What is undervaluation?

Posted by Cory

“Undervaluation” is one of the most common Customs infractions and one that the CBSA invests a lot of time in discovering. The infraction is an attempt by the importer or shipper to conceal the real cost of a sale so that Customs duties and taxes will be assessed on a lower amount. While undervaluation can take many forms, the least complicated and most common is simply including a fake price on the invoice used for Customs clearance.

The CBSA uses a few methods to combat this scheme. They will frequently ask importers to present a “proof of payment” from a verified third-party (such as a bank or credit card provider) before releasing control of the goods. Should the price initially declared to Customs vary greatly from what was actually paid, Customs will often issue a penalty against the importer and may deny their right to import and seize the goods in question.