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Canada Beef to Issue ‘Test Period’ Invoices Soon for New Import Levy

In an informational webinar held Tuesday, Canada Beef representatives said the agency will begin issuing “test period” invoices to importers in November summarizing the products imported that are subject to the new levy on beef imports entering Canada. Actual collection of the levy, however, does not begin until Jan. 1, 2014, so the invoices importers receive in November and December of this year do not need to be paid. Their purpose is simply to prepare importers for the enforceable invoices they will begin receiving in 2014. The first enforceable invoices will likely arrive in February, reflecting import transactions conducted in January.

Canada Beef also explained how invoices will be generated based on HS codes, essentially mirroring the $1 per-head-equivalent checkoff assessed on beef imports entering the United States. The webinar illustrated how beef import data will be transmitted between Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA), Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) and Canada Beef, and the steps that have been taken to ensure security and confidentiality of data. Presenters also explained why Canada Beef has chosen to use an invoicing process rather than to collect the levy at the time of import. The agencies involved feel invoicing will be more accurate and less disruptive for importers.

Canada Beef will conduct its next webinar on this topic Nov. 20. The slide presentation used in Tuesday’s webinar, which includes sample invoices, is available online.