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COVID-19 Update: Extension of Timeframes for Payment of Customs Duties and GST (CN 20-11)

Government of Canada Extends Timeframes for Payment of Customs Duties & GST

1. This notice provides information regarding the extension of timeframes for the payment of customs duties and the Goods and Services Tax (GST).

2. Subsection 33.7(1) of the Customs Act ("The Act") provides an authority to the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness ("The Minister") or an officer designated by the President of the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) to, in writing, extend the time prescribed by the regulations for the payment of any amount owing for duties.

3. The timeframes for the payment of duties owing on commercial goods are set out in section 10.1 of the Accounting for Imported Goods and Payment of Duties Regulations ("The Regulations").

4. The World Health Organization characterized the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) as a pandemic on March 11, 2020.

5. Within this extraordinary context and further to the announcement made by the Prime Minister on March 27, 2020 the Government of Canada will allow businesses to defer to June some payments of the Goods and Services Tax / Harmonized Sales Tax amounts collected on their sales, as well as customs duties owing on their imports.

6. The Minister has exercised his authority pursuant to subsection 33.7(1) of the Act to extend the time for payment of an amount owing as duties.

7. As such, the timeframe for all payments due to the Agency (customs duties and GST on regular imports, re-assessments, penalties, etc.) are extended to June 30, 2020. This also includes charges on the statement of account of March due on April 1, 2020.

8. Importers should note there is no change to the accounting timeframes prescribed by "The Regulations". Importers are required to submit accounting declarations for imported goods released on minimum documentation within the required timeframes.

9. For any questions, please contact: cbsa-asfc_caarm.gcra@cbsa-asfc.gc.ca

Administrative Implications related to Customs Notice CN 20-11

Please see the below details regarding what CBSA plans to do with payments already made before the deferment announcement. 

1. The payment deferral refers to all, not just month-end, duties and taxes owing. This is for everything owed from March 28, 2020 forward, including the March 2020 SOA.

2. All payments received by CBSA by Thursday, March 26, 2020 by CBSA will be processed.

3. Cheques received by CBSA from Friday, March 27, 2020 until Friday, April 10, 2020 inclusive - CBSA will contact the cheque issuer to see if they want it cashed or destroyed.

4. Cheques received by CBSA after Friday, April 10, 2020 – CBSA will assume that is an intended payment and will cash the cheque.

5. E-payments received between March 28, 2020 and Friday, April 10, 2020 inclusive – CBSA will return these payments.

6. E-payments received after Friday, April 10, 2020 – CBSA will assume that it is an intended payment and will process it.

If you have any questions, please contact our DSV Compliance Team or your local DSV representative.