Cheque Standardization Initiative from Government of Canada

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1. Public Works and Government Services Canada announced a cheque standardization initiative, which is aiming to minimize the number of cheque formats utilized by the Government to one standard format, starting on 28 of February 2015. The new standard cheque will have no stub.

2. The cheques are used by Canada Border Services Agency (Canada Customs) to issue refunds for B2 requests submitted by Customs brokers.

3. Before cheque stubs were used by the Government to show details of payment. For Customs refunds, the corresponding claim numbers were printed on the stub to provide information regarding the payment issued. This data will no longer be presented on the cheques. Alternatively, cheques will now denote the following connotation: “CBSA Customs Casual Refund” if a refund is a non-commercial, and “CBSA Commercial Refund” if a refun is commercial. The CBSA contact telephone number to be shown on the back of the cheques. Customs brokers are welcome to contact CBSA for any inquiries concerning the refunds.

4. Commercial importers and their Customs broker (s) will still be receiving the Detailed Adjustment Statement (DAS) in the mail once their request has been accepted, with the total refund amount issued, and the cheque is to be send afterwards. Having the new standardized cheque format, instances may arise when importers or their Customs brokers will get a cheque with the amount not matching the amount written on the DAS received by the post. The situation can be explained as one cheque issued for multiple adjustment refunds that were grouped together. An importer or a Customs broker wanting to reconcile a payment to the corresponding adjustment can contact Canada Customs in order to inquire regarding the certain information previously indicated on the cheque stub (to name a few: transaction number, the corresponding principal amounts and the amount of interest).

5. Canada Customs understand that this initiative can result in challenges for Customs brokers trying to reconcile payments with corresponding adjustment requests. Contacting CBSA Info Service is an interim procedure up to a more efficient solution to help a Customs broker can be introduced.

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