International Trade and Customs

Overview

Miller Thomson’s International Trade and Customs Group offers a full range of international trade, customs and import tax services. Members of the group have a range of strengths and experiences ranging from leading legal counsel to consulting experts. We have the experience, skills and perspective required to provide high quality, practical and innovative solutions. We also have the bench strength necessary to assume conduct of significant, time-sensitive and complex customs appeals and trade remedies matters.

We serve domestic, non-resident and global businesses (especially US-based multinationals importing into Canada).  We have represented  importers and exporters in most Canadian industry sectors including: aerospace, aluminum and steel, automotive, agriculture / agri-food, apparel, banking and financial, communications, defence production, direct sales, e-commerce, fisheries, forestry, manufacturing, oil and gas, technology, third party logistics, transportation, and mining.  We have also assisted trade-related service providers, including accounting firms, carriers (in all modes of transportation), certifiers, couriers, distributors, freight-forwarders, insurers, shippers, steamship lines, suppliers, and third party logistics providers.

In this era of rapid change in global trade and customs, support from the right group can make all the difference. Managers of global businesses today must cope with factors such as increased tariffs, new free trade agreements and changing supply chains in an effort to minimize risk and maximize opportunities.  In dealing with the issues, we have come to understand typical global trade business strategies, business trends and best practices.

We put our knowledge of global trade businesses (such as accounting systems, customs controls and procurement processes), as well as our knowledge of applicable laws and policies, to work for our clients. Our understanding of the business of global trade and customs extends well beyond customs duties and import taxes, to matters such as consumer product safety, e-commerce, as well as import and export controls.  Some members of our group are former Canada Border Services Agency and Department of Justice, Canada employees.  As such, they have a have a good understanding of the machinery of government.

Disputes and Litigation

We have commenced administrative appeals and applications before various officials, including officials with the Canada Border Services Agency, the Canada Revenue Agency and the Department of Finance.  We have significant experience as litigation counsel in courts such as the Canadian International Trade Tribunal, the Tax Court of Canada, the Federal Court and the Supreme Court of Canada.  We also have experience with proceedings in the London Court of International Arbitration. The following is a brief list of representative services:

  • Disputes concerning customs and excise, Goods and Services Tax, Harmonized Sales Tax, Provincial Sales Taxes, export charges, fuel taxes, environmental levies, digital media credits, export charges, and property taxes
  • Judicial review applications concerning government decisions, such as the request to produce documents and information
  • Verifications, audit defence, corrections, adjustments and voluntary disclosures
  • The prosecution and the defence of civil claims
  • Civil penalties including seizures and forfeitures
  • Criminal investigations, search warrants, production orders, information to obtain, alternative measures / diversions, plea negotiations and the defence of criminal charges (e.g., undervaluation, non-reporting, false statements, and double invoicing)

COVID-19 Resources

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International Trade and Customs Bulletin

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