As you might be aware, the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) conducts random examinations on containers arriving in Canada from around the globe. The purpose of these examinations is to ensure that contraband, counterfeit goods and other prohibited items do not enter Canada.
The facility that CBSA uses to conduct these examinations is called the Customs Examination Facility (CEF). A CEF is a secure compound where CBSA can perform examinations under strict security.
The procedure for this type of exam is fairly straightforward as detailed below:
While At The Port
- Identification: CBSA identifies the container it wishes to examine.
- Notification: The steamship company is notified of the request for examination. The steamship company must then make the container available to CBSA.
- Transportation: The container is transported from the dock to the CEF.
While At The Container Exam Facility
- The container is received.
- The examination is conducted.
- The exam is completed and the container is returned to the dock for release and delivery.
- The customs broker notifies the importer that the goods have been released.
These examinations are both lengthy in time and costly to the importer. While at the CEF facility, the examination process can exceed a month before conclusion. The cost of such exams can range from $3,000 to $6,000 or more. Additional demurrage - which are charges to the steamship company or carrier for failure to load or unload a conveyance within a certain time frame - is also common.
CBSA has advised that they are aware of these issues are are working to address them.
In the interim, Pacific Customs Brokers encourages importers who have experienced these delays and extra costs to submit their concerns to CBSA through any of the following means and copy their local MLA or MP.
Methods Of Reporting A Complaint
- To file a report online, visit: Compliments, Comments and Complaints
- To file a report via fax, send to: 613-948-3177
- To file a report via mail, send to: Linda Lizotte-MacPherson, CBSA President 191 Laurier Avenue West, 6th Floor Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0L8