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Excise Act, 2001 (S.C. 2002, c. 22)

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Act current to 2022-07-13 and last amended on 2022-06-30. Previous Versions

PART 6Enforcement (continued)

Search Warrants (continued)

Marginal note:Warrant not necessary in exigent circumstances

 An officer may exercise any of the powers referred to in subsection 258(1) without a warrant if the conditions for obtaining a warrant exist but by reason of exigent circumstances it would not be practical to obtain one.

Inspections

Marginal note:By whom

  •  (1) An officer may, at all reasonable times, for any purpose related to the administration or enforcement of this Act, inspect, audit or examine the records, processes, property or premises of a person in order to determine whether that or any other person is in compliance with this Act.

  • Marginal note:Powers of officer

    (2) For the purposes of an inspection, audit or examination, the officer may

    • (a) subject to subsection (3), enter any place in which the officer reasonably believes the person keeps records or carries on any activity to which this Act applies;

    • (b) stop a conveyance or direct that it be moved to a place where the inspection or examination may be performed;

    • (c) require any individual to be present during the inspection, audit or examination and require that individual to answer all proper questions and to give to the officer all reasonable assistance;

    • (d) open or cause to be opened any receptacle that the officer reasonably believes contains anything to which this Act applies;

    • (e) take samples of anything free of charge; and

    • (f) seize anything by means of or in relation to which the officer reasonably believes this Act has been contravened.

  • Marginal note:Prior authorization

    (3) If any place referred to in paragraph (2)(a) is a dwelling-house, the officer may not enter that dwelling-house without the consent of the occupant, except under the authority of a warrant issued under subsection (4).

  • Marginal note:Warrant to enter dwelling-house

    (4) A judge may issue a warrant authorizing an officer to enter a dwelling-house subject to the conditions specified in the warrant if, on ex parte application by the Minister, a judge is satisfied by information on oath that

    • (a) there are reasonable grounds to believe that the dwelling-house is a place referred to in paragraph (2)(a);

    • (b) entry into the dwelling-house is necessary for any purpose relating to the administration or enforcement of this Act; and

    • (c) entry into the dwelling-house has been, or there are reasonable grounds to believe that entry will be, refused.

  • Marginal note:Orders if entry not authorized

    (5) If the judge is not satisfied that entry into the dwelling-house is necessary for any purpose related to the administration or enforcement of this Act, the judge may, to the extent that access was or may be expected to be refused and that a record or property is or may be expected to be kept in the dwelling-house,

    • (a) order the occupant of the dwelling-house to provide an officer with reasonable access to any record or property that is or should be kept in the dwelling-house; and

    • (b) make any other order that is appropriate in the circumstances to carry out the purposes of this Act.

  • Marginal note:Definition of dwelling-house

    (6) In this section, dwelling-house means the whole or any part of a building or structure that is kept or occupied as a permanent or temporary residence, and includes

    • (a) a building within the curtilage of a dwelling-house that is connected to it by a doorway or by a covered and enclosed passageway; and

    • (b) a unit that is designed to be mobile and to be used as a permanent or temporary residence and that is being used as such a residence.

Marginal note:Custody of seized things

  •  (1) An officer who seizes a thing under section 260 may retain custody of the thing or transfer custody of it to any person that the officer may designate.

  • Marginal note:Retention of seized things

    (2) An officer may order that a thing seized under section 260 be retained or stored at the place from where it was seized and no person shall use, remove or dispose of the thing without the consent of the officer or other authorized person.

Marginal note:Copies of records

  •  (1) A person who seizes, inspects, audits, examines or is provided a record under section 260 may make, or cause to be made, one or more copies of the record.

  • Marginal note:Retention of records seized

    (2) No records that have been seized as evidence under section 260 shall be retained for a period of more than three months after the time of seizure unless, before the expiry of that period,

    • (a) the person from whom they were seized agrees to their further retention for a specified period;

    • (b) a judge is satisfied on application that, having regard to the circumstances, their further retention for a specified period is warranted and so orders; or

    • (c) judicial proceedings are instituted in which they may be required.

Marginal note:Officer must give notification of seizure

 An officer who seizes a thing under section 260 shall, without delay,

  • (a) report the circumstances of the seizure to the Commissioner; and

  • (b) if the officer has evidence that a person may be entitled to make an application under section 278 in respect of the thing, take all reasonable measures to ensure that notification of the seizure is sent to that person at their last known address.

Return or Disposal of Things Seized

Marginal note:Certain things not to be returned

 Despite any other provision of this Act, any alcohol, specially denatured alcohol, restricted formulation, raw leaf tobacco, excise stamp, tobacco product, cannabis product or vaping product that is seized under section 260 must not be returned to the person from whom it was seized or any other person unless it was seized in error.

