Introduction of Digital Declarations through Primary Inspections Kiosks
Customs Notice 17-08

Ottawa, March 17, 2017

1. This notice is to inform you that the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) is modernizing to enable digital declarations with the implementation of next-generation Primary Inspection Kiosks.

2. Primary Inspection Kiosks will be deployed in phases at major Canadian international airports beginning March 20, 2017.

3. Travellers using a Primary Inspection Kiosk will be able to fulfill their obligation to report imported goods in writing by making a digital declaration on the kiosk via a touch screen.

4. The CBSA is undertaking amendments to address the introduction of the Primary Inspection Kiosk initiative and ensure the Agency's regulatory and policy framework align with current technology and modern border processing.

Primary Inspection Kiosk Initiative

5. The Primary Inspection Kiosk will replace the conventional Primary Inspection processing and will be an enhancement to the CBSA's current Automated Border Clearance kiosks in terms of eligibility and functionality. Eligibility for the Primary Inspection Kiosk extends to all travellers (subject to exceptions listed below), including foreign nationals. Functionality is enhanced by incorporating ePassport validation for ePassports holders, face authentication and a paperless on-screen declaration. Travellers can also use the optional CanBorder - eDeclaration mobile application (app) to expedite the process at the kiosk.

6. Primary Inspection Kiosks will help reduce border wait times and congestion at Canada's busiest airports while simultaneously improving security, reducing paper-waste and improving the validity of data collection. 

7. As part of standard processes, all travellers arriving in Canada will continue to see a Border Services Officer. In-person processing will also remain for travellers who are not eligible or able to use a kiosk.


8. All travellers are eligible to use a Primary Inspection Kiosk with the exception of the following:

Automated Declaration Process

9. The digital declaration at a Primary Inspection Kiosk will replace the current paper E311 CBSA Declaration Card as a form of facilitating compliance with the traveller's obligation to report goods in writing under section 12 of the Customs Act and subsection 5(3) of the Reporting of Imported Goods Regulations.

10. The Primary Inspection Kiosk will prompt the traveller to select their language of service, scan their travel document, and face the camera to capture their photo. Once the photo is captured, the on-screen traveller declaration process begins. The traveller is directed through all required questions such as, but not limited to, those relating to immigration and customs. Clarifying questions will be presented on-screen and the traveller will be able to edit their declaration before confirming and certifying their declaration as final.

11. The Primary Inspection Kiosk will also provide an expedited functionality for travellers to prepare their declaration in advance of arrival using the CanBorder - eDeclaration mobile app. Upon arrival in Canada, travellers will scan their mobile app Quick Response (QR) code at a kiosk, which will pre-populate the screens to reduce typing and expedite processing. Clarifying questions will be presented on-screen and the traveller will be able to edit their declaration before confirming and certifying their declaration as final.

Additional Information

12. Foreign diplomats will be directed to a Border Services Officer for in-person processing.

13. More information on Primary Inspection Kiosks can be found on the CBSA website.

14. The Canada Border Services Act, the Customs Act, the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, and regulations made thereunder provide the legislative and regulatory framework for the administration of the Primary Inspection Kiosk.

Effective date

15. The deployment of Primary Inspection Kiosk will take place in phases, beginning at the Macdonald-Cartier International Airport in Ottawa, Ontario on March 20, 2017.

Date modified: