The Administrative Monetary Penalty System (AMPS) is a monetary penalty system for punishing commercial companies who infringe the Canada Border Services Agency’s (CBSA) trade and border regulations.
Similar to other laws, the CBSA uses AMPS to regulate and ensure uniform treatment is afforded to all businesses operating in Canada. The consequences of violating the AMPS regulations are stipulated in the Master Penalty Document.
Penalty Assessment Process
If you fail to comply with CBSA regulations, you are likely to undergo assessment for possible imposition of AMPS penalties on your business. The most common forms of non-compliance include;
– Failure to pay duties.
– Refusing to provide necessary information to the CBSA.
– Unauthorized removal of goods from warehouses.
– Delivery of goods without cargo release from the CBSA.
– Failing to report goods to CBSA.
– Submitting inaccurate or falsified data to the CBSA.
It is important to note that you are liable for any inaccuracies or inconsistencies in the import or export trading data submitted to the CBSA. Even if a customs broker gathers and submits trade data information on your behalf, you will still be responsible for any errors and omissions, as well as the subsequent monetary penalties.
So, what does the CBSA require of companies in the importation and exportation business?
– Paying duties (if applicable)
– Obtaining the release of imported goods
– Acquiring, preparing and submitting all the necessary documentation.
– Keeping accurate and up-to-date records.
– Responding to queries from the CBSA concerning the submitted information.
It is advisable to work with professionals and the CBSA to ensure that your import/export transactions are compliant with the CBSA regulations. Should you be found guilty of non-compliance, you will be punished according to the severity and the regularity of the AMPS infringement.
Notice of Penalty Assessment
When your business contravenes any of the aforementioned CBSA requirements, you will receive a Notice of Penalty Assessment (NPA) form E650.
The NPA will contain;
– Notice Date – the date of issue of the NPA. Penalty interests start accumulating from this date.
– Penalty Assessment Number – the unique identification number of the NPA.
– Penalty Amount – the amount you owe the CBSA.
– Office Code – 4-digit identifier of the CBSA office that issued the NPA.
– Client Customs Account Name / Address
– Legal Name
– Client Identifier – the business number, carrier code and sub-location code of the client.
– Reason for Penalty Assessment.
– Contravention Identifier – a code that indicates your specific infringement.
– Regulatory Authority – the legislative reference that corresponds to your infringement.
– Penalty Calculation Information.
– Related Information
– Payment – amount payable to the CBSA, as well as interest information if payment is delayed.
– Review of Enforcement Action – guidelines on how to petition the CBSA for a review of your contraventions if you feel the penalties are unjustified.
– Issuing Office.
– Issuing Officer.
Master Penalty Document
The Master Penalty Document contains all of the infringements that may arise when a business fails to comply with CBSA requirements. It has 152 entries in total. Below is a glance at some of the contraventions in this document.
Applicable when a company fails to keep electronic records in a format that is easy to read.
This occurs when a company does not comply with the ACI (Advance Commercial Information) pre-loading or pre-arrival information concerning their goods and their transport into Canada.
A company may be penalized for submitting inaccurate, falsified or incomplete information to the ACI system regarding the state of their imported goods.
Reviewing of Penalties
As mentioned earlier, there is a provision for requesting the review of penalties if you believe that they were unfairly imposed. If the penalty is incorrect, you can ask for corrections. On the other hand, if you are confident that the penalty is unfounded, you can appeal.
Corrections are issued when;
– The client information indicated in the NPA is inaccurate.
– The penalty level is incorrect.
– The penalty amount is larger than expected.
– Duties were paid before the stipulated deadline.
– Additional information was sent after imposition of the penalty.
If you feel that the penalty has been wrongly applied, you can file a formal review of your case. This should be within 90 days after receiving the NPA.
To be on the safe side, it is important to consult experts to ensure that all aspects of your business operations are in line with CBSA requirements. You can also call the CBSA Border Information Service (BIS) at 1-800-461-9999 to get more information on compliance.
Lastly, you should develop, implement and strictly adhere to a compliance plan.