Border loophole frustrates retailers | The star

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THUNDER BAY – The Thunder Bay Chamber of Commerce wants a loophole to be closed where overseas products escape tariffs when Canadians buy them through U.S. retailers.

In a statement to the Chronicle-Journal, the House said the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) is responsible for administering trade agreements in order to meet Canada’s international obligations.

“When accounting for imported goods is done by the CBSA (Canada Border Services Agency), a ‘tariff treatment’ code is assigned based on the country of origin (where the product was manufactured). This code triggers tariff rates based on trade agreements with other countries.

Charla Robinson, president of the Thunder Bay Chamber of Commerce, says that if duties are not paid by the many people who import international products into Canada, it is an additional disadvantage for small businesses who pay because these retailers locals have to include these costs in their prices – and that’s a pretty big difference.

Canada has a free trade agreement with the United States which ensures that most products made in the United States are duty free. But many of the items that Canadians buy in the United States are actually made in China, Malaysia, India, or other countries.

“We don’t have a free trade agreement with these countries, so when a retailer pays a full duty, as required depending on where that product is made, people crossing the border don’t pay. necessarily the right right, ”she said.

“The challenge we’re seeing is where people place an order with a business online and ship it to the border store in Ryden and do that ‘a quick hour across the border to pick it up” .

Robinson says they have discovered that when people are randomly called to the customs office to verify what was purchased while in the United States, in many cases customs officials do not mark the ” country of origin ”as appropriate.

“This is because there seems to be a waiver in the system that automatically marks the things you bring across the border from the United States as they are made in the United States,” he said. she declared.

The House has introduced a resolution to the government to ensure that when these fees are collected from cross-border pickup buyers, they mark them appropriately, making things standard for retailers who have to pay duties for the same products.

“If you buy it, ship it to Ryden’s and cross over, you should also have to pay full duty,” Robinson said. “It’s about leveling the playing field. We have international agreements with these countries and we have to apply those international agreements. If you literally cross the border on the same day, you would still have to pay duty on those (items) no matter what. ”

There is an entirely different process for companies to import goods across the border into Canada than for individual buyers.

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“We don’t want to slow down the border crossing, we don’t want there to be a big backlog of people trying to cross the border because every car is stopped and asked to enter. We don’t want to do it.” Robinson said. “What we say is when the border guard says he wants you to come ‘so that we can look at that and deal with that” – which they do on a rotation or all cars, make sure that when they go through process they mark that place of origin appropriately so that these people pay the duty that they are supposed to pay and do not get duty free made in the USA ”

Robinson added that retailers have been wiped out by the COVID-19 pandemic and that the Chamber of Commerce wants to ensure the government corrects this loophole in its system to ensure that the original duty is applied appropriately. .


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