Single Window Initiative (SWI)


Through the Single Window Initiative (SWI), traders will be able to provide all required import information electronically to the CBSA. In turn, the CBSA will transmit the information to the appropriate department or agency responsible for regulating the goods. These departments and agencies will assess the information and provide any border-related decisions required. This will streamline and simplify the import process and will significantly reduce the paper burden on the business community.

The SWI reflects a commitment made by Canada and the United States (U.S.) under the Beyond the Border Action Plan to reduce the administrative burden on industry. The data requirements for the SWI in Canada will be aligned to the greatest extent possible with those of U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and the World Customs Organization Data Model. The U.S. CBP single window is referred to as the International Trade Data System.


  • Increased trade and economic growth by modernizing and aligning Canadian and U.S. import reporting processes, which reduces the costs of doing business across the border.
  • Minimizing the requirement for paper forms in the import process by allowing commercial traders to electronically submit information to comply with customs and other government regulations for border-related decisions.
  • Submitting only information essential to meet regulatory requirements for release of commercial goods will simplify the process for importers.

Participating Government Departments and Agencies (PGA's)

Nine Canadian departments and agencies will participate in the SWI along with the CBSA:

  • Canadian Food Inspection Agency;
  • Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission;
  • Environment Canada;
  • Fisheries and Oceans Canada;
  • Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada;
  • Health Canada;
  • Natural Resources Canada;
  • Public Health Agency of Canada; and
  • Transport Canada

As of March 29, 2015, the CBSA implemented the new Integrated Import Declaration that further expands the ability for clients to submit and obtain release for commercial goods regulated by PGAs. For more information on when each PGA will join SWI, refer to the SWI Customs Notice, Implementation of the Single Window Initiative.

Stakeholder Engagement

The SWI is in direct response to calls for action by the business community to simplify processes at the border, reduce the paper burden, and integrate government information requirements into the current import processes.

The CBSA remains committed to open dialogue with stakeholders and to ensuring that their views and perspectives are considered in the design, development and implementation of the SWI. The Agency reaches out to commercial trade partners through existing trade consultations.

For more information, contact the Single Window Initiative team.

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