Import Prohibition on Goods Produced by Forced Labour

Date: February 8, 2021

Classification: Unclassified

Branch/Agency: CTB/CBSA 

Proposed Response:


Canada has imposed an importation ban on goods that were produced by forced labour, as described in An Act to implement the Agreement between Canada, the United States of America and the United Mexican States, which received Royal Assent on March 13, 2020. As described in paragraph 202(8), Chapter 98 item No. 9897.00.00 of the Customs Tariff, the law has been amended to include a reference prohibiting goods mined, manufactured or produced wholly or in part by forced labour. These amendments made under the Act came into force in Canada on
July 1, 2020, as outlined in CBSA Customs Notice 20-23, Import prohibition on goods produced wholly or in part by forced labour.

Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) is the Government of Canada’s lead department for labour-related programs and the CBSA works closely with ESDC to identify goods that have been produced by forced labour and prevent their entry into Canada. ESDC’s Labour Program is actively monitoring and researching evidence related to problematic supply chains, and documented evidence of goods being produced with forced labour is transmitted for CBSA’s consideration. The CBSA conducts risk analyses on goods entering the country to determine if they are admissible. The CBSA may use this information to identify and intercept shipments containing goods that have been identified as suspected to have been produced by forced labour.

Shipments containing goods suspected of being produced by forced labour will be detained at the border for inspection by a border services officer. If in the judgement of the officer the goods were produced by forced labour, the officer will apply the tariff classification under chapter 9897 and prohibit the goods from entering Canada. Determinations are made on a case-by-case basis, based on available supporting evidence and analysis. Importers of goods classified under tariff item No. 9897.00.00 may appeal the classification as prohibited, re-export the goods or abandon the goods.

The Customs Tariff import prohibition is the only legislative enforcement tool in Canadian law regarding the importation of goods produced by forced labour.

In addition, the Customs Tariff can not be used to prohibit the importation of goods solely on the basis of originating from a specific country or region. Implementing such restrictions would fall under the purview of Global Affairs Canada. 

Importers are encouraged to work with their foreign suppliers to ensure that any goods imported into Canada have not been mined, manufactured or produced wholly or in part by forced or compulsory labour.

The Government of Canada expects companies to take every step possible to ensure that their supply chains conform to Canadian law with respect to the prohibition on the import of forced labour. It is the responsibility of the importing company to conduct due diligence on its supply chains to ensure that it is not directly or indirectly sourcing products from entities implicated in forced labour or other human rights violations.


Approved by: Peter Hill, Vice-President, Commercial and Trade Branch

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