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Report on the Comparison and Review of the Importer Self-Assessment and Customs Self-Assessment Programs

Release Date: 
December 6, 2013

On February 4, 2011, the Prime Minister of Canada and the President of the United States issued Beyond the Border: A Shared Vision for Perimeter Security and Economic Competitiveness. A joint Action Plan was developed to reach the goal of a perimeter approach to security and economic competitiveness. One of the four areas of cooperation identified in the Action Plan is trade facilitation, economic growth and jobs which contains deliverables designed to enhance benefits of programs that help trusted businesses to move efficiently across the border while reducing their administrative burden.

As part of the Action Plan, United States Customs and Border Protection (CBP) in conjunction with the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) committed to “Conduct[ing] a detailed comparison and review of Customs Self-Assessment and Importer Self-Assessment by June 2012, following which the United States will identify and provide expedited border processes and modernized, streamlined accounting processes to tier-two members.”

The Importer Self-Assessment (ISA) program is built on the knowledge, trust, and willingness to maintain an ongoing CBP/importer relationship that is beneficial to both parties. CBP’s goal is to partner with importers who can demonstrate their readiness to assume the responsibility to manage and monitor their compliance through self-assessment. Importers who are accepted into the ISA program receive tangible benefits, which include the assignment of a National Account Manager, removal from the Regulatory Audit’s audit pool for Focused Assessments; prior disclosure considerations; expedited cargo release and the services provided by the newly erected Centers of Excellence and Expertise.

The Customs Self-Assessment (CSA) Program in Canada is designed for low-risk, preapproved importers and carriers. Importers who have invested in their systems and processes to ensure compliance with the CBSA’s requirements for trade data and revenue reporting receive the benefits of expedited border clearance, as well as streamlined trade data reporting and accounting processes.

This report will outline findings from the CSA-ISA program comparison and review. Proposed next steps and actions currently underway to address areas where the programs are not aligned will also be explored.

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