Multinational Retailer

Enabled a multi-national retailer to optimize import duty payments by applying margin and advertising discounts, which are applied after importation, to reduce the price paid for goods.

The supplier and the multi-national retailer entered into an agreement, which requires the supplier to pay discounts of 3% for “margin support” and 1.5% for “advertising support”, calculated on the basis of billed shipments on a quarterly basis.

The supplier accordingly sent shipment reports and checks for the value of the discounts to the multi-national retailer at the end of each quarter. Despite the existence of the discounts, the purchase orders and invoices for the transactions at issue continued to reflect the full list price for all of the items purchased.


  • File an appeal on behalf of the multi-national retailer.
  • Provide evidence that the “price paid or payable”, in respect of the sale of goods for export to Canada, means the aggregate of all payments made or to be made, directly or indirectly, in respect of the goods by the purchaser to or for the benefit of the vendor.


  • Tribunal awarded the multi-national retailer $1.2MM in duties.
  • The Tribunal finds that the discounts should be deducted from the price paid or payable, as they were “effected” prior to the importation of the goods and therefore should not be disregarded. The appeal was therefore allowed.