Extension of Timeframes for Payment of Customs Duties and GST (COVID-19)

March 30, 2020 – Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) on the 27 March 2020 issued a Customs Notice CN20-11 regarding the extension of timeframes for the payment of customs duties and the Goods and Services Tax (GST) due to COVID-19 pandemic. The deferral allows businesses to defer payments due for March, April and May to June 1, 2020. 

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.

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

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. 

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.

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.

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.

For any questions, please contact [email protected].

For further assistance contact your Livingston representative.