CBSA Service Standards
Archived - Fiscal Year 2014-2015

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Note: There are four categories of service standards for high-volume regulatory authorizations developed under the Red Tape Reduction Action Plan (R-TRAP). They are indicated below with [R-TRAP]. For more information, consult the CBSA's Acts and Regulations webpage.

Advance Rulings

Service Description: Section 43.1 of the Customs Act allows members of the trading community to request a binding ruling from the CBSA on the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) Origin, Tariff Classification, or Marking of goods imported from a North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) country in advance of the importation of goods.

Service Standard: The CBSA will strive to issue advance rulings for tariff classification and origin (free trade agreements) no more than 120 calendar days from the date of receipt of complete information upon which a ruling may be based.

Performance Target: 90%

Performance Result:

B2 Commercial Adjustments

Service Description: Requests for commercial refunds are received, reviewed and processed in Customs Commercial System by select Trade Service Offices in the Region. If approved, a cheque is issued to the client.

Service Standard: The CBSA will strive to process B2 commercial adjustments within 90 calendar days of receipt of a claim and all requisite supporting documentation.

Performance Target: 90%

Performance Result:

Border Information Service (BIS)

Service Description: The BIS is a single window contact centre that offers automated, bilingual, 24-hour, 1-800 telephone service, both for the travellers and commercial streams, by providing information on current programs and services offered by the CBSA. It also offers the option to speak with a BIS officer by pressing "0" during regular business hours – 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Monday to Friday local time (excluding holidays).  

Service Standard 1: Interactive voice responses are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Performance Target: 95%

Performance Result:

Service Standard 2: BIS will strive to answer calls within 60 seconds from the moment the client presses "0" to speak to an officer. 

Performance Target: 80%

Performance Result:

CANPASS Suite of Programs Application

Service Description: To participate in one of the CANPASS Programs (CANPASS Air/Private Aircraft/Private Boats/Corporate Aircraft), a client must submit a paper application, along with the requisite application fee, to the Canada Border Services Agency, which will process the application through one of its Canadian Processing Centres (Surrey, BC, Montreal, QC, and Niagara Falls, ON). The application processing involves a risk assessment of the clients to determine whether they meet the requirements to participate in the applied-for program.

Service Standard: Within 30 business days of receipt of a complete application, applicants are informed whether their application is approved.

Performance Target: 95%

Performance Result:

Carrier Code Application [R-TRAP]

Service Description: This service allows for application of a carrier code to establish identity and is required to conduct business with the CBSA.

For more information, please see the Carrier Codes section of our Web site or e-mail us at carrier-cargo@cbsa-asfc.gc.ca.

Service Standard: The CBSA will strive to issue a carrier code to those who meet carrier code eligibility requirements between 1 and 10 business days.

Performance Target: 85%

Performance Result:

Casual Refund

Service Description: Casual Refund Centres receive a request for a refund with required supporting documentation and processes it using the casual refund systems so that the client is issued a refund for duties and taxes paid on casual goods.

Service Standard: The CBSA will strive to process casual refunds within 30 business days of receipt of claims and all requisite supporting documentation.

Performance Target: 90%

Performance Result:

Coasting Trade Licence (CTL) Application

Service Description: Issuance of CBSA letters of authorization or denial in relation to CTL applications to obtain a licence for temporary admission to the coasting trade of Canada.

Service Standard: The CBSA will strive to send a letter of authorization or denial to the applicant within 2 business days after receiving a decision from the Canadian Transportation Agency in respect of a CTL.

Performance Target: 95%

Performance Result:

Commercial Driver Registration Program (CDRP) Application

Service Description: To participate in the CDRP, a client must submit a paper application to the Canada Border Services Agency, which will process the application through its Canadian Processing Centre in Niagara Falls, ON. The application processing involves a risk assessment of the clients to determine whether they meet the requirements to participate in the program.

Service Standard: Within 30 business days of receipt of a complete application, applicants are informed whether their application is approved.

Performance Target: 95%

Performance Result:

Commercial Release

Service Description: Importers and customs brokers must obtain a release decision of commercial goods from the CBSA by presenting a properly completed accounting document or submitting an interim accounting Release on Minimum Documentation (RMD). This service facilitates the release of legitimate commercial goods through minimal intervention within established service standards.

Service Standard: Post-arrival Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) RMD's will be provided a release decision within 45 minutes.

Performance Target: 70%

Performance Result:

Customs Bonded Warehouse Licence

Service Description: The CBSA receives and processes Customs Bonded Warehouse applications that allows private sector operated facilities (regulated by the CBSA) to store imported goods with a complete deferral of customs, anti-dumping and countervailing duties and excise duties and taxes, including the goods and services tax and the harmonized sales tax. Importers only pay duties and taxes on the portion of goods entering the Canadian market.

