Recent Trade & Tariff Perspectives

June 8, 2022  |  Mark Desgroseilliers  Trade Policy Advisor

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Canada’s Special Import Measures Act (SIMA)—What You Need to Know

The Canadian marketplace is diverse, and they are a significant player when it comes to producing and exporting goods. The Special Import Measures Act, or SIMA, is in place to help protect the Canadian manufacturing industry from extreme price undercutting from abroad. The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) and Canadian International Trade Tribunal (CITT) work in tandem to investigate and enforce the law as needed. How do they enforce SIMA? Simply by tacking on additional duties on goods from specific countries where injury to the domestic industry is proven.

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SIMA in short

A Canadian manufacturer can request an investigation when they feel that goods from abroad are being imported into Canada at prices below reasonable costs. The CBSA and CITT work together and investigate the claim. If they find “injury”, they will assess the factors and add on additional duties for anti-dumping and/or countervailing (if it is found there is also subsidizing in the exporting country).

How does this affect you as an importer?

There are approximately 50 live SIMA cases currently where additional duties are imposed on goods ranging from dry pasta to thermoelectric coolers (such as wine fridges). The additional duties are only applied to those items from countries deemed harmful to the Canadian industry. If you are importing subject goods, you would be required to pay additional duties on top of what is already laid out in the customs tariff, thus affecting your profit margins.

Recent cases

In the past year, two cases have been added to the list. These two cases affect a large portion of Canadian importers. The first is for certain upholstered domestic seating from China and Vietnam. In this case, Chinese imports can be subject to an additional 188% in duty—plus 1390.65 CNY per piece for subsidy. For Vietnamese items, the rates are 179.5% in duty - plus 1,914,726.79 VND per piece.  Again, these duties are in addition to the regular duty that is already applicable.

Most recently, an investigation was started for mattresses made in China. A preliminary determination or termination was expected by May 25, 2022. However, on May 18, CBSA issued a statement that more time was needed to continue the investigation. The decision to issue preliminary determinations or to terminate the investigations with respect to some or all of the goods will now be made on or before July 7, 2022.

What should you do?

If you are importing goods which may be subject to SIMA (or potentially subject to SIMA for goods currently under investigation), it is best to arm yourself with knowledge. Having an understanding of SIMA and how it is applied will be key to ensuring you are making the decisions that are best for your company and the bottom line. Work with your broker to ensure they have all the information to be able to process your customs entries accurately while remaining compliant.

CH Robinson has a group of knowledgeable individuals that can guide you through understanding SIMA and help you uphold your compliance goals. Connect with one of our trade policy experts to learn more.


Our information is compiled from a number of sources that to the best of our knowledge are accurate and correct. It is always the intent of our company to present accurate information. C.H. Robinson accepts no liability or responsibility for the information published herein.

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