Updated - Process for requesting remission of surtaxes that apply on certain goods from the U.S.
On May 17, 2019, the United States (U.S.) and Canada announced an agreement to lift U.S. section 232 tariffs on Canadian steel and aluminum, as well as Canada's retaliatory countermeasures. As announced by the Minister of Finance on May 20, 2019, Canadian countermeasures against imports from the U.S. are no longer in effect. The surtaxes are repealed via the Order Repealing the United States Surtax Order (Steel and Aluminum) (SOR/2019-143) and the Order Repealing the United States Surtax Order (Other Goods) (SOR/2019-144). Accordingly, the Government is no longer accepting requests from the remission of surtaxes.
The Government of Canada is outlining a framework and process for how it will consider remission requests for the surtaxes on products that came into force on July 1, 2018. Under specific circumstances, remission allows for relief from the payment of surtaxes, or the refund of surtaxes already paid.
Remission represents an exception to the rules by providing for relief of otherwise applicable duties. As such, remission is only used to address exceptional and compelling circumstances that, from a public policy perspective, are found to outweigh the primary rationale behind the application of duties and, in the current case, surtaxes.
In relation to requests for remission of the surtaxes announced on June 29, 2018 that took effect on July 1, 2018, the Government will consider requests for remission of surtaxes only in the following instances:
- To address situations of short supply in the domestic market, either on a national or regional basis.
- Where there are contractual requirements, existing prior to May 31, 2018, for Canadian businesses to use U.S. steel or aluminum in their products or projects.
- To address, on a case-by-case basis, other exceptional circumstances that could have severe adverse impacts on the Canadian economy.
Any request for remission will be considered by a federal inter-departmental committee, which will be tasked with making recommendations. Any request for remission could be subject to consultation with other interested parties, including domestic producers. Recommendations will be made by the interdepartmental committee to the Minister of Finance. Under section 115 of the Customs Tariff, the Minister of Finance has the authority to recommend remission to the Governor in Council. To take effect, an Order in Council also needs to be approved by the Governor in Council.
In order to ensure that remission requests are properly substantiated and can be assessed in a timely manner, all requests that are within the confines of the instances outlined above must provide the information requested in the template below. Any information that is confidential must be marked as such, and will be protected by the Government of Canada. Sufficient non-confidential information must be provided to allow for engagement with domestic producers so that they may be consulted, as appropriate, on any short supply issues that are raised. Only companies registered in Canada are eligible to make requests for remission of the surtaxes imposed as of July 1, 2018.
Please submit any inquiries or remission requests to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Template for submissions
Please provide the following information:
- A brief outline of your company’s operations: details of corporate structure, location (HQ and any other locations), what it does, number of employees.
- A detailed description of the goods on which remission is sought and the 8-digit tariff item or items under which they are classified. The 10-digit statistical level can be provided if applicable.
- The volume and value, exclusive of surtaxes, of importations of the goods, on an annual basis or for the specific period for which remission is requested. If goods have not been imported, indicate when imports will commence and the name of the foreign producer/exporter. If the goods have already been imported, provide the customs documentation (e.g., B3 forms) and relevant invoices of surtaxes paid.
- Evidence demonstrating inability to source the product, or substitutes, from Canadian or non-U.S. suppliers, including any request for proposal notice or the names of companies canvassed and, if possible, copies of replies from these companies. Any additional relevant information on the company’s sourcing model should also be provided.
- If the goods are used in a manufacturing operation, provide the cost of manufacturing one unit of the end product, broken down into:
- Cost (exclusive of surtaxes) of goods on which remission of duties is sought;
- Cost (exclusive of surtaxes) of other imported articles (please list);
- Cost of Canadian materials (please list);
- Administrative and selling expenses.
- The unit selling price for the end product, and information on the effect of the remission of surtaxes on its cost and price.
- Information on the effect of remission on employment, volume of production, investment, or other relevant aspects of operations.
- Names and locations of Canadian competitors, with information on how the remission may affect those companies. If available, provide information on whether those companies import similar goods, or whether they obtain comparable or substitutable goods from Canadian or foreign production.
- Detailed comments on the reasons for requesting remission of surtaxes, clearly outlining the exceptional circumstances that merit consideration of the application, and making reference to the factual information provided in the submission.
- Consent to share non-confidential information with domestic producers to validate information (and any conditions attached to that consent).
- Any supportive or corroborative information, such as letters of support, independent studies, or market data.
- Any other information that may be significant in illustrating why the remission is necessary.