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Customs Act (R.S.C., 1985, c. 1 (2nd Supp.))

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Act current to 2021-11-17 and last amended on 2021-04-01. Previous Versions

PART VIEnforcement (continued)

Powers of Officers (continued)

Marginal note:Non-intrusive examination of goods

  •  (1) An officer may, in accordance with the regulations and without individualized suspicion, conduct a non-intrusive examination of goods in the custody or possession of a person who is in or is leaving a customs controlled area.

  • Marginal note:Other examination of goods

    (2) An officer may examine any goods in the custody or possession of a person who is in or is leaving a customs controlled area and open or cause to be opened any baggage, package or container and take samples of the goods in reasonable amounts, if the officer suspects on reasonable grounds that this Act or any other Act of Parliament administered or enforced by the officer or any regulations made under it have been or might be contravened in respect of the goods.

  • Marginal note:Examination of abandoned goods

    (3) An officer may, at any time, open or cause to be opened, examine and detain any goods, baggage, package or container that is found abandoned or that is not in the possession of any person in a customs controlled area.

  • 2001, c. 25, s. 60
  • 2009, c. 10, s. 11

Marginal note:Regulations

 The Governor in Council may make regulations

  • (a) prescribing persons or classes of persons who may be searched under subsection 99.2(2);

  • (b) respecting, for the purposes of subsection 99.2(2), the circumstances and manner in which searches are to be conducted and the types of searches that may be conducted; and

  • (c) respecting, for the purposes of subsection 99.3(1), the manner in which examinations are to be conducted and the machines, instruments, devices or other apparatuses or classes of machines, instruments, devices or apparatuses that may be used to conduct examinations.

  • 2001, c. 25, s. 60

Marginal note:Powers of officer — mixed-traffic corridor

 If an officer has reasonable grounds to suspect that a person, having stated under section 11.7 that they arrived from a location within Canada, did in fact arrive from a location outside Canada, the officer may

  • (a) question the person; and

  • (b) examine any goods carried by the person, cause any package or container of the goods to be opened and take samples of the goods in reasonable amounts.

  • 2012, c. 19, s. 482

Marginal note:Officer stationed on board conveyance

  •  (1) An officer may be stationed on board any conveyance that has arrived in Canada from a place outside Canada for the purpose of doing anything he is required or authorized to do in the administration or enforcement of this or any other Act of Parliament.

  • Marginal note:Carriage, accommodation and food provided

    (2) An officer stationed on board a conveyance pursuant to subsection (1) shall be carried free of charge, and the person in charge of the conveyance shall ensure that the officer is provided with suitable accommodation and food.

Marginal note:Detention of controlled goods

 Goods that have been imported or are about to be exported may be detained by an officer until he is satisfied that the goods have been dealt with in accordance with this Act, and any other Act of Parliament that prohibits, controls or regulates the importation or exportation of goods, and any regulations made thereunder.

Marginal note:Disposition of goods illegally imported

  •  (1) Goods that have been imported in contravention of this or any other Act of Parliament, or any regulation made thereunder, and that have been detained under section 101 shall be disposed of in accordance with that Act or regulation, but, where there is no provision in that Act or regulation for the disposition of such goods, the importer may abandon the goods to Her Majesty in right of Canada in accordance with section 36 or export them.

  • Marginal note:Idem

    (2) Goods referred to in subsection (1) that are not disposed of, abandoned or exported in accordance with that subsection within such period of time as may be prescribed, may be deposited in a place of safe-keeping referred to in section 37 and, if they are so deposited, sections 37 to 39 apply in respect of the goods as if they had been deposited therein pursuant to section 37.

  • Marginal note:Duties removed

    (3) Goods are, from the time they are disposed of or exported under subsection (1), no longer charged with duties levied thereon.

Marginal note:Custody of goods subject to seizure but not seized

  •  (1) An officer may, instead of seizing any goods or conveyances that he is authorized by or pursuant to this Act to seize, leave them in the custody of the person from whom he would otherwise have seized them or any other person satisfactory to the officer.

