Federal Court of Appeal Determines that Rough Diamonds Cannot be Imported into Canada without Kimberly Process Certificates

May 04 12:05 2020 Print This Article

In a recent ruling on February 24, 2020, the Canadian Federal Court determined in the decision of Tamba Thomas and Minister for Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness (MPSEP), 2020 FC 290 [Thomas v. MPSEP] that diamonds being imported into Canada must be imported in accordance with Canada’s Import and Export of Rough Diamonds Act, Import and Export of Rough Diamonds Regulations, and accordingly with Canada’s obligations as a participant of the Kimberly Process. The absence of the required certificates and paperwork will result in diamonds being seized and incapable of being imported into Canada, even if the paperwork was missing as a mistake.

 

Facts and Procedural History

Tamba Thomas is an Australian diamond merchant. In November 2009, Mr. Thomas travelled from the United States to Canada. Mr. Thomas had several rough (uncut) diamonds from Sierra Leone in his luggage that he had forgotten about. A CBSA Officer found the rough diamonds, and the diamonds were seized after Mr. Thomas explained that he did not have the necessary Kimberly Process Certificate. Furthermore, the rough diamonds were not packaged in a tamper-proof container which is another requirement for importation.

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This blog is about Canada-United States cross border legal issues. Some of the authors are practicing lawyers and some are law students. This is a forum for discussion that presents an opportunity for law students to contribute and become known to potential employers in this dynamic area of the law.

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