With this new year, we are excited to announce that Carson is re-locating our British Columbia office from Surrey to downtown White Rock. While our border-adjacent Surrey location has served us well for many years, this new West Coast location will allow us to better serve the needs of our clients in a more modern, fresh, and centrally-located setting.
As we work to gradually set-up our new offices while prioritizing the safety of our staff and clients amidst the pandemic, please make note of our new BC business address as of February 1, 2021:
Many of our international trade partners will be observing Chinese New Year soon, which will take place on February 12, with national shutdowns occurring from February 11 to February 17, 2021.
The Year of the Ox
February 12 marks the beginning of the Year of the Ox. The second animal of the Chinese zodiac, the Ox denotes the hard work, positivity and honesty that will be manifested in all of us in the coming 12 months, according to astrologers.
The Ox is the second of all zodiac animals. According to one myth, the Jade Emperor said the order would be decided by the order in which they arrived to his party. The Ox was about to be the first to arrive, but the Rat tricked the Ox into giving him a ride. Then, just as they arrived, the Rat jumped down and landed ahead of the Ox. Thus, Ox became the second animal.
The Ox is also associated with the Earthly Branch (地支 / dì zhī) Chǒu (丑) and the hours 1–3 in the morning. In the terms of yin and yang (阴阳 / yīn yáng), the Ox is Yang.
During this period of celebration, agents, warehouses, airlines, steamship lines and suppliers will cease their operations in observance of the holiday. Please keep in mind your supplier may be closed for longer periods outside of this time frame.
Notably, shipping lines in Hong Kong have warned of disruption and added costs following the reduction of Pearl River Delta barge connections until after Chinese New Year. Further exacerbating delays is the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, and pubic health restrictions that have been firmly put in place to reduce the spread of the virus.
In anticipation of the shutdown within China, we are advising clients to inform the Carson Freight Team as soon as possible of any upcoming bookings that are required in January and February, so we can work to ensure space can be allocated.
This month will continue to be very challenging, with lack of space, lack of equipment, and port congestion, that will likely carry well into February after Chinese New Year.
Please reach out to our team for assistance in managing your supply chain over the next few months.
The federal government announced a suite of new regulations intended to ensure that Canadian companies are not complicit in human rights abuses or the use of forced labour in China’s Xinjiang province.
The measures include new requirements for firms that do business in the region and a pledge to ban the export of products from Canada to China if there is a chance they could be used by Chinese authorities for surveillance, repression, arbitrary detention or forced labour.
“Canada is deeply concerned regarding the mass arbitrary detention and mistreatment of Uighurs and other ethnic minorities by Chinese authorities,” Foreign Affairs Minister François-Philippe Champagne said in a news release shortly before leaving the department to become the new minister of Innovation, Science and Industry.
“Nobody should face mistreatment on the basis of their religion or ethnicity,” Champagne added.
UN experts and activists say more than one million Uighurs, Kazakhs and others have been arbitrarily held in prison-like centres for political indoctrination. China claims the centres are intended to combat extremism and teach job skills, but former residents and rights groups say they target Islam and minority languages and cultures.
A coalition of civil society organizations has also accused China of forcing hundreds of thousands of Uighurs and other minorities to pick cotton by hand. The vast western province produces 85% of China’s cotton and 20% of the global supply, which is sold to fashion brands worldwide.
Canada already bans the importation of goods produced through forced labour as part of its obligations under CUSMA.
The new regulations also require that Canadian companies in the Xinjiang market sign a declaration acknowledging that they are aware of the human rights situation in the province and pledging to conduct due diligence on Chinese suppliers to ensure they are not knowingly sourcing products or services from companies that use forced labour.
Global Affairs Canada also issued a business advisory warning Canadian businesses of the legal and reputational risks they face by maintaining supply chains associated with forced labour.
Some Safe Food for Canadians (SFC) licence holders will need to take action now to ensure they renew their licence before it expires. Some SFC licences expire on January 15, 2021 while others will expire in the days and weeks that follow.
If you have an SFC licence, it can be renewed online through your My CFIA account. It is recommended that you submit your request for renewal as soon as possible to allow sufficient processing time — up to 120 days before the expiry date of your licence. Your renewed SFC licence will be valid for two years from the original expiry date.
