General information on the administration of steel import controls
In the context of global conditions affecting trade in steel, the Government of Canada has imposed final safeguards in the form of tariff rate quotas (TRQs) on two classes of steel goods (i.e., heavy plate and stainless steel wire). The final safeguards took effect on May 13, 2019. The TRQs are administered by Global Affairs Canada by way of shipment-specific imports permits. Goods that are not covered by a valid import permit at time of accounting will be subject to a surtax. Please refer to Notice to Importers, Serial No. 983 for detailed information on which products are covered by the TRQs, how the TRQs are administered and how to apply for shipment-specific permits.
Moreover, the Government of Canada has deemed it necessary to enhance Canada’s steel import monitoring capabilities by adding a reporting and record keeping requirement to the steel General Import Permits No. 80 and 81. Please refer to Notice to Importers, Serial No. 1032 for detailed information on these amendments, including import requirements and procedures.
Frequently Asked Questions – steel safeguard Tariff Rate Quotas (TRQs)
How do I know if the goods I want to import require a general import permit or a shipment-specific permit?
- Goods not covered by the steel safeguard measures, listed in items 80 and 81 of the Import Control List, may be imported without a shipment-specific permit, under the authority of General Import Permit No. 80 or No. 81, as the case may be.
- Goods covered by the steel safeguard measures, listed in item 82 of the Import Control List, require a shipment-specific import permit to be imported free of the steel safeguard surtax.
- Goods covered by the steel safeguard measures, listed in items 80 and 81 of the Import Control List, may be imported without a shipment-specific permit, under the authority of General Import Permit No. 80 or No. 81, as the case may be, but will be subject to the steel safeguard surtax.
- The steel safeguard surtax applies based on the product descriptions for stainless steel wire and heavy plate specified in column 2 of the Schedule to the Order Imposing a Surtax on the Importation of Certain Steel Goods (SOR/2018-206), and not based on HS codes.
- Please see CBSA’s Customs Notice 19-08 to determine which goods are covered by the steel safeguard measures and the applicable surtax.
- For goods covered by the steel safeguard measures, please see Notice to Importers No. 983.
- For goods not covered by the steel safeguard measures, please see Notice to Importers No. 1032.
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 at Import Controls and Import Permits.
- Applications submitted without a broker must be sent to Global Affairs Canada’s Export Import Controls System (EICS) Help Desk.
- As per the Export and Import Permits Act (EIPA), only a resident of Canada may apply for a permit.
- Only applicants with a valid EIPA file number may apply for shipment-specific permits.
- Only brokers can apply for shipment-specific permits online.
- Permit applications must specify quantities in kilograms; permit applications for quantities in metric tons will be rejected.
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 divided into two pools: 1) an allocation pool for applicants that accounted for at least 0.5% of import share during the period of from July 1, 2017 to June 30, 2018; and 2) a residual pool from which permits will be issued on a first-come, first-served basis. For more information on the administration methodology, please see Notice to Importers No. 983.
What happens to the unallocated portions of the TRQs and unutilized allocations?
- Any portions of the TRQs that remain unallocated, after allocations have been issued at the beginning of each quota period, 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 use the residual pool.
- Allocation holders that have used the entirety of their allocation during a quota period will be able to access the residual pool after specific dates in each quota period, as set out in Notice to Importers No.983.
- To maximize TRQ utilization, allocation holders that do not intend to use their entire allocation during the quota period are requested to return any quantities that they do not intend to use as soon as possible or before specific dates in each quota period, as set out in Notice to Importers No. 983.
- For quota period 1 (from February 1 to May 12, 2020) and quota period 2 (from 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.
What is the under-utilization penalty policy during the safeguard period?
- Allocation holders that did not utilize the entirety of their quota during period 2 (from May 13, 2020 to May 12, 2021) and did not return unutilized quantities before February 1, 2021 will have their allocation in quota period 3 (from May 13, 2021 to October 24, 2021) adjusted downward by subtracting the amount of unutilized quota.
- Any quota returned during quota period 2 will be added to the residual pool and made available on a first-come, first-served basis to eligible permit applicants for the remainder of quota period 2.
- Any portion of an allocation that is returned by an allocation holder before February 1, 2021 will be considered as having been utilized by that allocation holder during quota period 2 and will not affect that allocation holder’s allocation amount for quota period 3.
- 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 any quota before February 1, 2021, will have its allocation amount subtracted by 50 000 kg for the next quota period from May 13 to October 24, 2021.
How do I get an EIPA number?
- To obtain an EIPA file number, applicants must submit an Application for an Export and Import Permits Act (EIPA) File Number form.
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 Notice to Importers No. 983 for the procedures governing the administration of safeguards and 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 steel goods to be imported into Canada without the application of the safeguard surtax.
How long is a shipment-specific permit valid?
- A shipment-specific permit is valid for thirty calendar days from the date of issuance.
What if I do not use a shipment-specific permit within its validity period?
- If a shipment-specific permit is not used within the 30-day validity period, the permit can no longer be used, including to import steel safeguard goods free of surtax, and the permit may be automatically cancelled.
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 based on unusual or extraordinary circumstances, with supporting documentation.
If a TRQ is filled, can I continue to import the subject goods?
- Goods subject to safeguards may be imported above the quantities established for the respective TRQ without a shipment-specific permit, under the authority of GIPs No. 80 and 81. Any such imports would be subject to the applicable steel safeguard surtax.
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 subject to safeguards.
What does it mean 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 a queue on a first come, first served basis. Should quota become available during the remainder of the quota period, permits will issued for routed applications on a first come, first served basis.