Understanding International Customs

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Customs Basics

Pro Tip

Inaccurate descriptions of the goods being shipped may result in customs delays or unexpected charges. Make sure that your description is thorough and accurate – and use the correct harmonized tariff codes.

Find Your Harmonized Tariff Code

Export Documentation

When exporting goods from Canada to international destinations (other than the United States, Puerto Rico or the US Virgin Islands), Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) requires the exporter to declare all shipments prior to export. This is a Canadian governmental regulation to ensure the collection of accurate export trade statistics and to protect the destination country from any prohibited commodities.

Effective 30 June 2020

CBSA no longer accepts paper export declaration forms (B13As). Exporters, or their customs service providers, are required to report their exports electronically and submit summary reports using either the Canadian Export Reporting System (CERS) or the G7 Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) reporting option.

For exceptional cases, where the client could not meet the original 30 June 2020 timeline, the onboarding window to register with CERS will be 30 September 2020.

View Customs Notice 19-22 for complete details. Export reporting obligations, guidelines and procedures can be found in Customs memorandum D20-1-1.

Export Documentation