In 2002, following the required consultation process, the Farm Products Council of Canada enacted the Canadian Beef Cattle Research, Market Development and Promotion Agency Proclamation. This Proclamation established the Canadian Beef Cattle Research, Market Development and Promotion Agency (aka Canadian Beef Check-Off Agency or “the Agency”,) and authorized the Agency to impose a levy on persons engaged in the marketing of beef cattle in inter-provincial and export trade and on persons engaged in the importation of beef cattle, beef or beef products into Canada.
The term “Canadian Beef Cattle Check-Off” is used to describe the money that is received by the Agency to spend on national beef cattle research, market development and promotion.
By Proclamation, the Agency, is authorized to:
- promote the marketing and production of beef cattle, beef and beef products for the purposes of interprovincial, export and import trade; and
- conduct and promote research activities related to those farm products.
The Agency is a corporation established pursuant to section 39 of the Farm Products Agencies Act and is managed by a Board of Directors consisting of 16 Agency Members.
The Agency enacted the Beef Cattle Research, Market Development and Promotions Levy Order in 2005.
The provincial cattle associations are named in the National Levies Order as the “collectors” of the federal levy from persons selling beef cattle in inter-provincial trade in their respective provinces.
Due to provincial legislative restrictions and needs of the provinces, Canada was divided into the following two groups for the purpose of charging and collecting the federal levy:
- in British Columbia, Alberta and Saskatchewan, the amount of the federal levy is the same as the provincial levy where the beef cattle are sold; and
- in Manitoba and in each province east of Manitoba, the amount of the federal levy is the same as the provincial levy where the seller of the beef cattle resides.
The federal levy collected from persons selling beef cattle in inter-provincial trade is non-refundable.
When a resident producer sells beef cattle in his own province, that producer pays the provincial levy to his provincial cattle association. Of that provincial levy a portion is paid to the Agency. The balance of the provincial levy is retained by the provincial cattle association to carry out its mandate.
When a non-resident producer sells beef cattle in another province (inter-provincial trade), that producer pays the federal levy. The provincial cattle association collecting the federal levy pays the federal levy to the Agency; the Agency keeps a portion and pays the balance of the federal levy to the provincial cattle association where the producer selling the cattle resides (being the “provincial portion of the federal levy”).
For more information in the contractual and regulatory framework of the Canadian Beef Cattle Check-Off, contact your provincial cattle association.
The Beef Import Levy
On June 5, 2013, the Beef Cattle Research, Market Development and Promotion Levies Order was gazetted, which amended it to include the import levy which had been mandated as part of the Proclamation in 2002.
The import levy is set up to be equivalent to the domestic check-off on a per head or carcass equivalent basis. Schedule 2 of the Beef Cattle Research, Market Development and Promotion Levies Order lays out a formula where each product code (HS code) is assigned a levy value per pound or kilogram. The levy formula is based off the U.S. import levy.
The Agency is the organization responsible for administering the domestic and import levy collection and remittance. To manage the import levy, the Agency works closely with the Farm Products Council of Canada and Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada. Along with Government, the Agency considered a number of levy collection mechanisms after which it was determined that the most expedient method to collect was to generate invoices based on the information received on all beef, beef cattle and beef products imported into Canada from Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada and Canada Border Services Agency. The information on the invoices is generated based on the importer’s business identification number, HS codes of imported product, quantity of imported product, and levy rate.