Penalties (AMPs) from the CBSA and how to avoid them

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AMPS (Administrative Monetary Penalty System) and You

Navigating the world of Canadian Border Services Agency (CBSA) and the requirements surrounding your importations can be complex and challenging.  Much like choosing to represent yourself in a lawsuit, not aligning yourself with a reputable and knowledgeable broker can result in expensive personal consequences.  The following will outline the fine and penalty process,  or AMPS,  that the CBSA uses to assess against the improper importation of goods into the country.

Administrative Monetary Penalty System (AMPS) penalties in Canada

Ultimately, any failure to properly report to the CBSA falls to you, whether you are working on your own or with someone on your behalf.

Administrative Monetary Penalty System (AMPS) are monetary penalties that are issued to commercial clients who violate CBSA’s trade legislation.

The purpose of the AMPS program is to serve as a deterrent to non-compliance and to ensure all Canadian businesses can operate on a level playing field with their importation needs.

 Penalties can be applied against:

  • Importers
  • Exporters
  • Customs Brokers
  • Carriers
  • Freight Forwarders
  • Warehouses
  • Duty Free Shop operators

( See the Master Penalty Document for a full list of all penalties)

What are you (or your customs broker) responsible for?

What is likely to get you penalized?

  • Failure to pay duty
  • Providing incomplete and/or incorrect information to CBSA
  • Failure to report goods to CBSA
  • Unauthorized removal of goods from a warehouse
  • Delivery of goods even though CBSA has not yet approved release
  • Failure to self-correct an incorrect declaration

Top 10 AMPS Penalties



C071Person failed to provide permit/certificate or information before goods released.

Code Contravention Total Volume Penalty Amount
C336 Person failed to pay duties on accounted goods. 6,790 $1,920,900
C005 Person failed to provide true, accurate and complete information. 4,962 $677,900
C082 Importer failed to correct tariff classification within 90 days. 4,482 $439,200
C084-C151 Importer failed to mark the goods. 2,541 $229,300
C358 Person removed unreleased goods from customs office or sufferance warehouse. 2,070 $6,292,537
C021 Carrier failed to report regular goods ($1,600 or greater).
C353 Importer failed to pay duties as a result of a required correction – Valuation.
C018 Failure to transport passengers and crew to customs office. 1,139 $181,000
C315 Exporter failed to provide any export permit required. 1,045 $2,565,000

How do AMPS penalties work?

  • For low/medium risk infractions – You may be provided 30 days to correct the issue
  • Penalties are progressive – The penalties increase with each instance of the same infraction
  • Penalties are reflective of the risk they present to the Canadian Economy
  • The maximum penalty for a single infraction is $25,000
  • Penalties stay on your client file, resulting in increased attention from CBSA for future imports (Records are maintained for a period of 6 years after the year the infraction occurs)

Important to note

  • AMPS penalties may only be the start of the process
  • Actions may not only include seizure of goods but can also result in criminal prosecution

How to avoid penalties

  • Always report your importation with complete accuracy
  • Consult a professional, reputable customs broker prior to importing
  • Don’t take chances or cut corners. This is your business and your reputation

I received a Notice of Penalty Assessment, What now?

  • Navigating the next steps, requesting a review and mitigating the fallout can be extremely complex and challenging, we encourage you to reach out to our compliance team for a FREE consultation .


To help you navigate through the complex compliance landscape (and avoid the penalties that can come from non-compliance), Community Customs Brokers’s team of professionals can provide answers to these and many other pressing questions related to doing business in Canada as an Importer/Exporter.


Contact us today for a free consultation.

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