Importers may self-file directly with Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) or authorize Global eTrade Services to file on their behalf. New importers may want to contact their local customs office to learn more about the electronic import and cargo release process.
Whether the importer self-files or hires an agent or customs broker to file import documentation, the importer remains responsible for ensuring that submitted information is accurate, complete and true. The importer is also responsible for paying duties, taxes and other fees and for amending incorrect information such as country of origin or classification of goods. For customs entry filing with IID, the GeTS Integrated Import Declaration (IID) platform serves as a direct link to CBSA and government agencies allowing you to automate data, avoid clerical errors and fees associated to misinformation, and streamline the import process.
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If using an agent, the importer must provide written authorization to the agent before doing business with the CBSA. Transactions between the agent and the CBSA include registering for a Business Number (BN) and importer/exporter account, submitting refund and adjustment requests, preparing release and final accounting documentation, and paying duties and taxes to the Receiver General of Canada.
Customs brokers will prepare and submit entry forms to CBSA containing a unique Cargo Control Number (CCN) for each shipment. For Pre-Arrival Review System (PARS) shipments, the CCN on the entry documents must match the CCN on the eManifest submitted by the carrier.
If hiring a customs broker, the importer remains responsible for the accuracy, completeness and timeliness of submitted documentation. The importer must also pay any AMPS (monetary) penalty issued for noncompliance.
Fines may be issued for late, incomplete, and inaccurate entry filing, as well as failure to amend incorrect information. Importers are encouraged to work closely with the CBSA, other government agencies, service providers and supply chain partners to ensure compliance with customs rules and regulations.
Importers and brokers must submit cargo release requests to the CBSA in electronic or paper form, depending on the type of shipment. Most commercial shipments have been released under the PARS or RMD (Release on Minimum Documentation) option, which require the submission of electronic entry to customs via Electronic Data Interchange (EDI). In addition, carriers transporting the goods are required to submit electronic cargo data (eManifest) to CBSA before arrival.
However, the CBSA has announced plans to eliminate these two release options by spring 2018 with the introduction of the Integrated Import Declaration (IID). As some importers have already made the switch to filing Canada’s new declaration, CBSA is mandating IID for PGA entries.
Integrated Import Declaration (IID)
The Integrated Import Declaration (IID) is part of the CBSA’s “Single Window Initiative” that aims to increase the efficiency of the import process by having importers and customs brokers submit a single electronic release of goods for both CBSA and Partnered Government Agencies (PGAs). The Integrated Import Declaration has more data fields than the current declaration which will collect specific information on the imported goods regulating PGAs needs to know.
This option provides an alternative to the existing Pre-Arrival Review System (PARS) and Release on Minimum Documentation (RMD) release processes.
Submission of an IID only includes the data required for CBSA and PGAs to make a border-related decision, and can be used for PGA and non-PGA-regulated goods. In addition, the IID can be sent to CBSA for processing up to 90 days prior to the arrival of the goods at the first point of arrival in Canada or following the arrival of goods.
Importers and brokers who request release under RMD or PARS must post security with the CBSA. The security must be equal to 100 percent of the importer’s average monthly total of outstanding duties and taxes during the previous 12-month period. The minimum security amount ranges from $250 to $5,000 for importers and $5,000 to $25,000 for customs brokers.
Security in the form of cash, certified check, Government of Canada bond or customs bond may be filed at the local CBSA office or CBSA headquarters. Security posted at CBSA headquarters allows importers and brokers to obtain cargo release at all CBSA offices in Canada, while security posted at a local customs office allows for cargo release at that office only.
For PARS and RMD releases, the importer or broker must provide the following information for release: cargo control information, commercial invoice, required permits, licenses or certificates, and electronic Form B3-3 accounting document.
Before electronic transmission, the importer or broker must submit the Release and B3 Declaration EDI application form to the CBSA. Indicate the system for which you are applying (CADEX, CUSDEC, IID, OGD, etc.), provide company details and details about the method communication and configuration—whether through a service provider or direct data exchange. After approval, you can use self-developed or third party software to access the system and interface with the CBSA for preparation and submission of release and accounting data.
Ensuring Complete and Accurate Information
Submitting missing or incorrect information can cause significant delays and defeat the purpose of release upon arrival, not to mention all parties in the transaction being subject to heavy fines. Before arrival, importers should match loaded shipment data to shipment paperwork and eManifest data submitted to the CBSA by the carrier.
If you work with licensed customs brokers, send complete documents in PDF form to your broker. Bar-coded PARS stickers, port of arrival, estimated time of arrival (ETA), and importer contact information must be visible on all invoices. Include carrier and driver contact information in case the broker needs to verify or request additional documents.
At least one hour before the shipment arrives, check the shipment and eManifest status. It should say “Accepted.” Otherwise, correct the error before the shipment arrives and re-submit the data if necessary. At the border, highway carriers will present a lead sheet to the border officer, who will stamp the sheet as proof of report. Proof or release can be obtained through the Release Notification System (RNS).
Global eTrade Services (GeTS) is a CBSA-approved provider of industry-leading software and connectivity solutions for importers, customs brokers and other trade participants. To facilitate cargo release and optimize compliance, GeTS provides IID/CADEX solutions based on the software-as-a-service model.
GeTS IID/CADEX serves as a direct link to the CBSA for the release of shipments (including Other Government Department or OGD shipments). Subscribers can send declarations to the CBSA and OGDs, receive statements, and view notifications from any computer with an Internet connection. Prepare release requests and receive responses within minutes, and track shipment status within the application.
GeTS IID/CADEX features step-by-step assistance for completing entry forms, connectivity to OGDs, submission of B3 accounting information, automated B2 preparation, and receipt of accounts receivable ledger (ARL) documents from CBSA. IID/CADEX is available as an online interface or integrated with existing in-house and legacy systems for easy import of trade data.
Visit our Customs Entry Filing with IID page today to learn more and get your 30-day free trial.