Contributing Lawyers

Canada

Cyndee Todgham Cherniak

United States

Susan Kohn Ross

Australia

Andrew Hudson



Canada Border Services Agency to Close Windsor Administrative Office on Ouellette Avenue

The Windsor Star is reporting that the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA)plans to close its administrative office on Ouellette Avenue in Windsor, Ontario and move the 100 jobs to an integrated office Niagara/Fort Erie. A copy of the Windsor Star article can be obtained at the following link - http://www.windsorstar.com/news/Windsor+border+jobs+moving+Niagara+region/4203139/story.html

These are desk jobs and not the on-the-border jobs. Some of the CBSA administrative jobs that will be affected are verification officers (who travel to the offices of registered persons and importers of record to review documentation), officers who make tariff classification decisions, customer services officers (take care of complaints), etc.

The downside of this decision is that the border traffic at the Windsor-Detroit tunnel and the Ambassador Bridge is significant and the move will create inconveniences for businesses engaged in cross-border transactions. It will be more difficult for local businesses (e.g. auto manufacturers in Windsor) to resolve issues face-to-face. But, then again, most communications with the CBSA are filed electronically. Most issues faced by businesses are dealt with by telephone, email and fax. In most cases, verification officers go to the business as opposed to the business representative going to the administrative offices of the CBSA.

Still, there is something inherently wrong with Canada's busiest border crossing losing administrative offices. Another bridge for truck traffic between Canada and the United States is to be built in Windsor/Detroit. Is this short-sighted cost cutting?

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