Customs Administration in Canada

Customs Administration in Canada

GORDON BLAKE
Series: Heritage
Copyright Date: 1957
Pages: 194
https://www.jstor.org/stable/10.3138/j.ctt15jjdt5
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  • Book Info
    Customs Administration in Canada
    Book Description:

    Blake traces the administration of the tariff through Canadian history, and provides the first complete treatment of the subject and its significance for the country's commerce.

    eISBN: 978-1-4426-3211-0
    Subjects: Business, Political Science, History, Economics

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. PREFACE
    (pp. vii-viii)
    Gordon Blake
  3. Table of Contents
    (pp. ix-2)
  4. CHAPTER ONE INTRODUCTION
    (pp. 3-9)

    An examination of the literature of economics relating to Canada discloses no cohesive treatment of tariff administration and its importance to the development of Canadian commerce. Because of the high degree of applicability of the theory of the staple to the economy of Canada, and the resulting awareness on the part of the people of the importance of public policy to their economic condition, the tariff has been recognized as an economic institution of great significance. Canadian governments have relied heavily on the tariff as a determinant of the nature, volume, and direction of external trade. But despite the importance...

  5. CHAPTER TWO CUSTOMS ADMINISTRATION DURING THE FRENCH REGIME
    (pp. 10-14)

    The customs administration of the French colonial empire in North America was primitive, since commercial policy was for the greater part confined to outright prohibition of trade with any outside area—a corollary of mercantilism. A policy of exclusion leaves no room, supposedly, for degrees of preference against outsiders, but it might be held that the failure of administration to meet the demands made upon it did result in a peculiar kind of colonial preferential system, the deterrent to trade with foreigners being, not a differential duty, but the serious consequences of detection; and in the days of mercantilism the...

  6. CHAPTER THREE CUSTOMS ADMINISTRATION UNDER BRITISH DOMINION
    (pp. 15-39)

    Collecting revenue in North America after the fall of Quebec presented the British with formidable problems. They had to apply to their new territories a defective administrative technique, and they had to apply it in the face of a hostile public attitude and an unfavourable geographical situation. Through centuries of evolution English customs administration had become so incredibly complicated that even the extensive reforms and consolidations which took place later, in 1787, failed to make it effective. For example, the fee system was out of hand; ancient sinecures were still occupied; and the customs accounts were hopelessly muddled.¹ Even apart...

  7. CHAPTER FOUR SOME EARLY CUSTOMS PROBLEMS
    (pp. 40-53)

    The period between 1791 and 1840, in which Upper and Lower Canada attempted to exist as distinct political entities, provided a situation which is probably unique in the field of customs administration and tariff making. This phase of Canadian history has been treated, in its general political aspects, in a number of studies, and some have emphasized the fiscal problems that were involved.¹ It is sufficient for the purpose of this survey to examine those features which hold special interest as problems of tariff technology.

    After the American Revolution the Imperial government was concerned with a political problem, and it...

  8. CHAPTER FIVE THE CUSTOMS ESTABLISHMENT IN BRITISH NORTH AMERICA
    (pp. 54-67)

    The customs establishment in North America was, of course, based on the British model, a form which seems to have had its beginning around the year 1275.¹ Although in Quebec the custom house movement began in 1762, the Atlantic colonies had had a long experience in customs administration by that time: there was a Crown Collector of Customs at Annapolis Royal as early as 1719.

    The system was controlled, nominally, by a Surveyor General, appointed for the northern district of North America, but it appears that, for the most part, he performed his functionsin absentia.Revenues from the duties...

  9. CHAPTER SIX CONFEDERATION AND THE NATIONAL POLICY
    (pp. 68-73)

    The federation of the British provinces of North America to form a self-governing dominion was an event of historic significance and has been quite properly considered so in Canadian literature. The economics of Confederation has also received wide attention, particularly in the investigations of the Royal Commission on Dominion-Provincial Relations, and several studies have been directed to the examination of the effects of Canadian tariff policy upon the federal state created by the British North America Act. In keeping with the emphasis of this study, however, it is both sufficient and necessary to view Confederation, as a problem of customs...

  10. CHAPTER SEVEN THE TARIFF SCHEDULE
    (pp. 74-93)

    The tariff schedule is the basic instrument of the entire Canadian tariff system and its administration. There is probably no document which reflects more fully the diversity of the Canadian economic and political system, and the gradual evolution of this document to its present complex form likewise reflects fundamental changes in the Canadian environment. The tariff schedule has been conditioned by forces that are in part historical and traditional, geographic, economic, political, and even sentimental. It is not surprising that the demands made by such a tariff upon the administration should be heavy.

    The Customs Tariff of Canada¹ contains some...

  11. CHAPTER EIGHT VALUATION
    (pp. 94-116)

    The fundamental problem of customs administration in Canada is unquestionably valuation, and its consequences are felt in all sections of the economic community which come into contact with the tariff itself. The tendency in the Customs Act to resolve all questions in favour of the Appraiser, either explicitly or implicitly, reflects the great difficulty, inherent in a system of ad valorem duties, which has exercised the wits of economists from the beginnings of their science, the difficulty of determining value. The statutory provisions concerning dutiable value therefore contain much of interest to the student of economic doctrine, for they suggest...

  12. CHAPTER NINE APPRAISEMENT
    (pp. 117-135)

    Emphasis has been placed in the two preceding chapters upon those sections of the Customs and Tariff Acts which provide the framework for the administration of a system in which ad valorem duties predominate. It has been seen, however, that the tariff itself has become so complex that attempts by the administration to interpret and apply it have met with problems of no small technical difficulty. This interpretation and application of the tariff is carried out for the greater part by the Customs and Excise Division of the Department of National Revenue. In most countries finance or treasury departments, whatever...

  13. CHAPTER TEN THE CUSTOMS ESTABLISHMENT SINCE CONFEDERATION
    (pp. 136-158)

    A Royal Commission on the Civil Service reporting in 1869, preliminary to the setting up of a Dominion civil service, made the following statement concerning the Department of Customs:

    No other Department is so largely affected by the increase of business consequent upon Confederation, the number of separate ports being now 181 against 71 which formerly existed in Canada. The system of books and returns now required from 110 of these is very different from what they have been accustomed to, involving much correspondence and some confusion in the returns; and as so much that is new must necessarily be...

  14. CHAPTER ELEVEN THE “SCIENTIFIC TARIFF” IN CANADA
    (pp. 159-167)

    A study of the technology of the tariff must include the field of scientific tariff making. Canada has had some experience with “scientific” claims respecting certain aspects of her tariff,¹ and with various commissions and boards which are usually associated with government statements that the tariff is being “taken out of politics.”

    The idea of “science” and “impartiality” in tariff making has an undoubted attraction, especially for what has been called “the uninstructed mind.” The public, as a whole, tends to be suspicious of tariff making by legislative bodies, for the tariff is capable of being employed for the enrichment...

  15. CHAPTER TWELVE CONCLUSION
    (pp. 168-172)

    Most of the conclusions of this study are to be found within the study itself, and it may therefore be sufficient to offer only a brief statement of its principal findings. It has been shown that, throughout its history, the customs administration has been beset by grave problems in carrying out its functions; these have been economic, political, ideological, geographical, and institutional.

    The customs administration in Canada has evolved within a changing economic environment, which has imposed heavy demands upon it. Beginning in colonial mercantilism, it has been called upon to meet problems of tariff duality, preferences, loss of preferences,...

  16. NOTES
    (pp. 173-186)
  17. INDEX
    (pp. 187-193)