Customs audits happen more regularly than your Father’s platitudes. I have worked with importers on some audits that have resulted in some minor changes. Yet there are others that take up lots of time, money, and resources. All of this trouble and drama can be avoided with a little preventative maintenance.
The usual issues for the CBSA are classification, valuation and preferential trade agreements. These are three things that as an importer you should have a good handle on. The CBSA is even kind enough to provide us with a list of the types of imported products they are targeting and what they are targeting them for. The link below takes you a list of items that the CBSA will be auditing this year.
It also tells you whether they are auditing for classification or valuation. You can click on a target to expand it and get a detailed description including the number of audits performed, value of reassessments and the fines that have been levied as a result of the audits. This is just like a dashboard light coming on telling you that you need gas. You don’t need that. You have that big gauge. Yet people still run out of gas.
No one wants to be audited yet everyone is surprised when they get a call or letter from the CBSA saying that you have been targeted. These lists have been published for years. Do yourself a favor and take a look at the list. If you import any of the products listed you can expect a letter from the CBSA. In hindsight, sometimes your Dad made a lot of sense. Time to “put on the big boy pants,” or read “Why Yes, You Do Need a Compliance Expert.”