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The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) is seeking input from Canadian broker and importer communities, as well as interested parties and individuals, in response to a recommendation made by the Auditor General of Canada to review the Canadian broker licensing regime.
Licensed customs brokers are required to obtain written authorization from their clients in order to transact business with the CBSA on their behalf. There are currently over 300 licensed customs brokers in Canada (Nov. 2017).
Additional information on customs brokers licensing is available in Memorandum D1-8-1.
The Auditor General of Canada made the following recommendation in his Spring 2017 Report on Customs Duties:
The CBSA should review its customs brokers licensing regime by considering features such as
- a licensing process that requires periodically assessing a broker’s compliance record, and
- shared liability of licensed customs brokers and importers to comply with import requirements and paying duties and taxes.
The full report is available on the Office of the Auditor General of Canada’s website.
Participants may submit responses by email or by using the text boxes provided below.
Input in either official language will be accepted until .
For any questions about this consultation, please contact the CBSA’s Assessment and Licensing Unit at:
The CBSA will consider all responses and communicate the results of the review.
Please note that your input will not impact your interactions with the CBSA.
1. Assessment of Compliance Record
The CBSA is considering the merits, limitations and implications of revising the Customs Broker Licensing Regime to include additional, periodic assessments of a broker’s compliance record.
Consideration #1 – Roles of Government and Industry
The CBSA is mandated to oversee the Customs Brokers Licensing Regime on behalf of the Government of Canada. Currently, this includes overseeing the license examination process and the authority to conduct audits to ensure compliance with regulations governing broker practices.
The CBSA invites participants to provide input on the following:
- the appropriate role of Government in assessing a broker’s compliance record
- the role industry can and should play in establishing and ensuring adherence to professional standards for customs brokers
Consideration #2 – Review of Compliance Record at time of Renewal
Currently, the renewal process for a licence does not incorporate a formalized, consistent assessment of a broker’s compliance record. The CBSA is considering introducing a formal review process of a broker’s compliance record as part of the licence renewal process.
The CBSA invites participants to comment on the limitations and challenges with the current licence renewal process and suggest ways to effectively and efficiently assess a broker’s compliance record as part of the license renewal process.
The CBSA is considering the following additional practices as part of the licence renewal of customs brokers:
- Formalizing the review of the number and value of AMPS penalties issued to the broker
- Verifying the integrity of data provided by the broker on behalf of clients
- Formalizing the review of substantiated complaints made about a broker
The CBSA invites participants to comment on the potential impact of such changes on compliance rates and the limitations or potential difficulties that could arise from these additional practices.
Consideration #3 – Accurately Accounting and Paying for Goods
A broker’s responsibility in accounting and paying for goods is ensuring goods are accounted for within the applicable timeframe and that the statement of account is paid in full by the specified due date. Currently, the CBSA examines the accuracy of a broker’s accounting and timeliness in paying duties and taxes for goods as part of the compliance verification process. The CBSA is considering ways to make the current regime more efficient and effective, including the compliance verification process.
The CBSA invites participants to comment on what works well and what does not in the current compliance verification process and suggest ways to improve the process.
2. Shared Liability
Consideration #4 – Effective Implementation – Shared Liability
In accordance with recommendations by the Auditor General of Canada, the CBSA’s review of the Customs Broker Licensing Regime includes examining the possibility of establishing shared liability of licenced customs brokers and importers to comply with import requirements and the payment of duties and taxes.
Currently, importers are fully liable for the accuracy of import information and the timely payment of duties and taxes. Shared liability would involve importers and their agents sharing responsibility for providing accurate import information and payment of duties and taxes. Shared liability involves the broker facing consequences jointly with the importer in the event of an error in the provision of import information or paying duties and taxes. The CBSA may consider introducing shared liability.
The CBSA invites participants to comment on the following:
- the benefits and risks of introducing shared liability
- the most effective way to implement shared liability
- Date modified: