Other service options

The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) offers a range of service options for the release of imported commercial goods. Many of these processes involve electronic data interchange (EDI) technology and have replaced some paper release options.

EDI systems

Line release

The following line release options speed up the release processing time and help reduce congestion at the border:

Pre-arrival Review System

The Pre-arrival Review System (PARS) allows importers and brokers to submit release on minimum documentation (RMD) information to the CBSA for review and processing before their goods arrive in Canada. This speeds up the release or referral for examination process when the goods arrive in Canada.

The electronic transmission and exceptions to transmitting electronically when using the PARS release option are the same as for RMD. Goods that require permits, licences or certificates, including those commodities controlled by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA), can be processed using PARS. Provided the client submits the PARS request within the following time frames, the release recommendation will be ready by the time the goods arrive in Canada:

EDI: at least one hour before arrival
Paper: at least two hours before arrival

When the shipment arrives, the CBSA will release it within minutes unless an examination or further processing is required to meet another government department's regulation.

For details on line release, refer to Memorandum D17-1-4, Release of Commercial Goods.

Global Affairs Canada / Customs Automated Permit System (EXCAPS)

Under EXCAPS, importers or brokers obtain a permit from Global Affairs Canada. During the import process, the department electronically transmits the permit information to the ACROSS database while the importer or broker transmits the release information. The CBSA will not release the shipment if the data from both sources does not match. Once the goods are released, a notice is sent to Global Affairs Canada indicating that the permit has been used. Refer to Memorandum D19-10-2, Administration of the Export and Import Permits Act (Importations) for more information.

Customs / Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) interface

Many commodities falling under CFIA regulations may be released by EDI in some locations. To learn more about this program, contact the Technical Commercial Client Unit (TCCU).

Commercial Cash Entry Processing System (CCEPS)

Commercial Cash Entry Processing System (CCEPS) is a self-serve automated system for individuals or small businesses who import commercial goods. Clients can use CCEPS at a computer station in certain CBSA offices to complete Form B3. The system helps clients complete the form through a series of prompts, calculates applicable duties and taxes, and generates a printed accounting form. For information on CCEPS, refer to Memorandum D17-1-5, Registration, Accounting and Payment for Commercial Goods.

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