The Special Import Measures Act (SIMA) has been amended and the Canadian Border Service Agency (CBSA)’s policies have been modified as a result of the Budget Implementation Act (BIA) receiving royal assent.

This Act brought into force several legislative, regulatory, and administrative amendments to Canada’s trade remedy framework in response to recommendations from the Steel Industry-Government Trade Remedy Working Group (SWG).

These changes to SIMA are aimed at strengthening Canada’s trade remedy framework and are expected to minimize the risk of massive importations (where goods are dumped prior to the imposition of provisional duties), strengthen expiry review processes, enhance the consideration of domestic workers in trade remedy proceedings, and effectively account for dumping margins during the period of investigation.

Summary of the amendments

Specifically these amendments include:

  • Reducing timeframes for notifying the country of export if the CBSA receives a properly documented written complaint respecting the dumping or subsidizing of goods.
  • Mandating the CITT to inquire into massive importation in all investigations, and replacing the standard for imposing retroactive duties by clarifying that massive importations are likely to seriously undermine the remedial effects of duties.
  • Mandating the CITT to initiate expiry reviews of orders and findings before they expire, and terminating them when there is no support from the domestic industry.
  • Providing unions with the right to file trade remedy complaints and include the considerations of workers in assessing injury to the domestic industry.
  • Extending the period for which CBSA collects profitability data to a maximum of one full year prior to the Period of Investigation (POI), with data prior to the POI only used where there is insufficient data during the POI.

Background: SIMA

The Special Import Measures Act helps protect Canadian industry from threats caused by the dumping and subsidizing of imported goods.

Dumping occurs when goods are sold to importers in Canada at prices that are lower than the selling price of comparable goods in the country of export or when goods are sold to Canada at unprofitable prices.

Subsidizing occurs when goods imported into Canada benefit from foreign government financial assistance, such as loans at preferential rates, grants, and tax incentives.

Canadian industry may be negative affected by dumped or subsidized imports in the following ways:

  • reduced prices
  • lost sales
  • impacts on jobs and workers
  • lost market share
  • decreased profits and
  • other such difficulties

The amount of dumping and subsidizing on imported goods may be offset by the application of duties – specifically, the “anti-dumping” duty and the “countervailing” duty.

The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) and the Canadian International Trade Tribunal (CITT) are jointly responsible for administering SIMA.

SIMA reflects Canada’s implementation of the World Trade Organization’s (WTO) Agreement on the implementation of Article VI of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade 1994 (the Anti-Dumping Agreement) and the Agreement on Subsidies and Countervailing Measures.

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