A Walk Through The Customs Appeal Process

Masai Canada Limited’s footwear product is not your average shoe brand.

Loyal MBT clients would agree, it’s something of an “intelligent design”.

The MBT (Masai Barefoot Technology) was developed back in 1996 after researchers observed the Masai people walking barefoot on uneven ground.

It was then discovered that this instability provided very interesting benefits to the Masai.  The “anti-shoe” design of a soft shoe that mirrors the landscape of the Masai was created to combat the hard, flat concrete we all walk on daily.

MBT engaged in a strategic duty recovery project under the direction of Victor Q. Truong, LL.B. and were able to reduce their 18% import duty rates to 0% and realize a 4 year retroactive duty recovery.

The importer was additionally awarded a go forward duty cost reduction.  While Canada Customs maintained the imported goods should be classified as standard footwear, a lot of hard work, strategy and experience resulted in a favourable reclassification to a medical device for the purpose of alleviating disabilities.

Needless to say, an 18% cost reduction was very welcome news to MBT!

The unique MBT design and the proven health benefits were the basis for the initial suggestion to produce the advance ruling brief and further appeal the matter to the Canadian International Trade Tribunal (CITT).  The positive decision awarded by the CITT was also later affirmed in a final decision at the Federal Court.

Patience, experience and resolve in navigating the appeal process paid off.

“Needless to say, an 18% cost reduction was very welcome news to MBT!”

Solidify Duty Recovery in a Soft Economy

The previous case is a good example that, regardless of industry, Fairtax custom duty recovery services can drill down to determine whether excess duties and commodity taxes have been paid.  In doing so, your company could potentially receive a much needed competitive cost advantage in this difficult economic climate.

Uncovering opportunities for duty refunds and then applying for such refunds can be an exhaustive process.  Fairtax’s team of experts is unparalleled in this niche field of customs duty recovery.  We are able to leverage rulings from our current public and private bank of intelligence, with decades of experience in appealing cases at the CBSA administrative, Canadian International Trade Tribunal and Federal Court appeal levels.

How Does It Work?

Our team interprets complex legislation and stays current with the always changing regulatory climate.  We work closely with various associations and legal partners to ensure we are “first to know” of any CBSA changes or updates and how they will benefit you. When you engage our services, the process looks something like this;

  • Conduct a systematic review of your import data, sample import documents and product literature.  Identify all potential overpayments of duties and taxes for further review
  • Compile an executive summary report and detailed report outlining the findings of the review
  • Prepare applicable Advance Ruling application briefs and refund claims for approval and strategy discussion.  Submit applications, file briefs and manage appeals and case file requirements with the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA)
  • Monitor client case progress with CBSA, ensuring compliance regulations are met.  Institute an ongoing monitoring program to ensure compliance best practices are implemented

Please feel free to contact the Fairtax team for a free consultation, should you have any questions with respect to Customs Duties.

Victor Q. Truong, B.A., LL.B., Esq.,
Consultant and Advocate, International Trade & Customs Law


Recent Tweets

Book Your Free Assessment

Not sure if your organization qualifies for government funding? Contact us today for a free assessment.