Are you among the many companies that have claimed CETA benefits following the implementation last September of the Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA)?
If the answer is yes, you are certain to receive a CETA Verification Audit by either the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) or the European Union (EU), based on whether you were the importer or exporter in the transaction. You also need to know that Origin verifications under CETA are conducted by Customs in the exporter’s country, i.e. the European Union conducts origin verifications of EU exporters and the CBSA conducts verifications of Canadian exporters.
This is very different than the auditing process under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). With that system, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) can ask for permission from the CBSA to visit the premises of a Canadian exporter to verify statements for goods certified as NAFTA qualifying, and the CBSA can request permission from CBP to visit a U.S. supplier’s premises.
The auditing process is expected to promote more fairness. It also assures that any origin disputes will be heard in the exporter’s home country rather than being determined by foreign laws and courts.
For more information, contact Brian Rowe, Director – Customs Compliance & Regulatory Affairs.