If your licence expires, your business will no longer be permitted to conduct licensed activities in accordance with the Safe Food for Canadians Act and may be subject to enforcement actions and removal from export eligibility lists. You will then need to apply for a new licence and be issued a new licence number, which may further disrupt your business activities including the ability to request export certification.
If you have any questions, or would like guidance on the renewal process, please reach out to Carson.
Carson International is pleased to partner with Miller Thomson LLP for another instalment in our webinar series addressing Canada/U.S. cross-border trade developments and updates.
President Joe Biden’s administration in 2021 will likely take a different approach to global trade than the current administration. We look into the crystal ball to discuss the following global trade issues:
Stability in Canada-US Trade Relations;
Can the softwood lumber issue be resolved;
The new administration’s approach to Canadian oil & gas industry;
Improving global trade and markets; and
Whether the U.S. will join Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP)
Dave Pentland, Carson International Dan Kiselbach, Miller Thomson LLP
A Look At Canada/U.S. Relations Under A New U.S. Administration Tuesday, January 26, 2021 Time: 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. PST
Webinar connection details will be provided by Miller Thomson before the webinar.
Canada Border Services Agency has released its first round of 2021 Trade Compliance Verifications. Businesses that import goods listed as an audit priority could be subjected to a CBSA trade compliance audit, which could result in potential financial penalties if the verification uncovers instances of non-compliance.
Bedding and drapery (Round 2)
Harmonized System Number(s): Various goods of Headings 63.01, 63.02 and 63.03. USA origin.
Apparel (Round 3)
Harmonized System Number(s): Chapters 61 and 62
Footwear (Round 2)
Harmonized System Number(s): Chapter 64
Spent fowl (Round 2) Harmonized System Number(s): Headings 02.07, 16.01 and 16.02
LED lamps Harmonized System Number(s): Heading 85.39
Furniture for non-domestic purposes (Round 3) Harmonized System Number(s): Headings 94.01 and 94.03
Batteries (Round 4) Harmonized System Number(s): Heading 85.06
Footwear ($30 or more per pair) (Round 4) Harmonized System Number(s): Heading 64.03
Articles of apparel and clothing accessories (Round 3) Harmonized System Number(s): Heading 39.26
Parts of lamps (Round 4) Harmonized System Number(s): Heading 94.05
Pasta (Round 3) Harmonized System Number(s): Heading 19.02
Cell phone cases (Round 2) Harmonized System Number(s): Headings 39.26, 42.02 and 85.17
Pickled vegetables (Round 4) Harmonized System Number(s): Heading 20.01
Gloves (Round 2) Harmonized System Number(s): Headings 39.26 and 42.03
Safety headgear (Round 4) Harmonized System Number(s): SubHeading 6506.10
Bags (Round 2) Harmonized System Number(s): Heading 42.02
Import permit numbers (Round 2) Harmonized System Number(s): Chapters 2 and 4
Other mountings and fittings, suitable for furniture (Round 2) Harmonized System Number(s): Heading 83.02
Air heaters and hot air distributors (Round 2) Harmonized System Number(s): Heading 73.22
Flashlights and miners’ safety lamps (Round 2) Harmonized System Number(s): Heading 85.13
Stone table and counter tops (Round 2) Harmonized System Number(s): Heading 94.03
Disposable and protective gloves (Round 4) Harmonized System Number(s): Subheadings 3926.20 and 4015.19
Parts of machines and mechanical appliances Harmonized System Number(s): Heading 84.79
Other chemical products Harmonized System Number(s): Heading 38.24
The Canada Border Services Agency is launching investigations to determine whether certain upholstered domestic seating from China and Vietnam is being sold at unfair prices in Canada.
The investigations are the result of a complaint filed by Palliser Furniture Ltd. (Winnipeg, MB) and supported by Elran Furniture Ltd. (Pointe-Clair, QC), Jaymar Furniture Corp. (Terrebonne, QC), EQ3 Ltd. (Winnipeg, MB) and Fornirama Inc. (Montréal, QC).
The complainant alleges that as a result of an increase of the volume of the dumped and subsidized imports from these countries, it has suffered material injury in the form of lost market share, lost sales, price undercutting, price depression, declining financial performance and reduced capacity utilization.
The CBSA and the Canadian International Trade Tribunal each play a role in the investigations. The CITT will begin a preliminary inquiry to determine whether the imports are harming the Canadian producers and will issue a decision by February 19, 2021. Concurrently, the CBSA will investigate whether the imports are being sold in Canada at unfair and/or subsidized prices, and will make preliminary decisions by March 22, 2021.
Currently, there are 125 special import measures in force, covering a wide variety of industrial and consumer products, from steel products to refined sugar. These measures have directly helped to protect the Canadian economy and jobs.
The United States is holding off on imposing tariffs on French cosmetics, handbags and other imports in retaliation for a digital services tax Washington says will harm U.S. tech firms, while it investigates similar taxes elsewhere.
The U.S. Trade Representative’s office said the 25% tariffs on imports of the French goods, which are valued at around $1.3 billion annually and were due to go into effect on Wednesday, would be suspended indefinitely.
Washington had announced the tariffs in July after a U.S. investigation showed a French digital services tax (DST) unfairly singled out U.S. companies such as Google, Facebook, Apple, and Amazon.
France and other countries view digital service taxes as a way to raise revenue from the local operations of big tech companies which they say profit enormously from local markets while making only limited contributions to public coffers.
USTR said suspending the action against France would allow Washington to pursue a coordinated response in 10 investigations into similar taxes in India, Italy, Britain and other countries. It gave no timeframe for further action.
European leaders and industry groups welcomed the news, saying it would allow more time for talks on a global taxation solution to bear fruit.
As Asia-Europe container spot rates continue to skyrocket, shippers and freight forwarders are accusing carriers of breaching short- and long-term contracts to “charge whatever they want”.
In a joint letter to the Competition Directorate of the European Commission (EC), the European Freight Forwarders Association (CLECAT) and European Shippers’ Council (ESC) have protested about the “damage” the carriers’ behaviour is “causing to trade growth at a time of economic recession”.
According to the letter, the complaints relate to “violation of existing contracts, the establishment of unreasonable conditions concerning the acceptance of bookings and unilaterally setting rates far in excess of those agreed in contracts”.
The associations said they would meet with the EC “early in the new year” and “encouraged” it to “take actions similar to those of competent authorities in other parts of the world”.
Chinese regulators are said to be renewing their carrier investigations and, in the U.S., the Federal Maritime Commission has written to liner lobby group the World Shipping Council expressing its concerns that U.S. export cargo is being refused in favour of carriers repositioning containers directly back to Asia to cater for bookings offering considerably higher revenue.
CLECAT and ESC allege that carriers are increasing rates “whenever they see fit, notwithstanding the specific rates and charges agreed”.
They warn that the “adverse consequences of carriers’ practices” are being felt equally by small and big businesses alike in Europe including retail, fashion, automotive, cosmetics and IT businesses, while some with limited financial reserves could be forced to close.
Meanwhile, the North Europe component of the Shanghai Containerized Freight Index (SCFI) closed the year 266% up at $4,286 per teu, some three times higher than 2020 annual contract rates.
It’s not only in Europe that shippers are feeling the pinch – soaring freight rates are a major problem for shippers around the world struggling to maintain supply chains, the SCFI recording massive spikes in spot rates on a weekly basis across transpacific, African, South American, Australasian and intra-Asia trade.
Spot rates from Asia to Santos are currently around 270% higher than a year ago and, for the myriad network of intra-Asia services, rates are an extraordinary 440% higher than this time last year.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection has notified customs brokers and the trade community that most imports of aluminum products will require an aluminum import license for each entry starting January 25, 2021.
The new licensing system, which is available on the Commerce Department website, will open for pre-registration on January 4. Customs brokers, importers, and other license applicants will need to register for an account to create a license.
The list of aluminum products subject to the new licensing requirement is available here. The aluminum import license number obtained from Commerce for each shipment, as well as the License Type Code 28, must be reported on the corresponding entry summary or electronic equivalent in ACE.
CBP recommended the Trade “to plan accordingly and obtain any licenses needed for entry in advance from the Commerce website.”
The new aluminum license system will use the same platform as the steel licensing system (SIMA), so users with an existing steel license account do not need to create new accounts.