Dealing with Commodity Taxes and Customs Act tariffs can be complicated and the cost of non-compliance can be severe.  BLG’s Commodity Tax and Customs Tariffs Group is composed of specialists that can assist you in all areas of commodity taxation which include: the federal goods and services tax (GST), harmonized sales tax (HST) and excise tax and duties; and the provincial sales taxes, motive fuel taxes, insurance premium taxes, tobacco taxes and environmental levies.  We can also assist you with matters relating to customs duties including: audits initiated by Canada’s border agency – the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA), customs valuations and tariff classifications; rules of origin and NAFTA classifications; and commodity taxation at the border.

BLG’s commodity tax and customs tariff professionals ensure our clients' interests are protected at all times, including during the litigation process. Our team of experts has represented clients in dealings with Canada’s tax and customs authorities and before tribunals and all levels of court, all the way up to and including the Supreme Court of Canada. One of our customs law specialists has acted as General Counsel to the Canadian International Trade Tribunal (CITT) – Canada’s customs appeal authority.

Some of the specific services that we can offer include:

  • Providing advice on the structuring of corporate/commercial transactions and sales of business assets.
  • Handling disputes and negotiating settlements with the federal and provincial taxation authorities.
  • Completing voluntary disclosures and submitting fairness applications to the federal and provincial revenue authorities.
  • Conducting commodity tax reviews for businesses, government bodies and not-for-profit organizations. 
  • Developing and implementing creative tax-planning ideas to minimize the commodity taxes payable. 
  • Assisting non-resident clients looking to do business in Canada with Canadian commodity tax requirements. 
  • Assisting municipalities, universities, school authorities and hospitals with commodity tax planning, compliance and dispute resolution.
  • Assisting businesses with Customs Act compliance and audits.
  • Assisting businesses with structuring their supply chain to meet their corporate objectives.
  • Representing businesses in litigation arising under the Customs Act before the CBSA, the CITT and the Federal Courts.

BLG can also provide assistance with setting up adequate commodity tax & tariff reporting systems.


Representative Work

  • Successfully resolved a taxpayer’s dispute with the CRA over the GST treatment of damages payments in the construction industry.
  • Assisted a hospital with submissions to CRA on the application of GST/HST to research services.
  • Represented a taxpayer with their defence against a provincial fuel tax audit including assistance with production of documents to support exempt sales.
  • Assisted the Royal Canadian Mint in a tariff classification challenge against a CBSA ruling regarding the one cent coin.
  • Assisted numerous companies with complex audits initiated by CBSA into issues such as tariff classifications, NAFTA rules of origin, transfer pricing and value for duty.

Rankings & Recognitions

The Commodity Tax and Customs Tariffs Group or its members are recognized in:

  • The 2015 Canadian Legal Lexpert® Directory.