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Accounting for your shipment

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You have to submit a final accounting package for shipments you import into Canada. In most cases, a complete accounting package consists of:

  • two copies of the cargo control document (CCD);
  • two copies of the invoice;
  • two copies of a completed Form B3), Canada Customs Coding Form;
  • any import permits, health certificates, or forms that other federal government departments require; and
    • a Form A, Certificate of Origin (when necessary).

You can present paper copies of these documents or, if we give you the authorization, you can transmit this information using EDI.


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The cargo control document

Your carrier uses the CCD to report your shipment to the CBSA. The most commonly used type of CCD is Form A8A(B), Cargo Control Document. The CCD acts as our initial record of the shipment's arrival. This document is also used for all shipments moved in-bond to an inland CBSA office, sufferance warehouse, or bonded warehouse.

Your carrier also has to send you a copy of the CCD to inform you that your shipment has arrived.

The CCD must have a bar-coded cargo control number (CCN). The first four digits of the CCN must be the carrier's unique carrier code.

The invoice

You can use three invoicing options:

  • a Canada Customs Invoice (CCI), which either you or the vendor can complete (for instructions on how to complete the CCI, see Memorandum D1-4-1, Canada Customs Invoice Requirements) ;
  • a commercial invoice containing the same information as a CCI; or
  • a commercial invoice which indicates the buyer, seller, country of origin, price paid or payable, and a detailed description of the goods, including quantity, and a CCI that provides the remaining information.

If you are using release on minimum documentation (RMD), your invoice must contain:

  • your name and the import/export account;
  • the exporter's name;
  • the unit of measure and quantity of goods;
  • the estimated value of the goods in Canadian dollars;
  • a detailed description of the goods;
  • the goods' country of origin; and
  • a bar-coded transaction number that you affix to the invoice.
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Form B3, Canada Customs Coding Form

To account for commercial goods, you usually have to document the importation on Form B3 (PDF, 151 KB), which must include:

  • your importer name and the import/export account;
  • a description of the goods;
  • the direct shipment date;
  • the tariff treatment or trade agreement;
  • the country of origin;
  • the tariff classification;
  • the value for duty;
  • the appropriate duty or tax rates; and
  • the calculation of duties owing.

Determining some of these elements, including tariff classification, value for duty, and the origin of your goods, may be more complex. For more details see B3 Elements

As a new importer, you may need help completing Form B3. In the brochure called Importing Commercial Goods Into Canada, we have provided step-by-step instructions on how to complete Form B3. You can also refer to Memorandum D17-1-10, Coding of Customs Accounting Documents.

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Import permits, health certificates, or forms other federal government departments require

Some goods are subject to the requirements of other federal government departments and may need permits, certificates, and examinations. We administer the import portions of legislation on behalf of these departments.

For example, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency examines and gives permits for some meat products, and all restricted or controlled drugs require an import permit from Health Canada.

The Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade requires import permits for goods such as textiles and clothing, agricultural and steel products, and some food items such as dairy products, poultry, and eggs.

At the CBSA, we:

  • verify the permits or conduct inspections on behalf of the other federal departments; and
  • detain the goods if necessary.

Please contact the appropriate federal government department to determine what, if any, documentation you need. For details on other federal government requirements, see the Memoranda D19 series.

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Tariff Treatments/Trade Agreements

You use certificates or statements of origin to support the tariff treatment you claim on a B3, Canada Customs Coding Form (PDF, 151 KB). The tariff treatment is linked to trade agreements between Canada and other countries that may benefit you by offering lower duty rates. It is not necessary to present the certificate or statement at the time we release your shipment, but you must be in possession of a valid certificate or statement when you account for your shipment. For general information, see D11-4-2, Proof of Origin.

Proof of Origin

To support the tariff treatment you claim, you must use one of the following as proof of origin:

Free Trade Agreements

Certificates of Origin - Different certificates of origin are required for each of Canada's free trade agreements.

Importers should be aware that agreement specific certificates of origin are also required when Canada enters into new trade agreements with other countries.

The exporters of the goods must fill out the certificate of origin based on their own knowledge that the goods qualify for a tariff treatment or based on information they have received from the producer of the goods.

  • CIFTA Declaration of Minor Processing in the United States
    Form E669, Declaration of Minor Processing in The United States (CIFTA) , allows for goods entitled to the benefits of CIFTA to undergo limited amounts of processing in the United States. Form E669 must be used for CIFTA originating goods that have entered the commerce of the United States or been subject to minor processing or any further processing in the United States. Processing in the United States may not increase the transaction value of the goods beyond 10 per cent. Importers are also required to possess the CIFTA Certificate of Origin, signed by the exporter in Israel at the time of accounting.

  • Low Value Statement of Origin
    If your shipment is valued at less than CAN$1,600 and is not a part of a series of shipments, you can use a Statement of Origin from the exporter or producer certifying that your goods originate within a NAFTA, CIFTA, CCFTA, or CCRFTA territory. This means you do not have to fill out the formal Certificate of Origin.

    For more information, see D11-4-14, Certification of Origin.

Other Tariff Treatments

For more information on the origin program, see the Memorandum D11 series.

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Paying Cash

If you choose to pay cash, we will release your goods after we determine that all your accounting documents are accurate and complete, and after we receive your payment.

We will then update your payment record in our computer system, which will print a detailed coding statement (DCS). You will receive a stamped copy of the DCS that shows "duty paid." This copy is your receipt.

You can use a major credit card to pay duties owing for amounts up to $500. We will also accept uncertified cheques for amounts up to $2,500 if you meet the following conditions:

  • you have two pieces of personal identification, one of which is a major credit card or valid Canadian driver's licence;
  • not more than one cheque you previously issued to the CBSA (or the CCRA) was returned for non-sufficient funds (NSF);
  • the payment you are making is not for a penalty;
  • the cheque is from a recognized Canadian financial institution; and
  • the cheque is not written by or payable to a third party.

When you do not meet all of the above criteria, we will accept uncertified cheques for amounts up to $500. If we have not allowed you to present uncertified cheques for amounts owing up to $2,500 because you breached one or more of the above conditions, we will resume this privilege one year after the date of your last NSF cheque.

A number of customs offices across Canada have also been equipped to accept debit card payments. As not all customs offices provide this payment option, it is advisable that you contact your local customs office to determine if the debit card payment option is available.

You can also choose to have a broker pay on your behalf.

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Accounting

You have to present your final accounting package no later than five business days after we release the goods.

Payment

To pay any duties owing on goods we release under RMD:

  • you can pay every month based on our monthly bill; or
  • you can make any number of interim payments based on the daily statements we send you.

Remember that, when you post security to use the RMD option, you have uncertified cheque privileges for any amount owing. We will bill you monthly, on Form K84, Importer/ Broker Account Statement, for all accounting packages we processed between the 25th of one month and the 24th of the following month. Your payment is due on the last business day of that month.

Penalties

If you do not present your accounting package or if our computer is unable to validate the package within the five-day time period, we will charge you a late-accounting penalty for each shipment. If you repeatedly file your accounting package late, you may receive a notice requiring you to account for the goods on time for a specified period. If you fail to comply with the notice, you will receive an additional penalty.

Interest

If you fail to pay duties within the prescribed time frame, we will charge you interest at a specified rate on the outstanding overdue balance. You will receive a notice that requires you to pay duties owing within a specified time period. The interest rates are revised quarterly and are available online.

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Correcting your accounting package

Once you give us your final accounting package, we key it into our computer system, which will print a DCS that highlights any errors in coding and calculations, and briefly explains how to correct the error.

When we find errors, we will return the accounting package to you for correction.

For more information