News and Insights

CBSA Trade Compliance Verification – Updated List of Priorities

Tax Development May 31, 2023

The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) regularly carries out trade verifications to ensure importers and exporters are compliant with the various rules and regulations.

The CBSA manages this program by conducting audits and verification primarily in the following three areas:

  • Tariff Classification;
  • Valuation; and
  • Origin

To perform these verifications, the CBSA uses:

  • Random verification, which is designed to measure compliance rates and assess potential revenue loss; and
  • A verification priorities list (i.e., the CBSA “Hit List”), which is designed and determined through risk-based processes.

The verification priorities list is a helpful guideline for importers concerned about the potential risk associated with a compliance verification audit. The current list of CBSA priorities contains several types of imports, including the examples noted below.

The full list of CBSA verification priorities (updated in March of 2023) can be found on the CBSA website.

If you are selected for an audit and the CBSA determines noncompliance, corrective measures to your import documentation for up to four years will be compulsory. Importers can avoid or mitigate potential audit issues by reviewing the priorities list and addressing any compliance concerns. Consider reviewing your internal processes in those areas to help ensure compliance and avoid the potential imposition of penalties under the Administrative Monetary Penalty System (AMPS). To learn more about the AMPS, please see our article on The Importance of Complying with Customs Legislation.

Our team of customs duty professionals can assist your organization with a customs review to improve your trade compliance, prevent the overpayment of customs duty, and identify potential exposures related to noncompliance.

If you have any questions or concerns about imports into Canada, please contact the Ryan Customs team.

Maureen Gilfoy
Director, Customs Duty

Sebastian Drozdziewicz
Senior Manager, Customs Duty