2019 Canadian Chamber of Commerce Resolution:Enhancing Tariff Claims Process to Address Business Needs & Encourage Trade Growth
to be submitted to the Canadian Chamber of Commerce at the 2019 Annual General Meeting in September, 2019
For Canadian importers/exporters, the process to obtain duty drawback or remission approval is a time and resource drain to companies without the necessary expertise and/or administrative staff to effectively manage the requirements. In addition, the Canadian Border Services Agency (drawback) and Department of Finance (remission) offices may require additional staff resources to manage the number of claims received to ensure quick feedback and timely approval.
Canadian importers/exporters are often required to pay tariffs to gain access to International markets. In some situations, importers/exporters are able to seek relief from paid tariffs through the submission of a drawback claim to the Canada Border Services Agency or a remission approval from the Ministry of Finance. Unfortunately, the claims process is a time and resource drain to companies without the necessary expertise and/or administrative staff to manage the requirements.
Chamber Members have expressed concerns with the complexity of the application forms and process, and the limited support available from a Ministry representative. The timeliness of claim processing, and subsequent reimbursement by the Government Department is also a significant concern as it could take months or even years for companies to be reimbursed, not including any interest they accrued or the cost of hiring additional staff or outside support to manage the claims process. This delay represents a significant financial burden and could result in staff layoffs or even business closures.
In addition to the delays and complexities, when the US announced its removal of the 232 tariffs against Canada (and Canada removed its tariffs vs US), the Canadian government immediately discontinued the application process for duty remissions as of that date. This has left a number of companies who were in the process of putting forward remission applications with no recourse to obtain monies back.
That the Government of Canada direct the Canada Border Services Agency and Ministry of Finance to:
1. Review staffing levels to ensure sufficient resources are available to manage tariff claims and remission approvals;
2. Raise awareness by providing information to Canadian companies to assist them in the preparation and submission of tariff claims and remission approvals;
3. Process claims within 120 days of finalization of the submission; and,
4. Allow a grace period for companies to submit their applications for S.232 tariffs, starting from the introduction of Canada’s retaliatory tariffs of July 1, 2018 through to June 30, 2020, after which time the application process would be closed.