Q. We are a USA distributor who exports to Canada and we are DRC members. For the past three years we have worked with a few Canadian customers without any real problems that we were not able to resolve among ourselves. Recently, we were unable to resolve a dispute with one of them and we advised them that we were taking the dispute to DRC. Their response was that their company has not been a member of the DRC for more than 6 months. Additionally, they didn’t want the DRC to get involved. We are disappointed and frustrated with their response. Do we still have recourse through DRC and what would you recommend we do to keep ourselves updated regarding changes in a membership status?
A. To answer your first question, if your client resigned their membership or if it was terminated, as long as the transaction happened when they were still members, you still have recourse through DRC. All former DRC members who are terminated or expelled are still liable for any dispute over a transaction that occurred when they were still members. If the transaction occurred after their membership was terminated, we may not be able to get directly involved but, your client should be reported to DRC and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency for importing product without a valid DRC membership. This could lead to serious enforcement actions to your client by the CFIA.
To answer your second question, you should establish a procedure to verify the “Active Members” list located at www.fvdrc.com on a regular basis. The DRC updates the “Active Members” list on a weekly basis. If you don’t find the company you are looking for on the “Active Members” list, that should raise a flag. Make sure your sales staff and credit managers have access to the DRC website. You can also call us to verify who is and who is not a member and track the changes published in DRC Solutions Blog.