Service Standard: The CBSA will strive to process Customs Bonded Warehouses Licence applications within 60 business days from the date of the receipt of the complete application.

Performance Target: 90%

Performance Result:

Customs Brokers Licence

Service Description: Applications for customs broker licences are sent to the CBSA, which must ensure that the applicant meets the requirements as stated under the Customs Brokers Licensing Regulations. If all regulatory requirements are satisfied, the CBSA will issue a customs broker licence.

Service Standard: Applications are processed within 3 months of a complete application.

Performance Target: 95%

Performance Result:

Customs Brokers Professional Examination

Service Description: The CBSA administers the Customs Broker Professional Exam annually. The CBSA must ensure that the Customs Broker Professional Exams are marked, recorded and mailed to candidates within four weeks from the date of the exam.

Service Standard: Results are mailed within 4 weeks from date of exam.

Performance Target: 95%

Performance Result:

Customs Special Services Fees [R-TRAP]

Service Description: If there is a need for clearance of commercial goods, and the service being provided is after hours or at a non-designated site, special services charges may apply. Section 167 of the Customs Act, primarily pertains to Special Services (i.e. goods). This section states:

(1) The Governor in Council may make regulations prescribing:

(2) Anything that is required under this Act or the regulations to be done at a customs office, sufferance warehouse, bonded warehouse or duty free shop that is done at another place as a result of a special service shall be deemed, for the purposes of this Act or the regulations, to have been done at a customs office, sufferance warehouse, bonded warehouse or duty free shop, as the case may be. The cost to clear commercial goods is assessed according to the regulated rates found within Special Services Memorandum D1-2-1.

For more information, please see the Memorandum D1-2-1 Special Services on our Web site or e-mail us at contact@cbsa-asfc.gc.ca.

Service Standard 1: Requests for special services are acknowledged within 1 working day of receipt.

Performance Target: 100%  

Performance Result:

Service Standard 2: Upon completion of the service, a detailed invoice is provided, itemizing the special services completed and the associated fees for these services. This ensures transparency and consistency within the billing process.

Performance Target: 100%

Performance Result:

Customs Sufferance Warehouse Licence

Service Description: An application to operate a customs sufferance warehouse is sent to the CBSA, which must ensure that the applicant meets the requirements as stated under the Customs Sufferance Warehouses Regulations. If all regulatory requirements are satisfied, the CBSA will issue a licence to operate a sufferance warehouse.

Service Standard: The CBSA will strive to process customs sufferance warehouses licence applications within 60 business days from the date of the receipt of the complete application.

Performance Target: 95%

Performance Result:

Drawback Claims

Service Description: The CBSA receives and processes drawback claims, which is a refund of customs duties on imported goods that have been exported. Claimants can export goods in the same condition they were imported, or before export they can further manufacture or use them in a limited manner without affecting the refund amount.

Service Standard: The CBSA will strive to process drawback claims no later than 90 calendar days from the date of receipt of a correctly completed and supported application.

Performance Target: 90%

Performance Result:

Duties Relief Program

Service Description: The CBSA receives and processes Duties Relief Program applications that enable qualified companies to import goods without paying duties, as long as they eventually export the goods. Before export, companies can further manufacture or use the goods in a limited manner without having to pay duties.

Service Standard: The CBSA will strive to process applications no later than 90 calendar days from the date of receipt of a correctly completed and supported application.

Performance Target: 90%

Performance Result:

Duty Free Shop Licence Application

Service Description: An application to operate a duty free shop is sent to the CBSA and the CBSA must ensure that the applicant meets the requirements as stated under the Duty Free Shop Regulations. If all regulatory requirements are satisfied, the CBSA will issue a licence to operate a duty free shop.

Service Standard: The CBSA will strive to process an application for a new duty free shop licence within 90 calendar days from the deadline for application submissions. Only complete applications that meet all of the program requirements, as set out in the Duty Free Shop Regulations, and that include all required supporting documentation will be considered.   

Performance Target: 95%  

Performance Result:

Efficient Marine Container Examination

Service Description: Ensure an efficient marine container examination process is conducted in the marine mode in order to minimize delays to the importer.

Service Standard 1: The CBSA will strive to conduct a marine container examination within 24 hours. The 24-hour period excludes weekends and holidays, fumigant testing and ventilation, and the time required reloading a container.

