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Top Five Reasons Why Your Broker Can Not Process Your Shipment Into Canada

Your Customs Broker prepares and submits your declaration on your behalf to the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA). Before they do this they will review the prepared documentation they receive from you the Importer for completeness and compliance with Customs Regulations. If the documentation is incomplete or the information on the documentation is not clear then the shipment will be held up at the border by CBSA. Here are the top five reasons why the shipment will likely be held up:

1. There Was No Invoice Provided

A commercial invoice is the main document that CBSA relies on to provide the information required for release. Documents like the Canada Customs Invoice (CCI) or other acceptable documents such as bill of sale must be provided to your broker. The Invoice must contain the information as noted in Customs D-Memorandum 1-4-1.

2. The Correct Import Of Record

Ensure your documents reflect who the Importer of Record is. Your documents should have the contact name, and the applicable telephone number and email address of someone they can call to address any issues with the information provided.

The Importer of Record is the resident or non-resident importer who is responsible for reporting the shipment and paying the duties and taxes and other fees. The Importer of Record is responsible for the accuracy, completeness and timeliness of the submitted information. Quite often the invoice provided lists a related company or entity but this company is NOT the Importer of Record. Information regarding the Importer of Record can be found at Customs D-Memorandum 17-2-3.

3. A Complete And Accurate Description Of The Goods

Oftentimes the description of goods is too vague. Your broker needs enough of a description to correctly classify the product you are importing. Your product may also qualify for a Free Trade Agreement. A clear literal description of the item and what it is chiefly made of and what it will be used for are absolutely required.

Refer to our post on this topic at Correct Product Descriptions | A Foundation For Import Accuracy

4. The Correct Number Of Pieces Or Packages And Weight

The correct number of pieces or packages and the correct weight are very important elements that must be reflected on the invoice provided to your Broker. Duty and/or taxes can be applied based on not only the value of an item but on the weight or piece count.

Review our blog at 6 Steps To Submitting Documentation To Your Customs Broker

5. The Correct Country Of Origin

The correct Country of Origin and proof of the same is very important to ensure that the correct Tariff treatment is applied. The goods could be duty free or have a lower rate of duty if a Free Trade Agreement can be applied.

Canada determines Country of Origin on the following: Country of origin of goods - The country of origin of invoiced goods is the country in which the goods have been grown, produced, or manufactured according to criteria laid down for the application of the Customs Tariff or quantitative restrictions, or any measure related to trade. Each manufactured article on the invoice must have been significantly transformed in the country specified as the country of origin to its present form ready for export to Canada. Certain operations such as packaging, splitting, and sorting may not be considered as sufficient operations to confer origin.

CBSA usually requires some sort of proof such as a certificate of origin to support a tariff treatment. More information about Country of Origin is found at CBSA - Origin of goods and our blog What Is The Country Of Origin?

Help your Broker to help you. Ensure that ALL the information you provide for the release of your shipment is complete and accurate to avoid delays and non-compliance. Contact one of our Trade Specialists if you have any questions regarding information required for your release.

Read More: What Happens When My Shipment Doesn't Clear?
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About Author
Jan Brock

Jan Brock joined Pacific Customs Brokers in 2015 as a Senior Trade Advisor. She retired from Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) in 2015 after serving more than 37 years. Jan started her career with CBSA as a summer student in 1976 and worked part-time until she graduated from U.B.C. with a Bachelor of Education Degree in 1980 . Shortly after graduating from U.B.C. Jan worked full time as an inspector with CBSA and within three years was promoted to Superintendent. She served some time in the Regional Operations office as an Operations Review Officer before she was promoted to Chief of Operations first at the Customs Mail Centre, then in the Metro District as the Commercial Chief and ending her career as a Chief at Pacific Highway Commercial Operations where she served as Chief from 1992 to 2015. During her career she was a member of the Customs Drug Team and a trainer in the National Enforcement Program. Jan also served as the Regional Coordinator Officer Powers and Use of Force for the Pacific Region. Jan served on many Commercial Program Reviews and committees both national and regional during her career and possesses an expansive knowledge of importing and exporting into and from Canada.

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.