  • Marginal note:Notice

    (2) Where an officer leaves goods or a conveyance in the custody of any person pursuant to subsection (1), the officer shall give notice to the person from whom he would otherwise have seized them that he is doing so, and the goods or conveyance shall, for the purposes of this Act, be deemed to have been seized on the day the notice is given.

  • Marginal note:Conditions of custody

    (3) Every person who has the custody of goods or a conveyance pursuant to subsection (1) shall hold them in safe-keeping, without charge to Her Majesty, until their forfeiture is final or a final decision is taken as to whether or not they are forfeit, and shall make them available to an officer on request, and shall not dispose of them in any manner or remove them from Canada, while he has custody of them pursuant to subsection (1), unless he is authorized to do so by an officer.

  • Marginal note:When officer to take custody

    (4) An officer may at any time take custody of goods or a conveyance left in the custody of any person pursuant to subsection (1) and shall, where the forfeiture of the goods or conveyance is final, take custody thereof.

Marginal note:Power to call in aid

 An officer may call on other persons to assist him in exercising any power of search, seizure or detention that he is authorized under this Act to exercise, and any person so called on is authorized to exercise any such power.

Marginal note:Carrying out agreements

 Where the Government of Canada has entered into an agreement with the government of another country pursuant to which powers, duties or functions relating to the importation of goods into Canada may be exercised or performed in that other country and powers, duties or functions relating to the importation of goods into that other country may be exercised or performed in Canada, any officer or peace officer designated for the purpose by the Minister may exercise in Canada any powers of inspection, examination, search or detention on behalf of that other country that are specified in the agreement.

Limitation of Actions or Proceedings

Marginal note:Limitation of action against officer or person assisting

  •  (1) No action or judicial proceeding shall be commenced against an officer for anything done in the performance of his duties under this or any other Act of Parliament or a person called on to assist an officer in the performance of such duties more than three months after the time when the cause of action or the subject-matter of the proceeding arose.

  • Marginal note:Limitation of action to recover goods

    (2) No action or judicial proceeding shall be commenced against the Crown, an officer or any person in possession of goods under the authority of an officer for the recovery of anything seized, detained or held in custody or safe-keeping under this Act more than three months after the later of

    • (a) the time when the cause of action or the subject-matter of the proceeding arose, and

    • (b) the final determination of the outcome of any action or proceeding taken under this Act in respect of the thing seized, detained or held in custody or safe-keeping.

  • Marginal note:Stay of action or judicial proceeding

    (3) Where, in any action or judicial proceeding taken otherwise than under this Act, substantially the same facts are at issue as those that are at issue in an action or proceeding under this Act, the Minister may file a stay of proceedings with the body before whom that action or judicial proceeding is taken, and thereupon the proceedings before that body are stayed pending final determination of the outcome of the action or proceeding under this Act.

Disclosure of Information

Marginal note:Definitions

  •  (1) The definitions in this subsection apply in this section.

    customs information

    customs information means information of any kind and in any form that

    • (a) relates to one or more persons and is obtained by or on behalf of

      • (i) the Minister for the purposes of this Act or the Customs Tariff, or

      • (ii) the Minister of National Revenue for the purposes of the collection of debts due to Her Majesty under Part V.1;

    • (b) is prepared from information described in paragraph (a). (renseignement douanier)

    official

    official means a person who

    • (a) is or was employed in the service of Her Majesty in right of Canada or of a province;

    • (b) occupies or occupied a position of responsibility in the service of Her Majesty in right of Canada or of a province; or

    • (c) is or was engaged by or on behalf of Her Majesty in right of Canada or of a province. (fonctionnaire)

    specified person

    specified person means a person who is employed in the service of, who occupies a position of responsibility in the service of, or who is engaged by or on behalf of, Her Majesty in right of Canada to carry out the provisions of this Act, the Customs Tariff or the Special Import Measures Act. It includes a person who was formerly so employed or engaged or who formerly occupied such a position. (personne déterminée)

  • Marginal note:Prohibition — provision or use of customs information

    (2) Except as authorized under this section, no person shall

    • (a) knowingly provide, or allow to be provided, to any person any customs information;

    • (b) knowingly allow any person to have access to any customs information; or

    • (c) knowingly use customs information.