Performance Target: 95%

Performance Result:

Service Standard 2: When the presence of fumigants is identified within a marine container, the CBSA strives to ensure the container is not delayed for longer than 3 days in the ventilation process. This 3-day period does not include weekends, statutory holidays, or containers which pose an extreme danger to health.

Performance Target: 90%

Performance Result:

Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) Application for Advance Commercial Information (ACI) [R-TRAP]

Service Description: This service provides businesses with the ability and authorization to electronically transmit their pre-arrival information either via the eManifest Portal through the Internet or by EDI to the CBSA's host system. Businesses and their service providers who choose to use one of the EDI options to transmit electronic commerce data to the CBSA must apply to the CBSA. eManifest requires all carriers, freight forwarders and importers to send ACI about their shipments electronically to the CBSA.

For more information, please see the eManifest section of our Web site or refer to Memorandum D12 – Pre Arrival Commercial.  You may also contact us at:

Technical Commercial Client Unit
355 North River Road, 6th Floor
Ottawa, ON K1A 0L8
E-mail: mailto:tccu-ustcc@cbsa-asfc.gc.ca
Fax: 343-291-5482

Service Standard 1: Application Acknowledgement – Upon receipt of a complete and accurate application form BSF691 — EDI Application for ACI from the client by fax or email, the CBSA will aim to acknowledge receipt of the application within 2 business days.

Performance Target: 95%

Performance Result: The CBSA will begin to report performance results on this service standard in fiscal year 2015-2016.

Service Standard 2: Review of Application - The CBSA will aim to review the application form BSF691 and communicate to the client within 10 business days the necessary course of action to be followed in the ensuing testing process.

Performance Target: 90%

Performance Result: The CBSA will begin to report performance results on this service standard in fiscal year 2015-2016.

Service Standard 3: Initial Test – The initial test of each test package for using the EDI system ensures that all technical communication components between the client and the CBSA are interfaced correctly, allowing data to be processed by the CBSA and results returned. Upon transmission of the first test of each test package by the client to the CBSA, the CBSA will aim to send a notification to the client of a Pass or Fail result within 5 business days.

Performance Target: 90%

Performance Result: The CBSA will begin to report performance results on this service standard in fiscal year 2015-2016.

Service Standard 4: Final Test - Upon transmission by the client of the final test for using the EDI system to the CBSA, having a Pass result leading to the successful completion of the test package, the CBSA will aim to send a notification to the client within 5 business days advising the client that permission has been given to transmit pre-arrival information for eManifest using EDI.

Performance Target: 90%

Performance Result: The CBSA will begin to report performance results on this service standard in fiscal year 2015-2016.

Enforcement and Trade Appeals - Acknowledgement Letter

Service Description: Initial contact with the appellant in response to a request for a review of an enforcement action and trade decision.

Service Standard: The CBSA will strive to acknowledge the receipt of the client's trade and enforcement appeals within 10 calendar days.            

Performance Target: 85%

Performance Result:

Enforcement Appeals - Decision

Service Description: Providing the travellers and commercial community with a ministerial decision with respect to a review of an enforcement action issued.

Service Standard: Enforcement appeals decided in 180 calendar days.

Performance Target: 75%

Performance Result:

Event Recognition

Service Description: This service ensures clients who submit event recognition requests more than 15 days prior to the start date of an event, will receive a decision and written communication 2 business days before the event's start date.

Service Standard: The International Events Section will endeavour to render a decision and provide written communication 2 business days prior to the event's start date.

Performance Target: 95%

Performance Result:

Feedback Mechanism - Final Response

Service Description: Clients are able to submit complaints, comments or compliments. The CBSA provides a final written response to the client's complaint.

Service Standard: The CBSA will strive to respond to the client within 40 calendar days after a written complaint is received.

Performance Target: 85%

Performance Result:

Feedback Mechanism - Initial Contact

Service Description: Clients are able to submit complaints, comments or compliments. Initial contact with the client is made, by phone, in response to a complaint. The main purpose is to resolve the complaint at this stage.

Service Standard: The CBSA will strive to contact the client within 14 calendar days after a written complaint is received.

Performance Target: 85%

Performance Result:

Free and Secure Trade (FAST) Program Application

Service Description: To participate in the FAST Program, a client must submit, along with the requisite application fee, either an online application through the Global Online Enrollment System (GOES) that is operated by US Customs and Border Protection (CBP), or a paper application to the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA), which will process the application through its Canadian Processing Centre in Niagara Falls, ON. The application processing involves a risk assessment of the clients by both the US CBP and the CBSA to determine whether they meet the requirements to participate in the program, followed by an interview at an enrolment center by a CBP/CBSA officer to finalize enrolment.

