1 April 2004
The CBSA has responded to a question from the CSCB concerning the status of the fee that some carriers are charging to transmit ACI data.
The response from CBSA follows. Members with questions or comments on the status of this fee can forward them to the CSCB at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Advance Commercial Information (ACI) is a mandatory advance electronic transmission of cargo data in accordance with timeframes specified for each mode. As indicated in your message, some carriers have started to include the ACI fee on their invoices for sending the required information to Customs. Since the ACI is invoiced by the carrier, such fee is not to be added to the value of the imported goods. If the ACI fee was invoiced and paid to the vendor of the goods, then such fee would have to be added to the value of the goods.
The response relates to the transaction value method provisions as contained in section 48 of the Customs Act.
Is this charge an allowable deduction? This will depend whether the goods have been shipped FOB or CIF. If the goods have been shipped FOB, the importer is, under normal circumstances, responsible for the transportation from the place of direct shipment of the goods to Canada and it would be irrelevant if the ACI fee is included in the transportation charge. Under CIF, freight is included in the selling price and only the actual amount of freight can be deducted. This is in accordance with subparagraph 48(5)(a)(b)(i) of the Customs Act and the Canadian International Trade Tribunal decisions on Monarch Import-Export Inc. and Western International Forest Products, Inc.
The Act provides for the deduction of certain costs provided that they are included in the price paid or payable of the imported goods including under (i) "the cost of transportation of, the loading, unloading and handling charges and other charges and expenses associated with the transportation of, the goods...." Since the ACI fee is invoiced by the transportation company and the goods would not be allowed into the country of import (requirements by Customs) unless the advance electronic transmission of cargo data has been made, such fee would be considered as "other charges and expenses associated with the transportation of the goods". However, if the fee and the transportation charges are included in the price paid or payable and the importer cannot justify the amounts, such fee would not be deducted from the price paid or payable.