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Key SIMA Time Limits Extended Due to COVID-19 Delays

Posted October 16, 2020

As a result of an order recently made pursuant to the Time Limits and Other Periods Act (COVID-19), the Department of Finance has temporarily extended the statutory time limits regarding certain provisions of the Special Import Measures Act.
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Challenges Posed by COVID-19

SIMA provides strict statutory time limits for the completion of various proceedings in the trade remedy process (e.g., investigations, inquiries, expiry reviews, re-determinations, etc.,) handled by the Canada Border Services Agency and the Canadian International Trade Tribunal. Such proceedings require that an expansive range of domestic and foreign participants provide information to enable the CBSA and CITT to make the required determinations.  

However, business shutdowns and widespread restrictions caused by COVID-19 “have impeded or could impede the ability of certain parties to fully participate in trade remedy proceedings,” according to the Finance Department, which noted this could “create challenges for the CBSA and CITT to make well-substantiated determinations within the time limits required by SIMA, while also ensuring that procedural fairness is provided to all parties.”


Temporary Extension of Time Limits

To address the above challenges, the following changes have been made to the SIMA time limits for the period March 30, 2020 – December 31, 2020:

  • Final Determinations of Dumping/Subsidizing and Injury: For investigations initiated on or before April 1, 2020, maximum time limits for the CSBA’s final determination of dumping and/or subsidizing and the CITT’s final injury finding are extended by 165 days and 180 days, respectively. Provisional duties applied as a result of a preliminary determination will continue to apply for the duration of any extension.
  • Expiry Reviews: For expiry reviews initiated on or before September 30, 2020, the following maximum time limits are each extended by 180 days (note that applicable duties will remain in place for the duration of any expiry review extension):
    • the CBSA’s determination as to whether the expiry of the measure is likely to result in the continuation or resumption of dumping and/or subsidizing; and
    • the CITT’s determination as to whether the expiry is likely to result in injury to the domestic industry. 
  • Re-determinations: For re-determinations, flexibility is provided to extend maximum time limits by up to six months for re-determinations that must be made by the CBSA on or before December 30, 2020.


Limited Use

Finance advises that the CBSA and CITT “will only use extended time limits for the duration that is necessary and only where there is difficulty in obtaining the necessary evidence as a result of COVID-19.”

Where extended time limits are used, the CBSA or the CITT is instructed to promptly inform all participants of the revised schedule of proceedings and also publish explanatory notices describing the circumstances which necessitated the extension. 


Need More Information?

Should you have any questions about how these temporary COVID-19-related changes to SIMA’s statutory time limits may affect your imports of goods subject to AD/CV duties or if you have any other concerns about SIMA issues, don’t hesitate to contact one of our knowledgeable trade experts.

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