  • Marginal note:Authorized use of customs information by official

    (3) An official may use customs information

  • Marginal note:Authorized provision of information

    (4) An official may provide, allow to be provided or provide access to customs information if the information

  • Marginal note:Provision of information to certain persons

    (5) An official may provide, allow to be provided or provide access to customs information to the following persons:

    • (a) a peace officer having jurisdiction to investigate an alleged offence under any Act of Parliament or of the legislature of a province subject to prosecution by indictment, the Attorney General of Canada and the Attorney General of the province in which proceedings in respect of the alleged offence may be taken, if that official believes on reasonable grounds that the information relates to the alleged offence and will be used in the investigation or prosecution of the alleged offence, solely for those purposes;

    • (b) a person that is otherwise legally entitled to the information by reason of an Act of Parliament, solely for the purposes for which that person is entitled to the information;

    • (c) an official solely for the purposes of developing, administering or enforcing an Act of Parliament or developing or implementing a policy related to an Act of Parliament if the information relates to

      • (i) goods, the importation, exportation or in-transit movement of which is or may be prohibited, controlled or regulated under that Act,

      • (ii) a person who that official has reasonable grounds to believe may have committed an offence under that Act in respect of goods imported or exported by that person, or

      • (iii) goods that may be evidence of an offence under that Act;

    • (d) an official, solely for the purpose of administering or enforcing an Act of the legislature of a province, if the information relates to goods that are subject to import, in-transit or export controls or taxation upon importation into the province under that Act;

    • (e) an official of a participating province, as defined in subsection 123(1) of the Excise Tax Act, or an official of the province of Quebec, if the information relates to the administration or enforcement of Part IX of that Act in that province, solely for that purpose;

    • (f) an official solely for the purpose of the formulation or evaluation of fiscal or trade policy or the development of a remission order under an Act of Parliament;

    • (g) an official solely for the purpose of setting off, against any sum of money that may be due to or payable by Her Majesty in right of Canada, a debt due to

      • (i) Her Majesty in right of Canada, or

      • (ii) Her Majesty in right of a province on account of taxes payable to the province if an agreement exists between Canada and the province under which Canada is authorized to collect taxes on behalf of the province;

    • (g.1) an official of the Canada Revenue Agency solely for a purpose relating to the administration or enforcement of the Canada Pension Plan, the Employment Insurance Act, the Excise Act, the Excise Act, 2001, the Excise Tax Act or the Income Tax Act;

    • (h) counsel, as defined in subsection 84(4) of the Special Import Measures Act, in accordance with subsection 84(3) of that Act and subject to subsection 84(3.1) of that Act, except that the word “information” in those subsections is to be read as a reference to the words “customs information”;

    • (i) an official of the Department of Employment and Social Development solely for the purpose of administering or enforcing the Employment Insurance Act, the Old Age Security Act or the Canada Recovery Benefits Act, if the information relates to the movement of people into and out of Canada;

    • (j) an official of the Department of Citizenship and Immigration solely for the purpose of administering or enforcing

    • (j.1) an official of the Canadian Food Inspection Agency for the purpose of administering or enforcing any Act referred to in section 11 of the Canadian Food Inspection Agency Act if the information relates to the import, export or in-transit movement of goods into or out of Canada;

    • (k) an official of the Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada solely for the purpose of administering or enforcing the Proceeds of Crime (Money Laundering) and Terrorist Financing Act;

    • (l) a person solely for the purpose of determining any entitlement, liability or obligation of the person under this Act or the Customs Tariff including the person’s entitlement to any refund, relief, drawback or abatement under those Acts;

    • (l.1) any person who may receive information under section 44.03 or subsection 44.04(1) of the Copyright Act, solely for the purposes for which that person is entitled to the information;

    • (l.2) any person who may receive information under section 51.05 or subsection 51.06(1) of the Trademarks Act, solely for the purposes for which that person is entitled to the information;

    • (l.3) a United States federal, state, tribal or local law enforcement agent, solely for the purpose of communicating the circumstances of detention and delivery referred to in subsection 52(2) of the Preclearance Act, 2016;

    • (m) any person, if the information is required to comply with a subpoena or warrant issued or an order made by a court of record in Canada;

    • (n) any person, if the information is required to comply with a subpoena or warrant issued or an order made by a court of record outside of Canada, solely for the purposes of criminal proceedings; and

    • (o) prescribed persons or classes of persons, in prescribed circumstances for prescribed purposes, solely for those purposes.

