An Introduction to the Administrative Monetary Penalty System (AMPS)

Man stamping papers.

UPDATE - Effective April 1, 2019, the CBSA will increase a number of AMPs related to commercial trade. Read more here.

In the 2017 Auditor General Report on customs duties, one of the observations made was that penalties from the Administrative Monetary Penalty System (AMPS) are currently too low to improve importer compliance. To this end, the report makes a recommendation to increase the current structure of penalties.

What are AMPS?

The CBSA uses AMPS to issue monetary penalties to clients for violating the CBSA's trade and border legislation. The purpose of AMPS is to provide the CBSA with a means to deter non-compliance and create a level playing field for all Canadian businesses. There are approximately 250 contraventions that allow the CBSA to issue penalties to importers, exporters, carriers, or customs brokers. Examples of non-compliance that most often result in AMPS penalties

  • Failure to pay duties
  • Failure to provide required information to the CBSA
  • Unauthorized removal of goods from a warehouse
  • Direct delivery of goods prior to release from CBSA control
  • Failure to report goods to the CBSA

If you receive an AMPS monetary penalty, your profile will become damaged and it will stay on your record for three years. This can be costly to your bottom line, as your goods will become more prone to secondary inspections when entering the country. It is also costly to your bottom line because of the large fees. Currently, the AMPS monetary penalty structure is as follows:

  • 1st offence: $150 to a maximum of $25,000 (per occurrence)
  • 2nd offence: $225 to a maximum of $200,000 (per occurrence)
  • 3rd offence and Subsequent: $450 to a maximum of $400,000 (per occurrence)  

Please Note: Effective April 1, 2019, the CBSA will increase a number of AMPs related to commercial trade. Read more here.

What Does the Auditor General Recommend?

The CBSA is expected to review their penalties by June 2018 and hope to create a more meaningful deterrent to importer non-compliance. This makes customs compliance more important if importers hope to avoid financial penalties related to incorrectly classifying goods and or incorrectly completing customs forms.

Additional Resources

The following articles can help you learn more about avoiding AMPS penalties:

An Explanation of Reason to Believe

How Would you Fare in a Customs Audit?

CBSA Master Penalty Document

CBSA Administrative Monetary Penalty System Overview

There are ways to appeal AMPS penalties, which can be seen here.

Get Expert Advice

Contact our trade specialists for help with your compliance program and reducing your risk of AMPS penalties.

Contact us!

Stay Informed

Get the latest developments on US and Canadian customs, international trade topics and border updates that are specific to your importing or exporting needs.

Back to Farrow Library

The information contained throughout Farrow’s Website or via Social Media (for eg. webinar, white papers, articles or other communication) is for informational purposes only do not purport to be legal and/or professional advice or a definitive interpretation of any law.. The information contained therein of a general nature and non-binding. No information published on the website or provided via social media constitutes professional or legal advice, a solicitation, an offer, or a recommendation to effect any transactions, or to conclude any legal act of any kind whatsoever. Farrow shall have no liability for the accuracy of the information in relation to any individual business operation and shall not be liable for any loss or damage of whatever nature which may arise as a result of the use of the information provided. Anyone contemplating action in respect of matters set out in this website or as a result of information communicated to you please contact your local Farrow representative for additional information or advice specific to your unique requirements.



Sign up to receive Industry news/information by email:

Sign Up Today!

Recent News

Rail Blockades Could Take Months to Address

February 28, 2020

Read more

How can we help?

To discuss how our team can help your business achieve true results,


Canada's Best Managed

Farrow One of Canada's Best Managed Companies

Contact Us

Get in Touch

Russell A. Farrow Limited 2001 Huron Church Road Windsor, ON N9C 2L6, Canada (519) 966-3003