Notices to Importers

Items 141 to 157 - Cheeses of all types

Serial No.: 781
Date: November 2, 2010

Table of Contents

1.0 Purpose

1.1 The purpose of this Notice is to inform importers of the Minister's policies and practices respecting the administration of the 20,411,866 kg tariff rate quota (TRQ) for cheeses of all types.  It should be read with the Import Allocation Regulations and the Import Permit Regulations.  Where elements of the present Notice augment these regulations, those elements are to be read as expressions of the Minister’s normal practices and procedures.

2.0 Coverage

2.1 This Notice cancels and replaces Notice to Importers No. 723 dated October 25, 2007.  It refers to Items 141 to 157 of the Import Control List (ICL), i.e., products falling under tariff item No. 04.06 in the list of tariff provisions set out in the schedule to the Customs Tariff, namely cheeses of all types.

2.2 This Notice should be read in conjunction with Notice to Importers No. 803 dated October 14, 2011, which explains the administration of  supplementary imports for dairy products.

2.3 Importers who require a determination as to whether the tariff classification of the product they intend to import is within the scope of this Notice are to contact Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA), Admissibility Branch at 613-957-1468, fax: 613-952-3971.

3.0 Duration

3.1 This Notice will remain in effect until further notice.

4.0 Authority

4.1 Each of the products covered by this Notice was added to the Import Control List (ICL) pursuant to paragraphs 5(1)(a), (b), (d) and (e) and sections 5.3 and 6 of the Export and Import Permits Act (EIPA) in order to implement a Canadian commitment under the World Trade Organization (WTO) Agreement on Agriculture.

4.2 Under TRQs, imports are subject to low “within access commitment” rates of duty up to a predetermined limit (i.e., until the import access quantity has been reached); imports over this limit are subject to higher “over access commitment” rates of duty. Under section 6.2 of the EIPA, the Minister may: a) determine an import access quantity allowed entry at the low rate of duty; b) establish a method of allocating the import access quantity; and c) issue an import allocation to any resident of Canada that applies for an allocation, subject to the regulations and any terms and conditions the Minister may specify in the allocation.  Also pursuant to section 6.2 of the EIPA, the Minister may consent to the transfer of import allocations.  Having established an import access quantity, the Minister shall, under subsection 8.3(1) of the EIPA, issue import permits to allocation holders that apply for permits, up to the limit of that quantity, subject to compliance and application of regulations made under section 12 of the EIPA.  These permits shall entitle the goods to which they apply to be subject to the low “within access commitment” rates of duty.  Subsection 8.3(3) allows the Minister to issue permits in excess of the access quantity.

4.3 Pursuant to subsection 6 (f) of the Import Allocation Regulations, when deciding whether to issue an import allocation or whether to consent to a transfer, the Minister shall take into account whether the import allocation holder has furnished false or misleading information in connection with any reports required by the Act or the regulations made under the Act or by any condition of an import allocation or import permit during the 12-month period preceding the period in respect of which the import allocation or transfer is to apply.

4.4 Pursuant to subsection 10.(1) of the EIPA, the Minister may amend, suspend, cancel or re-instate any permit or import allocation issued or granted under the Act.

5.0 Import access level

5.1 The TRQ for cheeses of all types is set at 20,411,866 kilograms.

6.0 Allocation of the TRQ

6.1 The cheese TRQ is allocated every calendar year to traditional import allocation holders on the basis of their historical import quota as adjusted since, if necessary, for any under-utilization.

7.0 EU and Non-EU reserves

7.1 Under the provisions of a December 1995 Agreement signed between Canada and the European Communities (EC), 66% of the cheese TRQ, namely 13,471,831 kg, is allocated to cheese imports from the Member States of the EC. The EC currently has twenty-seven Member States: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom.  The remaining 34%, namely 6,940,035 kg, is allocated to cheese imports from non-EC sources.

7.2 In order to respect the ratio established under the Canada-EC Agreement, import allocation transfers between EC and non-EC sources of supply normally will not be authorized.

8.0 Under-utilization

8.1 A company that uses less than 95% of its allocation in any one year may receive an allocation in the next year which reflects the actual level of use. Those companies affected will be advised prior to the final allocation of the TRQ.

9.0 Activity test for traditional allocation holders to retain their import allocation

9.1 On November 3, 1994, the government announced that traditional holders of cheese import allocations would retain their allocation, subject to demonstrating, through an annual activity test, their active involvement in the cheese trade. Since import allocations are and always have been a privilege granted by the Minister responsible for the Export and Import Permits Act,  the Minister is exercising his discretion on the matter by ensuring that current allocation holders continue to contribute to employment and value added activity in the Canadian food sector.

10.0 Related Persons

10.1 For the purpose of this Notice, where two or more applicants are related persons, they shall be eligible for only one allocation.  To determine which persons are related, an applicant for an allocation is asked to provide a brief profile of the company in part 12 of the application, which should include a list of "related persons" (see Appendix 4, “Information Concerning Related Persons”).

10.2 In the case of separate applications from related applicants involving a parent company and one or more subsidiaries, only the application nominated by the parent company will be considered.  If the parent company does not make such a nomination in writing, it shall be made by the Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada.

10.3 For more information, please contact:

Mr. Hugues Leroux
Trade Controls Policy Division (TIC)
Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada
125 Sussex Drive
Ottawa, Ontario
K1A 0G2

11.0 Transferability of import allocations

11.1 Under the EIPA, the Minister may allow the transfer of import allocations between import allocation holders. All requests for the transfer of import allocations must be referred to the Trade Controls Policy Division for consideration.

12.0 Import Permit Issuance

12.1 Import permits are required for each shipment of cheeses of all types falling within tariff item No. 0406 of the Customs Tariff.  Importers may either invoke General Import Permit (GIP) No. 100, or may present an import permit issued to their firm for that shipment ("specific import permit"), in order to clear Canada Customs.  The "specific import permit" must also be presented to the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) at the time of accounting for the shipment to be eligible for classification under tariff item No. 0406 for which the duty rate is free from the United States and 3.32 cents per kg under the Most Favoured Nation (MFN) rate.  Shipments imported without a "specific import permit" (i.e., under the GIP) will be subject to classification under tariff item No. 0406, for which the duty rate is 245.5% (and a minimum dollar amount which varies on a per kilogram basis depending on the type of cheese imported).

Note: "Specific import permits" will not be issued for shipments already imported into Canada under the authority of the general import permit, regardless of the importer’s import allocation.

12.2 In accordance with the Import Permit Regulations, the procedures for receiving applications for import permits are as follows:

  1. When requesting an import permit an applicant must submit a completed Form EXT-1466, “Application for Permit” (a copy of which is attached as Appendix 1).
  2. A description of the process of applying for a permit is attached as Appendix 2, including information about fees, the monthly billing system and information required from applicants.  All import permits are issued either (i) through an on-line automated system in the offices of customs brokers in major centres across Canada or (ii) in the offices of Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada.

13.0 Permit fees

13.1 A fee will be levied for each permit or certificate issued in accordance to the Export and Import Permits and Certificates Fees Order (Notice to Importers No. 508 dated May 16, 1995).

14.0 Permit fees

14.1 Enquiries about import allocations may be addressed to:

Hugues Leroux
Tel: 613-996-2594
Fax: 613-996-0612
Email: hugues.leroux@international.gc.ca
(Address listed in paragraph 10.3 above)

14.2 Enquiries about permit issuance and utilization of import allocations may be addressed to:

Monica Monaghan
Tel: 613-944-1808
Fax: 613-996-0612
Email: monica.monaghan@international.gc.ca

(Address listed in paragraph 10.3 above)