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CBSA Proposes “Last Sale” Rule for Customs Valuation

Toronto, June 19, 2023

The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) is proposing to change Canadian customs

valuation rules to require the “last sale”,

in a series of transactions resulting in the importation of goods into Canada, to be the sale on which import duty and taxes are paid.

The stated purpose of the draft amendments was to level the playing field by removing an unfair advantage for non-resident importers (NRIs), which are businesses located outside of Canada that ship goods to customers in Canada. This advantage exists due to NRIs’ ability to declare a lower Value for Duty (VFD) on goods that they import to Canada by using an earlier sale price and not the sale to an actual buyer located in Canada. However, the amendments, as drafted, will have a significant impact on both non-resident importers and Canadian resident importers.

The proposed regulations will define the terms “sold for export to Canada” and amend the term “purchaser in Canada”. Under the proposed regulation these changes may increase declared values for duty resulting in increased duty and taxes (where applicable).

Following is a partial excerpt from the draft concerning the definition of “Sold for export to Canada”:

  • Clarify that any form of intent to sell or purchase the goods is a sale for export to Canada, including agreements or any other arrangements to purchase that cause the goods to be imported to Canada; and
  • Specify that if the goods are subject to more than one sale for export to Canada, the applicable transaction for VFD will be the last sale in the supply chain that brought the goods into Canada, irrespective of the chronological order of the sales.

Sales that occur in Canada and do not cause the goods to be exported to Canada will not be used in the determination of the VFD of imported goods.

The issue in the above is that Canadian resident importers who hold a purchase order for imported goods to fulfill, as example, would be required to declare the last sale to Customs as the value for duty, thus significantly increasing their dutiable value (i.e. the sale price to their customer would be the dutiable value and not the purchase price from a foreign vendor).

CBSA will be accepting comments to the draft regulations until June 26, 2023 – contact details as per the draft

“Regulations Amending the Valuation for Duty Regulations”:

Interested persons may make representations concerning the proposed Regulations within 30 days after the date of publication of this notice. They are strongly encouraged to use the online commenting feature that is available on the Canada Gazette website but if they use email, mail or any other means, the representations should cite the Canada Gazette, Part I, and the date of publication of this notice, and be sent to Janine Harker, Director, Commercial and Trade Policy Division, Traveller, Commercial, and Trade Policy Directorate, Strategic Policy Branch, Canada Border Services Agency, 191 Laurier Avenue West, 6th Floor, Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0L8 (email:

The timeline for implementation of these amendments has not been identified by the government, but the entry into force is to be coordinated with the upcoming entry into force of other Customs Act amendments in the Budget Implementation Act, 2021, No. 1 (S.C. 2021, c. 23), which specify, among other changes, that the term “sold for export to Canada” will be defined by regulation.

For more information, please call Brian Rowe, Director – Customs Compliance & Regulatory Affairs at (905) 882-4880, ext. 1213.

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