A driver's cross border journey is so much more than picking up freight and proceeding with delivery. Crossing international borders, especially with commercial freight, means complying with the rules of the governing country.
There are many aspects for the carrier to consider when planning their journey: transportation permits, routes, road conditions, hours and what customs requirements apply to the goods on board.
While most entries must be transmitted to the CBSA electronically for review, there are a number of exceptions to this rule. Here is a list of those exceptions to help give you a better understanding of some of the reasons you or your driver may have to stop your journey along the way:
- Invoice lines in excess of 999 lines - When an invoice covers a large number of purchased goods, it can take a customs broker quite some time to key it line by line. This is why customs has allowed entries exceeding 250 lines to be presented as a paper entry to help expedite the clearance process.
- Multiple Highway Cargo Control numbers at frontier
- Courier Low Value Shipment rejected from consist ($2500 CAD or less)
- Other government department permit or certificate required - There are certain goods that cannot be released electronically because they require a permit, certificate or license to be presented to CBSA. An example of this would be vehicles that require Form 1 or fire arms that require a special permit.
- System outage (ie. customs broker, CBSA or CFIA)
- Shortages, Entered to Arrive, Value Included - These goods are reported when the quantity of goods originally reported to the CBSA is different from that received by the importer or broker.
- Provisional - When the importer/owner or broker cannot establish a final value for duty of goods at the time of importation. In such cases, goods may be released under the interim accounting provisions.
- Prime & ETAs - When an item is too large to fit on one truck and transportation of the goods will be split up onto a number of trucks.
- Used self propelled vehicles - Goods that require U.S .customs authorization to export before they will be CBSA released.
- Used machinery requiring inspection - Goods that may have soil or dirt present must be inspected to ensure that the proper cleaning precautions have been taken.
- CBSA has requested to see a paper declaration
In any of the above cases, the customs broker will instruct you or your driver to come into their office to collect a paper package, which they will have prepared in advance. After obtaining instruction from the customs broker, you will proceed to the customs booth and advise the border service officer (BSO) that you need to see your customs broker. The border service officer will instruct you where to park while you take care of your documentation.
Once you've visited the customs broker and have obtained the paper package, those documents need to be presented to CBSA for their release decision. If release has been granted, Customs will stamp your paperwork released and you may then proceed with final delivery.
Do your due diligence and always ensure that your entries are good to go before proceeding to the border. By doing this, it gives you and the customs broker an opportunity to communicate any special instructions to each other.