guidelines to importing outlines the fact that CBSA can verify and adjust commercial importations for up to four years after importation and that all records pertaining to the import must be kept for six years. Accounting and filing errors discovered by the importer can be corrected at any time, but monies owing must be submitted within 90 days of discovering the error. Failure to report errors will result in penalties.

Despite the fact that CBSA guidelines outline that the import is still subject to regulations past the border, there is currently no tracking of imports ‘behind the border’ and therefore, no trade facilitation measures aimed at this entire segment of the global value chain. The measures in place today focus primarily on punitive measures for companies that fail to comply with the customs legislation.

Our government should also consider that our transportation policies and infrastructure can contribute to the supply chain echo®. Port labour disputes, rail issues (such as the movement of grain), CBSA ‘creative’ auditing and multiple appeals to the CITT all contribute negatively to our global ranking, yet no thought is given to ways in which processes ‘behind the border’ can be streamlined and directed to enhance the competitiveness of Canadian companies.

I.E.Canada believes that Canada should uncouple the security aspects of our border from the commercial aspects. These are two very different functions, and by combining them under one ministry, Canada is trying to join two opposing functions; creating and growing business requires very different supports and regulations than does security. CBSA currently falls under the Minister of Public Safety; I.E.Canada recommends that the security aspects of the border be left with public safety, and that customs be moved to either the International Trade or National Revenue portfolios. That would then allow our government to develop an import policy that is relative to commercial trade and that is not concerned with the security aspects of the border.

By not considering imports beyond the customs clearance process, we are missing an entire section of the global value chain continuum. Post importation administration is a competitive factor that could improve Canadian competitiveness, yet it never seems to be tracked.



Customs, Duty and International Trade Course

November 24th-26th
The World Trade Condominium Tower, Toronto
10 Yonge & 10 Queens Quay.
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IE Canada’s New Full-Day Economic Sanctions and Trade Controls Course

November 27, 2015 – Toronto
This full-day intensive program will provide a very practical focus on key areas of high risk and best practices for mitigating your financial and reputational exposure to enforcement action. This includes a review of the Canadian economic sanctions, export controls, and defence trade control regimes …MORE


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Copyright & Trademarks – D-Memo D19-4-3 Understanding the Rules

Since January 1, 2015, copyright and trade-mark owners have had a new weapon in their arsenal for dealing with counterfeiters. The CBSA has been granted new powers to detain suspected counterfeit goods at the border and to share information about the detained goods with intellectual property owners. Memorandum D19-4-3 discusses these new border procedures. This webinar will help you understand the rules and how they can benefit you.

December 10, 2015 1:00-2:30pm EST: Register

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Accounts Receivable Ledger (ARL) 101 Webinar

The Accounts Receivable Ledger (ARL) is the first phase of the CARM project, a multi-year project to transform how the CBSA assesses, collects, manages and reports on import revenue and trade information. For Importers with Account Security for Release Prior to Payment privileges, ARL brings major changes in the way CBSA assesses and collects your duties and taxes. Are you ready for these changes? Join Candace Sider, Livingston, as she outlines everything you need to know!

December 16, 2015 1:00-3:30pm EST: Register More Info

CITT & the Bri-Chem Trilogy

The recently released CITT decision with regards to Bri-Chem is a strong statement from CITT on appeals, the rule of law and the limits of CBSA. Join Peter Kirby of Fasken Martineau as he discusses the lead up to the Bri-Chem decision and the implications the decision holds for all importers.

December 17, 2015
1:00-2:30pm EST: REGISTER

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FSMA The Rules are In !

Learn what  Canadian food exporters will need to know in order to comply with the new regulations and minimize the risk of U.S. market access interruption.

December 14, 2015 1:00 pm – 2:30 pm EST REGISTER

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