A customs rater, or in other instances called a customs broker, is essentially a person who is an expert in customs law. Customs is basically the transfer of things across a nation’s border such as goods and people. These people are very interested in what comes across as a matter of national security and/or trade restrictions.
The CBSA is Canada’s version of ICE in America. In other words, the Canadian Borders Services Agency is responsible for immigration and border enforcements along with customs (trade). Customs includes the goods that come across the border from any country be it from neighboring U.S. or from a plane coming from Europe. The CBSA is very important in upholding Canada’s border enforcement law in order to prevent the free flow of people coming into the country. This is done as a matter of national security, as people do not always have the most innocent intent as they come into the country, as we saw with the September 11 terrorist attacks in the United States. The CBSA has a lot of responsibilities that need to be highlighted; each of them being related to immigration enforcement or trade.
This Agency is a very young agency which was created in 2003. The agency was created in part because of the attack on the Twin Towers. This attack caused Canada to reassess its own border and securities, and ultimately made the country put more emphasis on who it lets into the country and the goods that it lets into the country. One of the most important legislative functions of the CBSA is its ability to track down people who are in Canada illegally. This allows the agency more power in terms of enforcing immigration law. The immigration laws of Canada require naturalization or birthright, and people who enter into the country without asylum status are there illegally. If this agency did not exist, Canada would see a sharp increase in the number of people crossing into the country.
The Customs Act gives Canada the ability to enforce the laws of the country until such laws are taken off the books or changed. The Customs Act is basically the bedrock of the CBSA. This act gives the agency power to control the movement of people to and from Canada. The agency has 12,000 people working for it and it is based in other countries as well. This is because the agency takes security measures into other airports outside of Canada that are bringing people back to the homeland. Therefore, Canadians’ passports are screened by the CBSA for security measures, and the CBSA is also able to stop people at airports and do a thorough check if they see anything suspicious. After the terrorist attacks on 9/11, the country made it easier for CBSA to enforce its laws because they wanted to ensure that people they were letting into the country were law-abiding citizens who were looking to maintain Canadian values.
The CBSA also is granted the right to assess imports and goods brought into the country. This essentially gives the CBSA free reign to check anything that is being brought to Canada as a matter of national security. Many believe that this is a privacy issue, but the government argues that people should be prepared to give up some privacy in order to ensure that the people who are being let into the country are good people who carry no risks to Canadians.
This law also allows the CBSA to assess outgoing goods. The CBSA is responsible for ensuring that Canadian companies are not being cheated by dumping tactics as well. This can get a bit dicey, but it looks like the CBSA is designed to check up on these tactics and if they see any of them being used, report it to the agencies better equipped to fight them. This allows a chain of command to be drawn out where the CBSA is able to assess the situation and send a message up to the chain of command where a commerce agency is better able to deal with the dumping tactics of another country or a company. The CBSA is also in charge with protecting refugees and asylum seekers. The CBSA is given the responsibility for ensuring that these people are safe and vetted, and that they are who they really say they are. This is very important for not only the Canadian people but the people seeking asylum. If the CBSA does a good job of vetting, the refugees have less of a red flag hanging over their head Canadian nationals will feel a bit at ease.
The revision of NAFTA into a new trade deal does change what the CBSA will need to do in terms of trade. They will need to look at new products and reassess them. The CBSA will also need to look out for their own industries using low wage labor to draw companies from the U.S. to Canada. However, this provision is mainly used against Mexico and not Canada since Canada has fairer wage laws. The CBSA is tasked with so many responsibilities, and all of them play a focal role in ensuring that Canadians remain safe from the threat of terrorist attacks. It also helps protect Canadian industries from being improperly dumped. In the future, the CBSA will need to innovate in order to keep up with the ongoing threat of danger outside of the country.