ARGO Customs news: Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement (CUSMA) Important Information.

New changes are coming: CBSA provided information regarding CUSMA, de minimis, and CLVS.

Under Article 7.8 of the CUSMA, the de minimis threshold for goods shipped to Canada has been raised to $40. Between $40 and $150, only tax will be collected. After $150, duty and tax apply. Regulatory amendments to the Courier Imports Remission Order and the Excise Tax Act will be made to accommodate these changes.

Article 7.8 also states that “there shall be fewer customs formalities”, or a streamlined process, for the release of goods valued at less than $3,300. Under the Courier Low Value Shipment program this amount is $2,500 and, once CUSMA is in place, the amount of $3,300 will apply to all goods, not just those shipped by courier.

Article 7.8 to mean that:

The de minimis applies to courier shipments only;
The de minimis applies to goods that are shipped from Mexico and the US only; and
For de minimis to apply, goods do not have to originate in Mexico or the US (but must have entered into the commerce of the US; transhipped goods don’t count).

Goods with a value under $1000 will not require a declaration of origin. For originating goods over that amount, the certification process will be less formal than that under the NAFTA and will be more in line with new trade agreements where a declaration can be noted on a invoice, with no need for a formal certificate.

The above will be implemented once CUSMA is in place.

De Minimis

CBSA will extend the de minimis amounts under the CUSMA to all shipments. This means that, as indicated in D8-2-16, it applies to all common commercial carriers, regardless of mode of transport, including freight forwarders and deconsolidators. It is not limited to couriers.

However, should the CUSMA not come into force, the de minimis threshold will remain at its current level for all shipments.

The CVLS program as we know it will end. In its place, there will be a program that is not limited to couriers and will allow goods valued at $3300 to be released with just a manifest. No details or time frame for this new program was provided, including the accounting process for these goods, but it is hoped that it will be implemented at the same time as the CUSMA.

ARGO Customs update- New Test Market Authorizations (TMAs) process.

Under the Safe Food for Canadians Regulations (SFCR), test market provisions now apply to all foods. Test marketing food allows exemption from certain regulatory requirements, such as bilingual labelling requirements under the Food and Drug Regulations (FDR) and regulated container sizes under the SFCR.

Test Market Authorizations (TMAs) are issued for the purpose of test marketing a food. The food cannot have been sold previously in Canada in that form and must differ substantially from any other food sold in Canada with respect to its composition, function, state or packaging form.

TMAs that were granted prior to the coming into force date of the Safe Food for Canadians Regulations (SFCR), i.e., January 15, 2019, will continue to be valid for the period for which they were issued, as indicated in authorization letters.

The Government of Canada is developing a more modern and innovative food labelling system.

The Government has just announced that proposed changes to labelling requirements in the Food and Drug Regulations and the Safe Food for Canadians Regulations have been pre-published in the Canada Gazette, Part I, and they are seeking your feedback. A notice to industry has been posted.

We encourage you to review the proposed changes and submit your comments by September 4, 2019.

Import Permits for Steel and Serial No. 945

Global Affairs Canada (GAC) have advised that import permits for goods listed under Serial No. 945 must be applied for prior to the arrival of the goods and on hand at time of accounting. This is a new requirement and contrary to the time period in place under Serial No. 911. Under Serial No. 911, permits could be applied for between arrival and accounting.

Repeal of the United States Surtax Order (Steel and Aluminum)

Effective May 19, 2019, the United States Surtax Order (Steel and Aluminum): SOR/2018-152 and the United States Surtax Order (Other Goods): SOR/2018-153 imposing surtax on certain products originating in the United States are repealed. Please note that importers will no longer be required to pay surtax pursuant to the above-referenced orders.

Canada and the United States have reached an agreement to lift steel and aluminum tariffs.

Canada’s year-long standoff with the Trump administration over punitive U.S. steel and aluminum tariffs is finally over, removing a key hurdle in efforts to ratify the new North American trade pact.

Global Affairs Canada says the tariffs will be removed within two days.

Canada has also agreed to drop all of its retaliatory measures and legal actions at the World Trade Organization.

Simplified plant import permit application process

Beginning June 1, 2019, importers applying for an import permit under the Plant Protection Act can submit their application electronically to the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, without having to submit a hard copy.

You can now submit the Application for Permit to Import Plants and Other Things (CFIA/ACIA 5256) by using My CFIAonline services or by e-mail, fax or mail.

Removing the hard-copy requirement makes the electronic application process easier, faster and cheaper, and reduces the administrative burden. This updated process promotes electronic access to CFIA services in line with the Agency’s priority to offer digital-first tools and services.

CITT Report on Safeguards Regarding Certain Steel Goods

This information states that provisional safeguards on imports of concrete reinforcing bar, energy tubular products, hot-rolled sheet, pre-painted steel, and wire rod will cease to apply beginning April 28, 2019.

Global Affairs Canada has clarified that provisional safeguards on these goods will remain in effect up to and including April 28, 2019.

This information is also found in Customs Notice 18-17.

The Safe Food for Canadians Regulations (SFCR) are now in force (15/01/2019).

These regulations require most food businesses to have a Safe Food for Canadians (SFC) licence to import, export or send food across provincial and territorial boundaries.
When filling out the application for your licence, you will have to indicate what foods you want your licence to cover. You will be asked to choose from a list of food categories and activities. It is important to select the correct category/commodity that reflects your food product(s).
CFIA has advised that those who hold current non-SFCR licences to import may indicate their current licence number when requesting release of goods. Release requests will not be rejected when a non-SFCR licence number is indicated. CFIA has also advised that AIRS will be updated to include this information.