AMPS – How Would This Affect Your Bottom Line?

An Expert's View about Law and Compliance in Canada

Last updated: 22 Sep 2011

When it comes to importing/exporting  goods into Canada, it is critical to your bottom line, that you are well aware of what AMPS are.
Administrative Monetary Penalty System(AMPS) are monetary penalties issued by Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) to ensure customs compliance. Both imports and exports of goods are subject to AMPS.

Carriers, importers, exporters and customs brokers (and many others that deal  with the Customs Act and Customs Tariff) are all held accountable on errors and can be subject to costly AMPS penalties. The penalty can be anywhere from $100.00 to $25000.00.  Another term for a “mistake” is non-compliance or an even scarier term – Contravention.

Customs compliance has become one of the new buzz words in the last ten years in the Transportation Industry.  Judging by the amount of penalties that have been assessed over the years, it is in your best interest to make sure you are compliant when it comes to  importing/exporting goods. The other buzz word is “Reason to Believe” and that means if you think you made a mistake fix it and fix it as soon as possible.

Recently, the Canadian Society of Customs Brokers(CSCB) sent out one of their regular emails and this one was on AMPS Statistics. Are you ready to be shocked?

This is for the period of July 2008 to June 2011:

    during this period, the total number of penalties issued was 93,808;

    during this period, the total value of penalties was $21,371,433.94;

     importers continue to have the highest number of penalties assessed;

    the penalty amount assessed against importers is twice that of carriers and six times that of warehouse operators;

    the penalty assessed the most often was C082 (27,785), followed closely by C353 (27,443); and

    the contravention for which the highest amount was assessed is C358 ($2,043,846.18).

Code Definitions & Penalties:

    C082: Authorized person failed to make the required corrections to a declaration of tariff classification within 90 days after having reason to believe the declaration was incorrect (penalty range $150 up to $450 per instance).

    C353: Authorized person failed to pay duties as a result of required corrections to the declaration of the value for duty within 90 days of reason to believe the declaration was incorrect (penalty range $150 up to $450 per instance).

    C358: Person removed goods from a Customs Office or Sufferance Warehouse prior to release or authorization by an officer (penalty range $1000 up to $4000 per shipment).

We suggest that you cross your t’s and dot your i’s to ensure compliance with Canada Customs and other government departments when you import and export.  To learn more,  attend as many  Trade Compliance Seminars as possible. It is also a cost effective  way to train new logistics employees as well. Not only will you gain the trade knowledge needed but you can rest easy that you are staying informed with the ever changing regulations with Customs and other government department.

Be prepared because if not,  you can lose your an ability to import. Remember importing is a privilege not a right.


Posted: 21 September 2011, last updated 22 September 2011

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