Customs Self Assessment Program

Importers

Customs Self Assesment

Participating importers can significantly reduce the cost of doing business with the CBSA.

Importers can use their own business systems and processes, which must meet the CBSA's requirements, to forward trade data and to report and remit payment of taxes and duties once a month to their own financial institutions. This self-assessment option represents significant cost savings because importers no longer have to remit payment at the time of each shipment.

Benefits

The CSA program provides many benefits for importers:

  • it ends the need to maintain separate and costly customs processes;
  • it reduces the number of transactional transmissions;
  • it aligns importers' financial records with CBSA requirements;
  • it increases the certainty of expedited customs processing;
  • it facilitates compliance by increasing clients' awareness of their obligations; and
  • it streamlines the process for legitimate trade.

Application Process

Eligibility

Importers eligible to apply to the CSA program must meet these requirements:

  • they are residents of Canada or the United States;
  • they have a history of actively importing for at least 90 days;
  • they do not have a history of contraband or major commercial infractions;
  • they are prepared to make an investment in business systems; and
  • they are willing to provide senior management authorization that their books and records contain or will contain commercial business processes, customs interfaces and internal control procedures.

Application

There is a two-part application and approval process for importers.

Part I – Risk assessment

Importers will have to give detailed information such as the following:

  • a corporate structure and business number;
  • key business activities and products;
  • company policies related to risk management; and
  • upon request, a quarterly report or their most recent audited financial statements.

Part I application: E646

Part II – Books, records and business systems

Importers will be asked to demonstrate that their books, records and business systems have, or will have, the necessary internal controls and procedures — including linkages, controls and audit trails — to support CSA program requirements such as the following:

  • an account security number;
  • the accounting option selected;
  • an internal business monthly cut-off date;
  • a business system trigger for customs accounting;
  • a way to capture the receipt date in the commercial system;
  • a way to distinguish commercial importations from domestic purchases; and
  • a sweep process to account for goods not accounted for by the trigger.

Part II application: E655

Accounting

Approved CSA importers are responsible for their self-assessment and for reporting related revenues to the CBSA. In the CSA environment, the K84 form is eliminated. Instead the importer must submit a monthly revenue summary form to report to the CBSA on revenue from the importation of commercial goods into Canada. This report includes the amounts related to the accounting for goods, adjustments, refunds, drawback, interest, penalties and other CBSA assessments. CSA-approved importers then pay any duties and taxes owing at a financial institution.

CSA revenue summary form: E648

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