Canadian Customs Clearance Procedures
At their time of arrival, all shipments entering Canada must be reported
to Canada Customs. In most cases, the contracted carrier reports the shipment
to Canada Customs at the point of entry. This is done either electronically
or by submitting a carrier document called a Cargo Control Document (also
known as a waybill, manifest or advise notice). The carrier hands over
the Cargo Control Document to the customs broker. This arranges for the
release and account for your shipments.
2. Releasing Goods
Your customs broker is licensed by Canada Customs and acts on your behalf
to handle customs related details. The first step is to process the release
of your goods through Canada Customs-in most cases electronically, but
sometimes manually depending on the carrier method of reporting.
Depending on the carrier there are a number of different release procedures
that take place. Your customs broker works with the carrier and Customs
to ensure the quick and seamless release of your goods. The Canada Customs
invoice, or the commercial invoice prepared by the exporter or shipper,
is used to support the release process.
Some goods are subject to the requirements of other government departments
and may require permits (i.e.: textiles, clothing, steel products, poultry,
some meat products, controlled drugs). Customs administers these requirements
at the time of import. Your broker will work with you to ensure that the
proper permits are in place.
Customs randomly examines selected shipments to verify compliance. The
frequency of examination depends on the compliance records of both the
importer and exporter and the type of goods being imported. Insufficient
or incomplete documentation may delay the clearance of goods or result
4. Accounting for Duties and/or Taxes
Your customs broker submits a final accounting package to Canada Customs
to pay the appropriate duties and/or taxes. This is done once the shipment
details are reviewed for compliance. The broker, on your behalf, pays
the proper amount of duties and/or taxes to Canada customs. If there are
any compliance related issues, your customs broker will work with you
and your supplier to resolve these issues.
For products that qualify under the terms of NAFTA, a properly completed
NAFTA Certificate of Origin must be on file at the time of accounting.
This enables you to take advantage of the preferred duty free status of