Meeting Date: April 18, 2007

Subject: Travel Approval - American Association Of Exporters & Importers Conference - New York City

Recommendation

It is recommended that the Commission approve a travel request for Mr. Nash Lalji, Customs/Tax Analyst, to attend a three-day Annual Conference of the American Association of Exporters and Importers, in New York City from June 17 to June 19, 2007 at a total estimated cost of $3,900.

Funding

Sufficient funds are included in the TTC’s 2007 Operating Budget.

Background

The American Association of Importers and Exporters (AAIE) is the pre-eminent association of a diverse group of organizations and professionals that deal with cross-border commerce. This Annual Conference & Exposition draws participants from many industry sectors as well as government representatives from the American customs and internal revenue organizations. The conference and exposition features workshop breakout sessions and presentations by distinguished speakers.

Discussion

U.S. and Canadian cross-border shipments are subject to ever-changing customs regulations. While the majority of shipments are imports by the TTC from U.S. based vendors, there are also shipments that are required to be shipped to the U.S. for repair, refurbishment, inspection, testing and the like.

The TTC’s Customs/Tax Analyst – Nash Lalji – endeavours to keep abreast of the ever-changing regulatory environment (compliance issues, tariff classifications etc.) by receiving training here in Toronto. However, the training offered locally is mainly on Canadian customs regulations and not U.S. regulations. While the TTC engages the services of a customs broker, the TTC is the official foreign importer on record for the shipments entering the U.S. and any customs mistakes/violations (incorrect tariff classifications, incomplete data submission etc.) could result in fines/penalties assessed in the name of the TTC. Furthermore, shipments held up at the border by U.S. authorities could result in project delays (unavailability of critical parts/equipment), or cause other operational disruptions.  

Travel plans for Mr. Lalji would include flying from Toronto to New York City on Saturday June 16, 2007 and returning Wednesday June 20, 2007.  Total costs are estimated to be $3,900, inclusive of conference registration fees, hotel, flight, meals and sundries.

Justification

Mr. Lalji is the Commission’s customs specialist responsible for controlling the Commission’s compliance with U.S. and Canadian customs regulations.  This conference will provide relevant and useful information from subject matter experts on industry changes applicable to cross-border shipments.

April 2, 2007
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