Canada Updates Guidance on Imported Goods Made with Forced or Prison Labour
28 May 2021
The Canada Border Services Agency recently updated its guidance on imported goods manufactured or produced with forced or prison labour. Effective 1 July 2020, Canada adopted a prohibition – enforced by the CBSA – on the importation of goods from any country produced wholly or partly by forced labour. In adopting the prohibition, Canada noted that Article 23.6 of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) establishes an obligation for each party to prohibit the importation of goods that have been produced with forced or compulsory labour, including forced or compulsory child labour. HTSCA tariff item 9897.00.00 sets forth the specific import prohibitions enforced by the CBSA, including with respect to (i) goods mined, manufactured or produced wholly or in part by forced labour; and (ii) goods manufactured or produced wholly or in part by prison labour.
CBSA guidelines indicate the following:
- goods manufactured or produced wholly or in part by prison labour are exempted from the provisions of HTSCA 9897.00.00 when imported solely for personal use and not for sale or for any business or occupational use;
- a person who receives a notice under Subsection 59(2) of the Customs Act may seek a review of the determination or re-determination of tariff classification within 90 days from such notification, pursuant to Section 60 of the Customs Act and in accordance with certain procedures; and
- goods classified under HTSCA 9897.00.00 may also be exported in accordance with applicable export law or abandoned in accordance with Section 36 of the Customs Act.
The CBSA indicates that it is working closely with the Labour Program of Employment and Social Development Canada to identify goods that have been produced by forced or prison labour in order to prevent their entry into Canada. Under this programme, Canadian authorities perform research and prepare reports signalling when goods are likely to be mined, manufactured or produced by forced labour. The CBSA stresses that it is the importer’s responsibility to conduct due diligence on its supply chains to ensure that the goods it imports into Canada are not mined, manufactured or produced wholly or in part with forced labour. To aid in these efforts, Global Affairs Canada has published a strategy on responsible business conduct for Canadian companies abroad that includes guidance on forced labour.
- North America