Commercial reporting requirements
Detailed commodity descriptions

A detailed cargo description is a clear and concise description of an item. The description should be in plain language and detailed enough to allow the CBSA to identify the size, shape and characteristics of the cargo. Information not relevant to the cargo description (e.g. quantity, type of packaging, carrier disclaimers, etc.), should not be transmitted in the cargo description field. If the cargo is 'used', specify 'used' in front of the description, otherwise cargo is assumed to be new.

If the shipment is consolidated (where house bills and/or a Supplementary Cargo Report are expected to follow), the following descriptions may be accepted: Freight of All Kinds (FAK); shipper load and count (SLC); consolidated; general merchandise; and other similarly vague descriptions.

The following list is a guide to acceptable and unacceptable descriptions. This list is not exhaustive and is subject to change as acceptable descriptions are further refined.


Examples of acceptable and not acceptable cargo descriptions
Not Acceptable Acceptable
"Brand" or "Trade Mark" names by themselves i.e.,
"Bubbles Brand"
"Bubbles Brand" Laundry Detergent
Laundry Detergent
Animals Horse
Wearing apparel
Ladies' Apparel
Men's Apparel
Shoes, Footwear
Women's Dresses
Men's Shirts
Boy's Jackets
Appliances Refrigerator
Microwave Oven
Coffee Machines
Auto Parts Air filters
Automobile Brakes
Automotive Windshield
Caps Baseball Caps
Blasting Caps
Bottle Caps
Hub Caps
Chemicals, hazardous
Chemicals, non-hazardous
Actual Chemical Name (not brand name):
Aluminum Potassium Sulfate
Methyl Alcohol
Cleaning Products Detergents
Window Cleaner
Consolidated (if the load is not consolidated and house bills are not
expected to follow)
Consolidated (where house bills are expected to follow)
Electronic Goods
Computers, Monitors, Televisions, Mobile Telephones, DVD players,
Electronic Toys, Video Game Consoles, Electronic Dolls
Industrial Equipment
Oil Well Equipment
Poultry Equipment
Automotive Equipment
Flooring Wood Flooring
Ceramic Tile
Marble Flooring
Pet food
Packaged Rice, Bulk Rice, Fresh Beef, Frozen Chicken
Live Trout, Frozen Salmon, Canned Tuna
Fresh Oranges, Frozen Broccoli, Canned Peaches
Canned Dog Food, Dry Cat Food
Novelty Items
Remote Control Cars
Picture Frames
Household Goods Acceptable only when goods are Personal / Used Household Effects
transported by a commercial carrier (Goods accounted under
a Personal Effects Accounting Document)
Iron Iron Pipes
Iron Plates
Leather Articles Saddles
Leather Handbags
Leather Jackets
Machines Sewing Machines
Printing Machines
Machine Parts Oil Pumps
Medical Supplies Medical Gloves
Dialysis Machine
Oil Mineral Oil
Motor Oil
Olive Oil
Ore Iron Ore
Copper Ore
Pipes Plastic Pipes
PVC Pipes
Steel Pipes
Plants Tulips
Cedar Saplings
Tomato Plants
Plastic Goods
Industrial Plastics
Plastic Kitchenware
Plastic Toys
Plastic Sheets
Plastic Tubes
Polyurethane Polyurethane Threads
Polyurethane Medical Gloves
Pump Oil Pump
Water Pump
Bicycle Pump
Rubber Articles Rubber Hoses
Rubber Toys
Rubber Conveyor Belts
Rods Welding Rods
Aluminum Rods
Reactor Rods
Scrap Plastic Scrap
Aluminum Scrap
Iron Scrap
Shingles Asphalt Shingles
Steel Shingles
Wood Shingles
STC (Said to Contain)
General Cargo
FAK (Freight of All Kinds)
"No Description"
If the shipment is consolidated, (where house bills are expected to follow),
the following descriptions may be accepted: Freight of all kinds (FAK),
Shipper load and count (SLC) and Consolidated
Steel Steel Plates
Steel Coils
Tiles Ceramic Tiles
Marble Tiles
Toiletries /
Bathroom Products
Tools Hand Tools
Power Tools
Industrial Tools
Vehicles Cars, Trucks, Buses
Tractors, Combines
Wires Steel Wire
Copper Wire
Auto Harness
Coiled Wire (Industrial)
Date modified: