- Documented policies and procedures for compliance
- Responsible individuals have training
- Responsible individual have access to relevant materials such at the Customs Regulations, HTSUS, and Customs Bulletin
- Seeking Customs rulings
- Reliance on outside experts such as me, my firm, or some riskier lawyer, accountant, or broker
The question came up from the audience, which system is worse for the importer? Tough call. Absolute liability really does not give importers much opportunity to avoid the imposition of a penalty. Both systems have a means of correcting entries where the importer discovers the violation before CBP or the Customs and Border Services Agency. U.S. penalties routinely get a lot bigger than $25,000. Over all, I have to say that for big companies, the lower liability of the Canadian system might look appealing. From the perspective of a lawyer who needs something to argue about, I like the malleability of "reasonable care."
Either way, I know that I like Ottawa. I've been up there a few times and have always found it a pleasant city to visit. The pictures are of Parliament House and the nearby canal and locks. My only complaint: clearing U.S. Customs in Ottawa was painfully slow given the relatively low number of people being processed.