  • 2002, c. 22, s. 264
  • 2007, c. 18, s. 127
  • 2010, c. 12, s. 45
  • 2018, c. 12, s. 89
  • 2022, c. 10, s. 76

Marginal note:Return if security provided

 The Minister may, subject to this or any other Act of Parliament, return anything that has been seized under section 260 to the person from whom it was seized, or to any person authorized by that person, on receipt of security with a value equal to

  • (a) the value of the thing at the time of its seizure as determined by the Minister; or

  • (b) a lesser amount satisfactory to the Minister.

Marginal note:Dealing with things seized

  •  (1) The Minister may sell, destroy or otherwise deal with anything seized under section 260.

  • Marginal note:Excise stamps not to be sold

    (1.1) Despite subsection (1), the Minister shall not sell excise stamps that have been seized under section 260.

  • Marginal note:Restriction

    (2) Subject to the regulations, the Minister may sell

    • (a) seized spirits or specially denatured alcohol only to a spirits licensee;

    • (b) seized wine only to a wine licensee;

    • (c) seized raw leaf tobacco or a seized tobacco product only to a tobacco licensee;

    • (d) a seized restricted formulation only to a licensed user;

    • (e) a seized cannabis product only to a cannabis licensee; and

    • (f) a seized vaping product only to a vaping product licensee.

  • Marginal note:Payment of compensation

    (3) If a person would be entitled to the return of a thing if it were available to be returned, but it is not possible to return it, the person shall be paid

    • (a) if the thing was sold, the proceeds from the sale; and

    • (b) in any other case, the value of the thing at the time of its seizure as determined by the Minister.

  • 2002, c. 22, s. 266
  • 2007, c. 18, s. 128
  • 2010, c. 12, s. 46
  • 2018, c. 12, s. 90
  • 2022, c. 10, s. 77

Forfeitures

Marginal note:Forfeiture from time of contravention

 Subject to the reviews and appeals provided for under this Act, anything by means of or in relation to which a contravention under this Act was committed is forfeit to Her Majesty from the time of the contravention.

Marginal note:Thing no longer forfeit

 A thing in respect of which security is received under section 265 ceases to be forfeit from the time the security is received and the security shall be held as forfeit instead of the thing.

Marginal note:Review of forfeiture

 The forfeiture of a thing under section 267 or any security held as forfeit instead of the thing is final and not subject to review or to be restrained, prohibited, removed, set aside or otherwise dealt with except to the extent and in the manner provided under this Act.

Review of Imposed Penalty or Seizure

Marginal note:Penalty imposed or seizure made in error

  •  (1) If the Minister determines that a penalty was imposed in error under section 254 or a thing was seized in error under section 260, the Minister may

    • (a) cancel the penalty and authorize the return of any amount of money paid with respect to the penalty; and

    • (b) authorize the release of the thing or the return of any security received in respect of the seizure.

  • Marginal note:Non-application if request made

    (2) Subsection (1) does not apply if a request under section 271 has been made in respect of the imposition of the penalty or the seizure.

Marginal note:Request for Minister’s decision

  •  (1) Any person on whom a penalty is imposed under section 254 or from whom a thing is seized under section 260 may request that the Minister review the imposition of the penalty or the seizure and make a decision under section 273.

  • Marginal note:Time limit for making request

    (2) A request must be made within 90 days after

    • (a) the date of the service or sending of the notice of the imposed penalty; or

    • (b) in the case of a thing, the date on which the seizure of the thing was brought to the notice of the person from whom the thing was seized.

  • Marginal note:How request made

    (3) A request must be made in writing

    • (a) if the request is in respect of a penalty imposed, to the office of the Agency from which the notice of the imposed penalty is issued; or

    • (b) if the request is in respect of a seizure of a thing, to the officer who seized the thing.

  • Marginal note:Burden of proof

    (4) The burden of proving that a request was made lies on the person claiming that it was made.

  • Marginal note:Commissioner to provide reasons

    (5) On receipt of a request, the Commissioner shall without delay provide to the person making the request written reasons for the seizure or the imposition of the penalty.

  • Marginal note:Evidence

    (6) The person making a request may submit any evidence that the person wishes the Minister to consider for the purposes of making the decision within 30 days after the date on which the written reasons were sent.

  • Marginal note:Form of evidence

    (7) Evidence may be given by affidavit sworn before a commissioner for taking oaths or any other person authorized to take affidavits.

