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CBSA Report Finds Gaps in Determining Whether Canada’s Exports are Compliant

Posted November 26, 2014

A newly released report on the relevance, performance and efficiency of CBSA’s Export programs shows that CBSA collects compliance information at a national level only for the marine mode of transportation, which accounts for less than half of all export declarations.
Missing Pieces
Of the two modes of transportation where compliance data is not collected at a national level, the air mode has the highest number of declarations, at 54% in 2012-2013. And while use of the paper-based B13A has now fallen to just 5% of all export declarations, in the air mode of transportation the document is still used 27% of the time.  This is a concern given that the last compliance verification review disclosed that 45% of B13A declarations examined contained information that “was often inaccurate, incomplete or was untrue.”

The report notes that the 2013-2014 National Border Risk Assessment identified commercial air cargo as “the most frequently abused stream for illegal export of controlled or sensitive goods and technologies, in contravention of Canada’s counter proliferation efforts.”  It also points out that a prior review showed that 72% of goods declared using B13A forms were coded as commodities that could possibly be “strategic or dual-use” in nature.

With regards to the highway mode of transportation, though representing just 4.5% of total export declarations in 2012-2013, it accounted for 32.4% of the total value of exports in the 2013 calendar year. This means that almost one-third of the value of all Canadian exports was destined for the U.S. for which an export declaration was not required, and furthermore, no inbound permit-related or compliance-related data pertaining to it is shared by U.S. Customs and Border Protection with Statistics Canada, or with the CBSA. This mode of transportation, the report says, “is therefore exposed to unknown risks.”