Canada’s Administration of Forced Labour requirements

Updated 15.03.2021

The practical, administrative aspects of Canada’s new Forced Labour requirements still require further details, that we are seeking, but here is the latest commentary from the CBSA.

Further to the following, we have asked for confirmation regarding whether US identification of a forced labour producer is considered by Canada as proof or evidence of forced labour production. We also are seeking to better understand  the procedures that will be followed when there is a suspicion or finding of forced labour production, either pre or post release.

Questions & Answers

Q1. In Canada, how will forced labor goods/producers be identified?

R1. Allegations received by the CBSA are shared with Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) so that alleged cases can be researched and analyzed. ESDC is also monitoring potentially problematic supply chains. The risk analysis to establish the likelihood that a specific shipment contains goods produced by forced labour is made on a case-by-case basis, based on available information and analysis.

The International Labour Organization’s Indicators of Forced Labour can be considered as a reference to support the identification of forced labour practices in supply chains. ESDC may share information related to goods produced by forced labour with the CBSA for its consideration. If a shipment is suspected of containing goods that were made by forced labour, the CBSA may use this information to identify and intercept shipments containing goods that are suspected to have been produced by forced labour.

Q2. If it is determined that a shipment cannot enter the US due to production by Forced Labour or if a shipment is not released due to a US investigation re Forced Labour concerns, can those goods be shipped to Canada?

R2. As outlined in CBSA Customs Notice 20-23, goods that are mined, manufactured or produced, wholly or in part, by forced labour will be prohibited from entering Canada pursuant to tariff item No. 9897.00.00 of the Customs Tariff. Importers of goods classified under tariff item No. 9897.00.00 may appeal the classification as prohibited, re-export the goods or abandon the goods.

Q3. Are the US and Canada actively communicating with each other whenever a shipment of goods is denied entry, due to suspicion/knowledge of forced labour use?

R3. Canada maintains a productive dialogue with the U.S., which includes ongoing discussions on how to facilitate information sharing.

Q4. Should Canadian importers be considering letters of attestation regarding the absence of forced labour in their supply chain?  Is there any value in doing so?

R4. Canadian companies are expected to respect human rights, operate lawfully, and conduct their activities in a responsible manner. It is the responsibility of Canadian companies to conduct due diligence on their supply chains to ensure that they are not directly or indirectly sourcing products from entities implicated in forced labour (or other human rights violations).

A number of resources are available to assist companies in conducting their due diligence.

Canadian companies can contact the National Contact Point (NCP), or the Canadian Ombudsperson for Responsible Enterprises (CORE), whose mandate includes advising Canadian companies on meeting high standards of responsible business conduct. The Trade Commissioner Service (TCS) can also provide information. In terms of non-governmental resources, companies can work with or reference third-party entities with specialization in supply chain risks, including: KnowTheChain, the Responsible Sourcing Tool, and the Responsible Business Alliance.

The Responsible Sourcing Tool is a world map that illustrates the risks associated with different industries or products. It is visual and easy to understand.

For more information, do not hesitate to contact our Customs Compliance Team 514.849.9377

(Information Source: CSCB Daily Article-Feb22-2021)

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