A majority of shipments are sent to Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) through an Electronic Data Interchange (EDI). The purpose of an EDI release is to provide Customs Brokers with the ability to transmit release and invoice data electronically, thereby removing the requirement to prepare and present hard copy release packages. To be compliant, Pacific Customs Brokers must submit Full Appraisal Quality information to CBSA. This means PCB must transmit complete and accurate descriptions to Canada Customs as if we were taking a "snap shot" image of the physical invoice. Customs relies on our EDI details for both release decisions and post audit re-appraisals.

Lack Of Full Appraisal Quality Details On Invoices Can:

To avoid complications such as these requires a significant amount of co-ordination between the exporter, transporter, Customs Broker, and importer.

Full Appraisal Quality Includes The Following Major Aspects:

1. Complete Product Descriptions

The description of the goods should be in layman's terms. Your Customs Broker has to know what they are classifying to Customs. The description should also include the material the goods are made of (plastic, metal, etc.).

Full Appraisal Description Example:

12x12 Glazed Ceramic Floor Tile

2. Fair Market Value

Even if the shipper is giving you free samples, brochures, or whatever the case may be, Customs always requires a value for the goods must be shown.

Please note: The term "fair market" means the value must be an accurate depiction of the goods being shipped, typically the Blue Book value of the goods.

6 Methods Of Determining Customs Valuation

3. Quantities

The amount of product must be put into a unit of measure, typically how the goods are sold.

For example: Per pound, package, piece, etc.

How To Fill Out A Canadian Customs Invoice (CCI)

4. Ship Date

Ship date refers to the date the goods began their journey to Canada. This is important since GST will be calculated according to this date.

5. Currency

This is defining the currency the goods were sold.

For example: USD or CAD.

6. Weight

This is often computed on the bill of lading. It is acceptable to estimate the approximate weight of a shipment on the invoice.

Full Appraisal Quality Is Mandatory

Remember, Full Appraisal Quality is not an option. It is the mandatory minimum information required by CBSA.

If you require further clarification, an experienced Trade Advisor from Pacific Customs Brokers would be able to consult with you.

Trade Advisor Compliance
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About Author
Annette Rowan
B.Com, LL.B, CCS, CTCS

Annette Rowan is the Trade Advisory Consultant with Pacific Customs Brokers Ltd, with over 10 years in the international customs trade industry. Combined with a Bachelor of Commerce degree (International Finance) from the University of Alberta, and a Bachelor of Laws degree (International Trade) from the University of Victoria, Annette works on behalf of importers to research and interpret complicated customs laws, rules, and regulations. She also currently holds a Certified Trade Compliance Specialist designation through the Canadian Society of Customs Brokers. When Annette is not working or researching, she enjoys spending time with her husband, 2 kids, and Brutus - the dog. She also manages a small forest of jungle cacti and is a gardening enthusiast.

While we strive for accuracy in all our communications, as the Importer of Record it is incumbent upon your company to ensure that you are aware of the requirements under the new regulations so that you maintain compliance as always.