The iPod tax/tariff issue that has reared its ugly head over the past few months, after the federal government introduced a “streamlined” set of tariffs, still isn’t over. I’ll spare you all the details and developments that have arisen since the issue was initially revealed by economist and professor Mike Moffatt, but suffice to say I thought it prudent to email my MP, Bev Shipley, and Minister Jim Flaherty about the issue. Below is the email I sent, and the responses I’ve received thus far.
Wed, May 29, 2013 at 10:43 AM
Subject: MP3 Player Tariffs & End Use Certificates
Good morning Mr. Flaherty and Mr. Shipley,
I write to you because, unfortunately, this matter of the so-called “iPod tax” is still entirely unresolved. Mr. Flaherty, you recent testified to the FINA committee, and unfortunately did not directly address Mr. Brison’s question. As seen here in Mike Moffatt’s most recent piece for Canadian Business magazine:
I must say that I concur with Mr. Moffatt. Your answer to the question, “Can you confirm if the tariff exemption for iPods under 9948 will depend on a requirement to collect end user certificates? Yes or no?” was not sufficient.
Mr. Moffatt poses additional questions that I would really appreciate, and frankly expect, answers to. They are:
- Have any Canadian retailers collected end use certificates on sales to Canadian consumers?
- Is it true that the CBSA informed importers that end use certificates were not required for televisions and other consumer electronics? If so, why?
- What is the purpose of end use certificates for consumer electronics sold at retail?
- How will the CBSA audit end use certificates for consumer electronics sold at retail? Will those audits involve the CBSA contacting individual consumers?
And to add my own, I purchased two iPod Touch devices roughly two years ago from Best Buy. I was not asked to complete end use certificates for those devices. Should I have been asked to do so by a Best Buy employee? If not, how do those iPod Touch devices then qualify under the tariff exemption under 9948? If I should have been asked to complete the certificate, it seems CBSA has been misleading electronics wholesalers and retailers for several years now, putting it potentially at the liability of lawsuits.
I eagerly await your response, and I hope you’re both having terrific day.
Thu, May 30, 2013 at 2:04 PM
Dear Mr. Silva,
On behalf of Mr. Shipley, I acknowledge receipt of your email. Thank you for writing to your Member of Parliament.
Mr. Shipley appreciates hearing your comments on this matter and will follow up with the Minister’s office regarding review and response of your correspondence.
Thank you again. Please do not hesitate to contact Mr. Shipley should you have other questions or concerns on any federal matter.
Parliamentary Assistant to
Bev Shipley, MP
SW Ontario Caucus Chair
And, oddly, I received a PDF of a scanned physical letter just three days ago from Minister Flaherty’s office, mostly with the same message as the initial response from MP Shipley’s office. I know that the MPs are all sitting in the House for rather long hours at the moment trying to wrap up a great deal of business, but I’ll definitely be following up soon. I’m not going to let the summer recess give either MP Shipley or Minister Flaherty an opportunity to let this go by.