Annual Report March 31, 2017- Chapter I

Chapter I - Highlights

The Canadian International Trade Tribunal (the Tribunal) is recognized domestically and globally as a centre of excellence in the fair and timely adjudication of trade law matters. The Tribunal is a quasi-judicial body which provides Canadian and international businesses with access to fair, transparent and timely trade remedy and federal government procurement inquiries, and customs and excise tax appeals. At the request of the Government, the Tribunal provides advice in tariff, trade, commercial and economic matters.

The Tribunal began operations on December 31, 1988, as the result of a merger of the Tariff Board, the Canadian Import Tribunal and the Textile and Clothing Board. However, its history goes back to the time of Confederation and the Board of Customs, whose appellate mandate was transferred to the Tariff Board in the 1950s.

The Canadian Import Tribunal was originally established in 1969 as the Anti-dumping Tribunal. Its name change reflected a broader mandate to conduct injury inquiries in both anti-dumping and countervailing duty proceedings under the Special Import Measures Act (SIMA), as well as in safeguard cases. The Tribunal’s third predecessor, the Textile and Clothing Board, was formed in the early 1970s and inquired into safeguard complaints by the Canadian textile and apparel industries. Lastly, on January 1, 1994, the Tribunal absorbed the Procurement Review Board, extending the Tribunal’s mandate to include inquiries into whether federal procurement processes have been carried out in accordance with Canada’s domestic and international trade obligations.

As of November 1, 2014, the Tribunal’s Chairperson and members rely upon the Administrative Tribunals Support Service of Canada (ATSSC) for corporate, registry, research and legal services.

Trade Remedy Injury Inquiries

The Tribunal plays a significant role within Canada’s trade remedy system. Under SIMA, the Tribunal determines whether the dumping and subsidizing of imported goods cause injury or threaten to cause injury to a domestic industry. During fiscal year 2016-2017, the Tribunal concluded 12 proceedings under SIMA. The Tribunal issued all its decisions within the tight deadlines set out in SIMA.

Procurement Inquiries

During fiscal year 2016-2017, the Tribunal received 70 procurement complaints and issued 65 decisions on whether to accept complaints for inquiry or not. The Tribunal also issued 23 final decisions on merit and six decisions on notices of motion where complaints were accepted for inquiry. Combined, this represented a total of 94 decisions. The 70 complaints received in this fiscal year pertained to 67 different contracts with a collective value in excess of $5.5 billion—the greatest sum in the history of Canada’s procurement review system. All procurement inquiry decisions were issued within legislated deadlines.

Customs and Excise Appeals

A total of 52 appeals were filed during the reporting period. The Tribunal normally scheduled hearings within 165 days of receipt of notices of appeal, though requests for postponements and abeyances typically result in extensions. The Tribunal issued 24 decisions under the Customs Act, one under SIMA and four further to a Federal Court of Appeal remand. Every decision was issued within 120 days of being heard by the Tribunal (the Tribunal’s target is to issue 70% of customs and excise appeal decisions within this time frame).1 The average appeal was decided within 87 days of being heard.

Economic and Tariff Inquiries

For the first time in several years, the Governor in Council referred a matter to the Tribunal for inquiry during the fiscal year. The Tribunal inquired into whether the imposition of anti-dumping duties on imports of gypsum board from the United States would be in Canada’s economic, trade or commercial interests. The Tribunal concluded its inquiry and made recommendations to the Government of Canada in January 2017.

Caseload

The first table below contains statistics pertaining to the Tribunal’s caseload for 2016-2017. The second table contains statistics relating to other case-related activities in 2016-2017. These statistics illustrate the complexity and diversity of the cases considered by the Tribunal.

Tribunal Caseload Overview—2017-2018

  Cases Brought Forward From Previous Fiscal Year Cases Received in Fiscal Year Total Decisions to Initiate Decisions Not to Initiate Total Decisions/ Reports Issued Cases Withdrawn/ Closed Cases Outstanding (March 31, 2017)
Trade remedy injury inquiries
Preliminary injury inquiries 1 4 5 N/A N/A 4 0 1
Inquiries 0 4 4 N/A N/A 2 0 2
Requests for public interest inquiries 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Public interest inquiries 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Requests for interim reviews 0 3 3 0 0 0 0 3
Interim reviews 1 2 3 N/A N/A 2 0 1
Expiries1 0 2 2 1 0 1 0 1
Expiry reviews 3 1 4 N/A N/A 3 0 1
Remanded cases 0 0 0 N/A N/A 0 0 0
Total 5 16 21 1 0 12 0 9
Procurement inquiries
Complaints received 1 70 71 32 33 65 4 2
Complaints accepted for inquiry 7 N/A 7 N/A N/A 29 3 7
Remanded cases2 0 0 0 N/A N/A 0 N/A 0
Total 8 70 78 32 33 94 7 9
Customs and excise appeals
Extensions of time
Customs Act 0 1 1 N/A N/A 0 0 1
Excise Tax Act 0 0 0 N/A N/A 0 0 0
Total 0 1 1 N/A N/A 0 0 1
Appeals
Customs Act 35 52 87 N/A N/A 24 24 39
Excise Tax Act 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Special Import Measures Act 1 0 1 N/A N/A 1 0 0
Remanded cases 4 0 4 N/A N/A 4 0 0
Total 40 52 92 N/A N/A 29 24 39
Economic and tariff inquiries
References 0 1 1 N/A N/A 1 0 0

1. With respect to expiries, “decisions to initiate” refer to decisions to initiate expiry reviews.

2. Where a single remand decision is issued in respect of multiple cases, it is accounted for as a single remanded case.

N/A = Not applicable

Tribunal Caseload Overview—2017-2018
  Trade Remedy Injury Inquiries Procurement Inquiries Customs and Excise Appeals Economic and Tariff Inquiries Total
Order
Disclosure orders 37 0 0 3 40
Cost award orders N/A 12 N/A N/A 12
Compensation orders N/A 0 N/A N/A 0
Production orders 1 2 0 0 3
Postponement of award orders N/A 6 N/A N/A 6
Rescission of postponement of award orders N/A 1 N/A N/A 1
Directions/administrative rulings
Requests for information 1,100 0 0 0 1,100
Motions 0 15 0 0 15
Other statistics
Public hearing days 20 2 25 4 51
File hearings 1 7 65 8 0 80
Witnesses 98 2 50 0 3 150
Participants 119 110 108 124 461
Questionnaire replies 290 N/A N/A 0 290
Pages of official records2 101,875 63,118 33,583 0 198,636

1. A file hearing occurs where the Tribunal renders a decision on the basis of written submissions, without holding a public hearing.

2. Estimated.

3. Please note that several witnesses testified in both Inquiry No. NQ-2016-002 and Reference No. GC-2016-001. These matters were heard concurrently over nine days. Approximately five days were spent on the former and four days were spent on the latter. All witnesses, however, are reflected under the “Trade Remedy Injury Inquiries” column.

N/A = Not applicable