The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) released a list of verification priorities for January 2022. Verification priorities are established throughout the year and reflect the CBSA’s assessment of non-compliance risk with customs rules for categories of imported goods.

There have been updates to the CBSA's priorities since we last reported in February 2020.

Audits cover tariff classification, customs valuation and origin and will commonly focus on one of these customs programs for a defined “verification period” (generally the last complete fiscal year). The importer faces the requirement to amend non-compliant past import entry declarations made commencing up to four years prior to the date of amendment. All importers are at risk of random or complaint-based verifications; not all audits are not based on verification priorities.

There are currently 21 active verification priorities: 19 for tariff classification and 2 for customs valuation. There are no origin verification priorities at this time.

The following summarizes the CBSA's current verification priorities:

The CBSA provides the identified risks of non-compliance for each verification priority on its website.

Businesses that import goods listed as verification priority item should prepare for the possibility of a CBSA trade compliance verification in the near future, the results of which may include payment of additional duties, GST, interest and penalties. The risks of duties, penalties and punitive rates of interest associated with non-compliance serve as a reminder to importers to review their customs practices to make sure they are compliant, especially for goods covered by the CBSA's verification priorities.

Our International Trade and Investment group is available to help client importers assess their compliance/non-compliance and to assist them in steps that should be undertaken to correct errors resulting from past non-compliant practices and improve these practices going forward.