Service Standard: Within 30 business days of receipt of a complete application, applicants are informed of their eligibility in whether they have reached the interview stage.

Performance Target: 95%

Performance Result:

Highway Traveller Primary Processing

Service Description: The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) processes the entry into Canada of all travellers via the primary inspection line at its highway-based ports of entry. All travellers entering Canada are required by law to report to the CBSA for this primary processing, provide all relevant information and documents as required, report all goods, and answer truthfully any questions asked by a Border Services Officer. Upon completion of primary processing, travellers will either be released to continue their travel or referred for Secondary Processing, should additional evaluation be required.

Service Standard: Border Wait Times - Highway - Traveller: The estimated wait times for travellers reaching the primary inspection booth, the first point of contact with the CBSA when crossing the Canada/US land border.

Performance Target: 95%

Performance Result:

International Events

Service Description: This service ensures that the International Events Section (IES) responds to client queries regarding international event (mail, email, fax, phone and online) registration.

Service Standard: The IES will strive to respond to clients' queries (mail, email, fax or phone) and online registrations within 2 business days. 

Performance Target: 95%

Performance Result:

National Customs Rulings

Service Description: National Customs Rulings (NCRs) are rulings in advance of the importation of goods concerning the valuation of goods, the origin or country of origin marking of goods, other than for the application of a free trade agreement preferential tariff treatment or North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) country of origin marking. There are no legislative provisions in the Customs Act regarding NCRs but the CBSA provides these rulings as an administrative service for the convenience and guidance of importers.

Service Standard: The CBSA will strive to issue a National Customs Ruling no more than 30 calendar days from the receipt of complete information.

Performance Target: 90%

Performance Result:

NEXUS Program Application

Service Description: To participate in the NEXUS Program, a client must submit, along with the requisite application fee, either an online application through the Global Online Enrollment System (GOES) that is operated by US Customs and Border Protection (CBP), or a paper application to the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA), which will process the application through one of its Canadian Processing Centres (either in Montreal, QC, or Niagara Falls, ON). The application processing involves a risk assessment of the clients by both the US CBP and the CBSA to determine whether they meet the requirements to participate in the program, followed by an interview at an enrolment center by a CBP/CBSA officer to finalize enrolment.

Service Standard: Within 30 business days of receipt of a complete application, applicants are informed of their eligibility in whether they have reached the interview stage.

Performance Target: 95%

Performance Result:

Release Prior to Payment Privilege [R-TRAP]

Service Description: Importers and customs brokers post security with the CBSA to obtain release of goods with deferred accounting and payment privileges. The security and billing information is entered into the Customs Commercial System and new clients are issued an account security number. This service also includes changes to security where the client already has an account security number.

For more information, please see the Memorandum D17-1-8 Release Prior to Payment Privilege on our Web site or e-mail us at contact@cbsa-asfc.gc.ca.

Service Standard: This service standard applies to the receipt of security and the privilege associated with the release of imported shipments prior to the payment of duties and taxes. The CBSA will strive to send an acknowledgement to the importer confirming receipt of the security within 21 calendar days.

Performance Target: 95%

Performance Result:

Trade Appeals - Decision

Service Description: Providing the trade community with a presidential decision with respect to a review of a trade decision or action issued.

Service Standard: Trade appeals decided in 180 calendar days.

Performance Target: 70%

Performance Result:

Verification Letter (Final) - Releasing Letter

Service Description: At the conclusion of a trade compliance verification and after taking any representations from the company into account, a final letter is sent with the results of the verification including any corrective actions that must be taken.

Service Standard: The CBSA will strive to release the final verification letter no more than 10 business days following the end of the 30-day compliance verification representation period, if no additional information is received from the importer that would require further verification.

Performance Target: 90%

Performance Result:

Verification Notification and Request - Communicating with Company

Service Description: Following the sending of a letter notifying the company that a trade compliance verification has been initiated, the CBSA contacts the company to confirm receipt and that the letter was understood.

Service Standard: Within 10 and 15 business days after a compliance verification initiation letter has been sent, the CBSA will strive to communicate with a company representative, to ensure that the notification has been received and that the request is being addressed accordingly.

Performance Target: 90%

Performance Result:

Verification Priorities - Distribution of Priorities to the Public

Service Description: Provide an up-to-date list of verification priority information to the public twice per year on the CBSA website.

Service Standard: The CBSA will strive to distribute verification priority information to the public twice per year, no later than January 7th and July 7th of each year.

Performance Target: 100%

Performance Result:

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