Marginal note:Extension of time by Minister

  •  (1) If no request for a decision under section 271 is made within the time limited by that section, a person may make a written application to the Minister to extend the time for making a request.

  • Marginal note:Conditions — grant of application

    (2) The Minister may extend the time for making a request under section 271 if an application under subsection (1) is made within one year after the time limit for a request and the Minister is satisfied that

    • (a) the applicant had a bona fide intention to make the request before the expiration of the time limit but was unable to do so and was unable to instruct another person to do so on the applicant’s behalf;

    • (b) the application was made as soon as circumstances permitted it to be made; and

    • (c) having regard to any reasons provided by the applicant and to the circumstances of the case, it would be just and equitable to extend the time.

  • Marginal note:Notification of decision

    (3) The Minister shall notify the applicant of the Minister’s decision regarding the application by registered or certified mail.

  • Marginal note:If application granted

    (4) If the Minister decides to extend the time, the request under section 271 is deemed to have been made on the day of the decision of the Minister regarding the application.

  • Marginal note:Decision final

    (5) A decision of the Minister under this section is final and binding and, despite any other Act of Parliament, no appeal lies from it.

Marginal note:Decision of the Minister

  •  (1) As soon after the receipt of a request under section 271 as is reasonably possible, the Minister shall review the circumstances giving rise to the imposition of the penalty or the seizure and decide whether the contravention on which the penalty or the seizure is based occurred and what action is to be taken under section 274 or 275.

  • Marginal note:Notification of decision

    (2) The Minister shall notify the person who requested the decision of the decision by registered or certified mail.

  • Marginal note:Judicial review

    (3) The Minister’s decision is not subject to review or to be restrained, prohibited, removed, set aside or otherwise dealt with except to the extent and in the manner provided under subsection 276(1).

Marginal note:If no contravention occurred

  •  (1) Subject to this or any other Act of Parliament, if the Minister decides under subsection 273(1) that the contravention on which a penalty or seizure is based did not occur, the Minister shall without delay

    • (a) in the case of a penalty, cancel the penalty and authorize the return of any money paid on account of it and any interest that was paid in respect of it; or

    • (b) in the case of a seizure, authorize the release of the seized thing or the return of any security taken in respect of it.

  • Marginal note:Interest on money returned

    (2) If any money is authorized to be returned to a person, there shall be paid to the person, in addition to the money returned, interest at the prescribed rate computed for the period beginning on the day after the money was paid and ending on the day on which the money is returned.

Marginal note:If contravention occurred — penalty

  •  (1) If the Minister decides under subsection 273(1) that the contravention on which a penalty is based did occur, the Minister may

    • (a) confirm the penalty;

    • (b) if the Minister believes that the penalty imposed is insufficient under the circumstances relating to the contravention, demand from the person any additional amount of money that the Minister considers sufficient to increase the penalty to an amount of not more than the maximum amount for which the person is liable for the contravention, and the additional amount is payable immediately; or

    • (c) if the Minister believes that the penalty imposed should be reduced or waived under the circumstances relating to the contravention, reduce or waive the penalty.

  • Marginal note:If contravention occurred — seizure

    (2) If the Minister decides under subsection 273(1) that the contravention on which a seizure is based did occur, the Minister may, subject to any terms and conditions that the Minister may determine,

    • (a) confirm the seizure;

    • (b) return the seized thing on receipt by the Minister of an amount of money equal

      • (i) to the value of the thing at the time of the seizure, as determined by the Minister, or

      • (ii) to a lesser amount satisfactory to the Minister;

    • (c) return any portion of any security taken in respect of the thing; or

    • (d) if the Minister considers that insufficient security was taken or if no security was received, demand any amount of money that the Minister considers sufficient in the circumstances, and the amount is payable immediately.

  • Marginal note:Amounts demanded by the Minister

    (3) Any amount of money demanded under paragraph (1)(b) or (2)(d), from and after the date of the notice provided under subsection 273(2), constitutes a debt due to Her Majesty from the person who requested the decision and that person is in default unless, within 90 days after that date, the person

    • (a) pays the amount so demanded; or

    • (b) if the person appeals the decision of the Minister under section 276, gives security satisfactory to the Minister.

  • Marginal note:Interest on penalty during appeal period

    (4) Despite subsection 170(1), if the decision of the Minister is appealed to the Federal Court under section 276, no interest is payable in respect of an amount demanded under paragraph (1)(b) or (2)(d) for any period before the day on which the appeal is resolved.

  • Marginal note:Forfeiture ceases

    (5) If the Minister returns a seized thing or security taken in respect of a seized thing under subsection (2), the thing or the security ceases to be forfeit.

 
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