Frequently Asked Questions – Steel Safeguard Tariff Rate Quotas (TRQs)

1. How do I know if the goods I am looking to import require a general import permit (GIP) or a shipment-specific permit?

  • Products covered by the steel safeguard measures require a shipment-specific import permit to be imported free of surtax.
  • The safeguard surtax is based on product definitions for stainless steel wire and heavy plate, not HS codes.
  • Please see the CBSA’s Customs Notice 19-08 to find out which products are covered by the safeguard surtax.
  • If the product is not covered by the steel safeguard measures, please see Notice to Importers No. 970 to determine whether it is covered by either GIP No. 80 or GIP No. 81.
  • Steel products covered by the safeguard measures may continue to be imported without shipment-specific import permits under the authority of GIP No. 80 or GIP No. 81, but such imports would be subject to the surtax.

2. How can I apply for a shipment-specific permit under the steel safeguard TRQs?

  • Information about the permit application process, information required from applicants, and the permit application form, are available on the Global Affairs Canada website: Import Controls and Import Permits.
  • Applications submitted without a broker must be sent to Global Affairs Canada at the Export Import Controls System (EICS) Help Desk.
  • As per the Export and Import Permits Act (EIPA), only a resident of Canada may apply for an import permit.
  • Only applicants with a valid EIPA file number can apply for a shipment-specific import permit.
  • Only brokers can apply for shipment-specific import permits online.
  • Permit applications must specify quantities in kilograms; permit applications for quantities in metric tons will be rejected.

3. How are  the stainless steel wire and heavy plate TRQs administered during the period from February 1, 2020 to October 24, 2021?

  • The TRQs will be administered on an allocated basis with two pools, an allocation pool for eligible applicants based on their import history during the reference period and a residual pool from which permits will be issued on a first-come, first-served basis. For more information on this methodology, please see the Notice to Importers No. 983.

4. What happens to the unallocated portions of the TRQs and unutilized allocations?

  • Any remaining unallocated portions will form the residual pool, which will be administered on a first-come, first-served basis. Initially, only importers that did not receive an allocation will be able to apply for permits from this pool.
  • Allocation holders that have used the entirety of their allocation will be able to access the residual pool after the specific dates set out in the Notice to Importers No.983 for the respective quota periods.
  • To maximize TRQ utilization, allocation holders that do not intend to use their entire allocation are requested to return any quantities that they do not intend to use as soon as possible, as set out in the Notice to Importers No. 983 for the respective quota periods.
  • For Quota Periods 1 (February 1 to May 12, 2020) and 2 (May 13, 2020 to May 12, 2021), any quota that is returned by the respective date will be added to the residual pool for access on a first-come, first-served basis.

5. What is the under-utilization penalty policy during the safeguard period?

  • Allocation holders that do not utilize the entirety of their quota period 2 (May 13, 2020 to May 12, 2021) allocation by May 12, 2021 and do not return unutilized quantities before February 1, 2021 will have their allocation in quota period 3 (May 13, 2021 to October 24, 2021) adjusted downward by subtracting the amount of unutilized quota.
  • Returned quantities will be added to the quota period 2 residual pool and made available on a first-come, first-served basis to all eligible permit applicants. Any portion of an allocation that is returned before February 1, 2021 will be considered as having been used during the quota period 2 for purposes of administering the under-utilization policy.
  • For example, an allocation holder that received an allocation of 200 000 kg for heavy plate to be utilized during quota period 2 but utilized only 150 000 kg by May 12, 2021, and did not return unutilized quantities before February 1, 2021, will have 50 000 kg subtracted from its eligible allocation amount for the next quota period effective from May 13 to October 24, 2021.

6. How do I get an EIPA number?

7. When can I apply for a shipment-specific permit?

  • Requests for shipment specific permits for the period from February 1, 2020 to May 12, 2020 may be submitted as of 4:00 a.m. EST on February 1, 2020.
  • Requests for shipment specific permits for the period from May 13, 2020 to May 12, 2021 may be submitted as of 4:00 a.m. EST on May 13, 2020.
  • Requests for shipment specific permits for the period from May 13, 2021 to October 24, 2021 may be submitted as of 4:00 a.m. EST on May 13, 2021.
  • If you wish to apply for an import allocation, please refer to the Notice to Importers No. 983 for the procedures governing the administration of safeguards and the eligibility requirements.
  • A shipment-specific permit can be obtained up to five days in advance of, and no later than, the shipment’s arrival.
  • A shipment-specific permit must be obtained for each import shipment in order for the subject goods to be imported into Canada without the application of the surtax.

8. How long is a shipment-specific permit valid?

  • A shipment specific permit is valid for thirty calendar days from the date of issuance.

9. What if I do not use a shipment-specific permit within its validity period?

  • If a shipment-specific permit is not used within the thirty-day validity period, the permit can no longer be used to import the subject goods free of surtax and the permit may be automatically cancelled.

10. Is it possible to extend the validity period of an existing shipment-specific permit?

  • Extensions are normally not provided for shipment-specific permits.
  • Requests for extensions will be considered on a case-by-case basis for unusual or extraordinary circumstances, with substantiating documentation.

11. If a TRQ is filled, can I continue to import the subject goods?

  • Subject goods can be imported above the quantities established for the respective TRQs without a shipment-specific permit under the authority of GIPs No. 80 and 81, depending on the good. Any such imports would be subject to the appropriate surtax.

12. How do I know when a TRQ is filled during a quota period?

  • The Global Affairs Canada website includes utilization tables for the allocation and residual pools, to allow importers to keep track of the utilization progress of the stainless steel wire and heavy plate TRQs.

13. What does it means to have an application routed after submitting a permit application through the Export Import Controls System (EICS)?

  • Permit applications may be routed due to quota unavailability. All routed applications are held in queue on a first come, first served basis. Should quota become available for the period for which the application was made, routed applications will be issued permits on a first come, first served basis.