Federal Appeal

Customs and Excise

Canadian International Trade Tribunal’s reasons were transparent, intelligible, and justified

Canadian International Trade Tribunal (CITT) found that seven models of B’s washers and dryers, were not entitled to duty-free treatment under tariff item No. 9979.00.00 because they were not goods specifically designed to assist persons with disabilities. B appealed. Appeal dismissed. CITT did not adopt test not authorized by law in referring to U.S. legislation as B submitted that U.S. standards were relevant to CITT’s assessment of design characteristics of goods. CITT did not substitute U.S. standards for “specifically designed” test mandated by Tariff. Assuming Tribunal erred in its interpretation of the high forward reach and high side reach standards, this did not render decision unreasonable. Without pedestal lower door height standard was not met. Any incorrect inference drawn by CITT did not undermine analysis that goods were not U.S. standard compliant. Section 68(1) of Customs Act (Can.) restricts appeals from CITT to Federal Court to appeals on question of law and drawing of unsound inference not an error of law. CITT did not base its decision on standard practice without considering facts of case so no fettering of discretion. Once B failed to demonstrate full compliance, CITT not required to consider partial compliance. Jurisprudence well-settled that an administrative decision-maker need not address every argument raised by parties. CITT’s reasons were transparent and intelligible and justified on record before it. Decision fell within range of possible acceptable outcomes defensible in light of evidence and law.

BSH Home Appliances Ltd. v. Canada (Border Services Agency) (Apr. 29, 2016, F.C.A., Eleanor R. Dawson J.A., D.G. Near J.A., and Yves de Montigny J.A., A-32-15) 265 A.C.W.S. (3d) 921.

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