Paul D. Burns

Baker & McKenzie LLP


Paul Burns has over 30 years of experience advising clients on all aspects of international trade and commodity tax, including significant experience advising on Canadian customs and export control matters. For many years, he served as the Practice Group Coordinator of the International Commercial Practice Group in Baker McKenzie’s Toronto office.

Practice Focus

Paul has assisted multinational corporations on a multitude of trade matters, including valuation, tariff classification, rules of origin, marking, standards, remissions and drawbacks; anti-dumping and subsidies; export and import controls; trade sanctions; blocking measures; the Controlled Goods Program; free trade agreements, including the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA); and Goods and Services Tax/Harmonized Sales Tax. He has advised and assisted with audits (both internal and by regulatory authorities), the development of customs strategies and compliance programs, and appealing unfavorable determinations by governmental authorities, including appeals before the Anti-dumping Tribunal, the Canadian International Trade Tribunal and Binational Panels established under the Canada-US Free Trade Agreement, as well as NAFTA.

Representative Legal Matters

  • Fasteners originating in or exported from China and Chinese Taipei and the subsidising of such products originating in or exported from China (Expiry Review No. RR 2009-001)
  • Bicycles and Finished Painted Bicycle Frames (GS-2004-001 and GS-2004-002 (Global Safeguard Inquiry))
  • Preformed Fibreglass Pipe Insulation with a Vapour Barrier, originating in or exported from the United States of America (Expiry Review No. RR2002-005 (Anti-dumping Investigation))

Professional Honors

  • Band 1 lawyer for International Trade/WTO, Chambers Global (2011-2020)
  • Leading Individual, Band for International Trade/WTO, Chambers Canada (2016-2020)
  • Leading Individual for International Trade, Legal 500 Canada (2013-2020)    
  • Listed lawyer for International Trade and Finance law and Tax Law, Best Lawyers in Canada (2008-2021)
  • Leading practitioner in Commodity Tax/Customs and International Trade Regulations, The Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory (2009-2019)
  • Listed lawyer for Trade & Customs, Who’s Who Legal: Canada (2011-2019)    
  • Peer review rated by Martindale-Hubbell 

Professional Associations and Memberships

  • Law Society of Ontario
  • Canadian Bar Association


  • Ontario~Canada (1984)


  • University of Western Ontario (LL.B.) (1982)


  • English
  • Presenter, Key Canadian Customs Changes and Value For Duty Requirements. Ciclo de conferencias remotas del Tratado entre México, Estados Unidos y Canadá (T-MEC), INDEX-TV Broadcast, 4-5 June 2020

  • Presenter, USMCA: How To Claim Preferential Tariff Treatment, Baker McKenzie North America International Commercial Practice Group Webinar, 4 June 2020

  • Presenter, Virtual Global Trade Conference, USMCA and Future US/UK Trade Agreement, Baker McKenzie International Commercial & Trade Group Webinar, 14 July 2020

  • Presenter, "Global Protectionism: What Tax Execs Need to Keep on the Radar Screen Re: Trade." Tax Executive Institute, Houston, TX. 7 May 2019

  • Presenter, "Post Entry Corrections and Reporting." 2019 ICPA Canada Conference, Toronto, ON, 17 May 2019