  • Marginal note:Provision of customs information by Minister

    (6) The Minister may provide, allow to be provided or provide access to customs information to any person if

    • (a) the information may not otherwise be provided, allowed to be provided or provided access to under this section and, in the Minister’s opinion, the public interest in providing the information clearly outweighs any invasion of privacy, or any material financial loss or prejudice to the competitive position of the person to whom the information relates, that could result from the provision of the information; or

    • (b) in the Minister’s opinion, providing the information would clearly benefit the individual to whom the information relates.

  • Marginal note:Notification of Privacy Commissioner

    (7) If customs information provided under subsection (6) is personal information within the meaning of section 3 of the Privacy Act, the Minister must notify, in writing, the Privacy Commissioner appointed under section 53 of that Act of any provision of personal information under that subsection before its provision if reasonably practicable or, in any other case, without delay after the provision. The Privacy Commissioner may, if the Privacy Commissioner considers it appropriate, notify the individual to whom the information relates of the provision of the information.

  • Marginal note:Providing customs information to other governments

    (8) Customs information may be provided by any person to an official or any other person employed by or representing the government of a foreign state, an international organization established by the governments of states, a community of states, or an institution of any such government or organization, in accordance with an international convention, agreement or other written arrangement between the Government of Canada or an institution of the Government of Canada and the government of the foreign state, the organization, the community or the institution, solely for the purposes set out in that arrangement.

  • Marginal note:Disclosure of customs information to certain persons

    (9) An official may provide, allow to be provided or provide access to customs information relating to a particular person

    • (a) to that particular person;

    • (b) to a person authorized to transact business under this Act or the Customs Tariff as that particular person’s agent, at the request of the particular person and on receipt of such fee, if any, as is prescribed; and

    • (c) with the consent of that particular person, to any other person.

  • Marginal note:Evidence

    (10) Despite any other Act of Parliament or other law, no official may be required, in connection with any legal proceedings, to give or produce evidence relating to any customs information.

  • Marginal note:Measures to protect customs information

    (11) The person presiding at a legal proceeding relating to the supervision, evaluation or discipline of a specified person may order any measure that is necessary to ensure that customs information is not used or provided to any person for any purpose not relating to that proceeding, including

    • (a) holding a hearing in camera;

    • (b) banning the publication of the information;

    • (c) concealing the identity of the person to whom the information relates; and

    • (d) sealing the records of the proceeding.

  • Marginal note:Appeal from order to disclose customs information

    (12) An order or direction that is made in the course of or in connection with any legal proceeding and that requires an official to give or produce evidence relating to customs information may, by notice served on all interested parties, be immediately appealed by the Minister or the Minister of National Revenue, as the case may be, or by the person against whom the order or direction is made

    • (a) to the court of appeal of the province in which the order or direction is made, in the case of an order or direction made by a court or other tribunal established under the laws of the province, whether or not that court or tribunal is exercising a jurisdiction conferred by the laws of Canada; or

    • (b) to the Federal Court of Appeal, in the case of an order or direction made by a court or other tribunal established under the laws of Canada.

  • Marginal note:Disposition of appeal

    (13) The court to which the appeal is taken may allow the appeal and quash the order or direction appealed from or may dismiss the appeal. The rules of practice and procedure from time to time governing appeals to the courts apply, with any modifications that the circumstances require, in respect of the appeal.

  • Marginal note:Stay

    (14) An appeal stays the operation of the order or direction appealed from until judgment in the appeal is pronounced.

  • Marginal note:Regulations

    (15) The Governor in Council may make regulations prescribing the circumstances in which fees may be charged for providing or providing access to customs information or making or certifying copies of information and the amount of any such fees.

 
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