There are four options for Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) clients to transmit electronic commerce data to CBSA's host system. To participate in EDI, one of these methods must be implemented.
A VAN is a public EDI network which provides an opportunity to exchange data with a large number of trading partners using a single communication interface. VANs generally offer a wide range of EDI services. Clients will be responsible for the payment of their VAN connection, membership fees and the transmission of their messages through the VAN to CBSA.
There are many CBSA approved third party service providers who currently transmit data to CBSA, using a variety of communication modes.
CBSA developed the Customs Internet Gateway (CIG) to provide clients with a method to transmit and receive data over the Internet. CBSA adopted a Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) to safeguard the integrity and confidentiality of the data. Clients are required to purchase specific software for encryption and decryption and to develop, or purchase, the protocol software to connect to the CIG. Clients would need to transmit the data from a Canadian office as the certificate is only assigned to a device in Canada.
The Direct Connect is an alternative that provides clients with a direct connection to CBSA. This communication method requires an initial investment of $25,000 (+/-5,000) to set-up and 6,000 (+/- 2,000) in annual maintenance fees.