Become an Electronic Data Interchange client
3 workable days
Review of Application – The current estimated processing time to review the EDI application and communicate to the client the necessary course of action to be followed in the ensuing testing process (in business days).
Last updated: 2023-03-31
The CBSA offers a variety of electronic data interchange (EDI) services that tailor to different clients.
Step 1: Before applying
Before applying to become an EDI client, you must know what type of data you want to send and/or receive. For instance, the needs of a customs broker will differ from that of a warehouse, importer, or marine carrier. To better understand the applications available and the data involved, review the Electronic Commerce Client Requirements Document (ECCRD)
Step 2: Application and Testing Process
In order for the EDI process to work effectively, certain conditions must be met:
- both ends of the link (i.e. both trading partners) need to be computerized; and
- telecommunication capability, translator software and back-up provisions are required.
To ensure that the electronic communication between the trade chain partner (or the service provider) and the CBSA is fully functional, the CBSA has created a testing process.
Clients and their service provider must complete and submit a formal application. The application form provides the CBSA with basic information on the client, a description of their automated system, and their anticipated volumes. A senior representative of the client's firm must sign the formal application. The application may be submitted by the client's agent with a letter of authorization on the client's letterhead signed by an officer/senior representative with legal signing authority.
During the application process, the Technical Commercial Client Unit (TCCU) can provide assistance on matters such as interpretation of the message standards and code sets.
Completed application forms can be sent to the TCCU by email, fax or mail.
Once the application has been processed, a client profile will be created and, if necessary, the testing process can begin.
Client Acceptance Testing
If required, clients or their service providers involved in the EDI process will undergo acceptance testing. As part of the testing process, the CBSA will provide clients or their service providers with a test package to complete.
During testing, clients (or their service providers) must satisfy production requirements by successfully completing a series of progressively complex tests that will verify whether:
- Various types and volumes of data submissions are capable of being transmitted.
- The quality of the data is acceptable, i.e. data transmitted are accepted by the system.
- The accurate reception of error messages, acknowledgements and other feedback transmissions from the EDI system is taking place.
- If volume testing is required, transmissions are error free a minimum of 95% of the time.
Fiscal year , to
Electronic Data Interchange (EDI): application and testing process
1. Application Acknowledgement: Upon receipt of a complete and accurate EDI application 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 processed 6,015 applications and met the service standard 100% of the time.
2. Review of Application: The CBSA will aim to review the EDI application and communicate to the client within 10 business days the necessary course of action to be followed in the ensuing testing process.
Performance Target: 95%
Performance result: The CBSA conducted 4,910 reviews and met the service standard 97.4% of the time.
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 four (4) business days.
Performance Target: 90%
Performance result: The CBSA processed 14 testing clients and met the service standard 100% of the time.
4. Final test: Upon transmission of the final test of each test package by the client 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 four (4) business days advising the client that permission has been given to electronically exchange commercial information with the CBSA's host system using EDI.
Performance Target: 90%
Performance result: The CBSA processed 6 testing clients and met the service standard 100% of the time.
For more information on all service standards and performance results for previous years, consult the CBSA service standards.
For more information on the EDI testing procedures or to request a test package, contact the TCCU via email.
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