National Post | News

OTTAWA — Canadian businesses are upset over a little-known 13-year-old policy that allows border guards to “waive through” travellers without charging them duty, particularly at peak cross-border shopping periods like the Black Friday long weekend.

According to internal Canada Border Services Agency documents, the government acknowledges the concerns and has received “many complaints” about the policy that’s said to “place Canadian businesses at a competitive disadvantage,” and is thought to be costing the federal government millions in potential revenue when it’s struggling to balance the books.

“Retailers in Canada are required to collect and remit all applicable federal and provincial taxes. Failure to do so will subject them to penalties and sanctions,” say briefing notes obtained by Ottawa researcher Ken Rubin through access to information legislation.

“When we waive collection of those same levies, we further disadvantage retailers in our community who are already struggling as a result of our…

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