Customs debt collection restrictions

There are restrictions to the Canada Revenue Agency's (CRA) ability to take legal action, as outlined below.

The CRA will not normally start legal action until 90 days after the mailing date of the notice of assessment or reassessment.

A collection restriction also applies to Customs debt that is disputed under appeal or if the Commissioner has referred a question to the Canadian International Trade Tribunal.

Exceptions to collection restriction 

  • If the CRA determines there is a risk of not collecting all or part of the debt, a judge of a superior court of a province or of the Federal Court of Canada can authorize us to take collection action immediately.
  • If the CRA believes that you have left or are about to leave Canada, they can require immediate payment of all amounts owed, whether or not they are due at the time. If you do not make the payment, the CRA can seize your goods and assets.

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