Author Topic: International imports and rejection - who is at fault?  (Read 340 times)

June 05, 2017, 12:25 PM #0

Hilux Offline

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I have been observing an ongoing dispute between a Canadian seller and a US buyer for a while, and I'd like some input on what you all feel would be an appropriate outcome.

This is the scenario.

A seller in Canada has a food product which is typically sold locally, and was obtained legally, etc.

A US buyer contacts the individual and arranges a purchase of the food.

The Canadian seller has never exported this product, and so the US buyer arranges for shipping, FDA approval, and all other steps required for export.

Product is packed, and sent as requested and as promised. However it is detained by the US border for non compliance with FDA regulations.

Product is denied entry, and destroyed.

The seller did not misrepresent, alter or otherwise compromise the product. Neither was this product a bad example, defective, or expired.


Now, my question is who is at fault? Should the buyer be held accountable as they were not aware of the FDA requirements, or misfiled documentation, or the seller for not knowing what the import requirements were?


I personally don't have any experience with food products, but if it were cars, I would see this as the fault of the buyer for not knowing their own laws.
If I choose to buy a 10 year old car from Japan, and it is denied entry into Canada, I don't see how that is the sellers fault - I should have known my requirement, they simply provided the product as requested. (Canada has a 15 year rule for those who are not aware)

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    International imports and rejection - who is at fault?
    « on: June 05, 2017, 12:25 PM »

    June 05, 2017, 12:39 PM #1

    John Offline

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      June 06, 2017, 08:59 AM #2

      IanB Offline

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      What does the contract say?  Without that to review, we'll just be providing opinions based on what limited info you've got to share with us.  You say the seller made the buyer aware they had never shipped the product to the US and could not confirm it was FDA approved, etc, but if it's not in the paperwork then it's he said/she said.

      If it was anything but food, the fact the buyer arranged shipping from the seller's location would indicate that anything that happens from that point on would be the buyer's responsibility.  That it is food could complicate matters, different standards, rules, and rule enforcement entities.
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        June 08, 2017, 09:29 AM #3

        Hilux Offline

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        There was never a full contract per se, just a long string of emails stating what I've summarized.

        They're going to be contacting a laywer, so it will be interesting to see how it plays out.

          June 08, 2017, 03:25 PM #4

          heiyuu Offline

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          how much lost we talking bout here? 10... 20 bux?

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            International imports and rejection - who is at fault?
            « Reply #4 on: June 08, 2017, 03:25 PM »