Benefits of PIP membership
As a member, your company can take advantage of the following benefits:
- You will have access to CBSA security assessments, awareness sessions, and CBSA expertise.
- When you reach the border your company will be recognized as a Trusted Trader, which can save time.
- Your company will have a reduced risk score, which can result in a lower examination rate at the border.
- You can market your company as a secure, low-risk Trusted Trader.
- You will have access to the Trusted Trader Portal, which will allow you to keep your membership documents up to date.
- You will be eligible to apply for the Free and Secure Trade (FAST benefit, if you are a participant in the PIP program or a participant in the Customs Self Assessment (CSA) program and PIP program. This will give you access to the designated FAST lanes to cross the border into Canada.
- You will be eligible to participate in the Courier Low Value Shipment (LVS) program. The LVS Program streamlines processing of low-value shipments through customs while providing the courier industry with expedited release.
- Your company will be recognized as a Trusted Trader under the CBSA's Mutual Recognition Arrangements (MRAs) with other customs organizations.
As a PIP member, you would have the opportunity to learn what you can do to help protect your company, your supply chain, and your community by having access to the expertise of a CBSA officer.
In our awareness sessions, you can learn more about:
- smuggling trends;
- opportunities for exchanging information;
- program requirements; and
- how to improve security.
You must meet the following criteria:
- own or operate facilities based in Canada or the U.S. that are involved in the cross-border movement of commercial goods
- have cross border trade history for the past 12 months with at least one movement or causes to move within 90 days prior to applying
- be solvent and have no unresolved debts to the Crown or undischarged bankruptcy
- have no convictions (for which a record suspension has not been received) under the Criminal Code of Canada or under any other federal or provincial legislation
- have no convictions outside of Canada under foreign law that, if enforced in Canada, would constitute an offence under an Act of Parliament or under any other federal or provincial legislation
- have no history of significant contraventions under the Customs Act or any of its regulations, or under any act or regulation enforced by the CBSA, Other Government Departments (OGD) or other international customs organization and
- be compliant with all minimum security requirements (MSRs) outlined in the PIP security profile unless special consideration is given to the business’ particular operations or security structure at the discretion of the CBSA; and
- conduct operations in at least one of the following lines of business:
If your company is based in Canada with facilities owned and/or operated in Canada or the United States:
- Commercial carriers in the highway, rail, marine, and/or air modes of transport (including couriers*)
- Freight forwarders
- Warehouse operators (including marine terminal operators)
- Customs brokers**
- Shipping agents**
Note: All carriers must have a valid (bonded or non-bonded) carrier code for each mode of transport identified in their PIP application. Likewise, freight forwarders must have a valid (bonded or non-bonded) freight forwarder code. Inquiries related to carrier or freight forwarder codes can be directed to the CBSA's Commercial Registration Unit at email@example.com.
*Couriers wishing to participate in the CBSA’s Courier Low Value Shipment (CLVS) Program must be PIP-approved carriers. CLVS Program shipments must also be imported and transported by PIP-approved carriers. When applying for membership in the PIP program, couriers must register as a carrier in the Trusted Trader Portal by selecting the mode of transport that best describes their operations.
**Customs brokers and shipping agents are not able to access the Trusted Trader Portal at this time, but may still apply for membership in the PIP program. If you belong to one of these lines of business and want to apply to the PIP program, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
If your company is based in the United States with facilities owned and/or operated in Canada or the United States:
- Carriers in all modes of transport, provided that they hold a valid Canadian carrier code;
- Importers that conduct business in Canada (i.e., hold a valid Canadian business number and file Canadian customs declarations).
Note: PIP membership remains one of the mandatory requirements for U.S.-based highway carriers wishing to access FAST lanes when entering Canada.
- Apply for PIP membership using the Trusted Trader Portal (TTP). You will need a Government of Canada credential to securely communicate with online government programs and services. Follow steps 2a through 2d of the tutorial found in the link above.
- Sign in using your credential to reach the TTP account activation and registration page. Register your company or companies and select submit to receive activation codes for your account(s) via registered mail.
- Activate and access your TTP account using the activation code and Trusted Trader Client Number sent to you by registered mail.
- Complete your application and Company Profile setup and agree to the PIP Terms and Conditions of Use (formerly called the PIP Memorandum of Understanding).
- In the Portal, you will complete a Security Profile for each division to demonstrate that they meet each of the program's minimum security requirements. You must outline your physical, infrastructural, and procedural security measures, and respond truthfully to all questions asked in the Security Profile.
- When the Security Profile(s) and account set up are complete, submit your application using the green Submit Application button. The button only appears when all necessary fields have been completed. At this stage, you must also submit the Certification and Authorization to Disclose Information (CADI).
Note: The CADI allows the CBSA to disclose basic identifying information, including company name, company address, membership status, membership dates, and company identifiers (e.g. PIP identification number), to our Mutual Recognition Arrangement (MRA) partners. You may choose which foreign customs administration(s) you consent to share information with. If you choose to harmonize your PIP and CTPAT memberships, additional information provided in the Security Profile, as well as information obtained during site validations or risk assessments, may also be shared with CTPAT.
- A CBSA officer will review the submitted Security Profile(s) to determine if you meet the program's minimum security requirements. The CBSA will also perform a risk assessment.
- Following a successful assessment, a CBSA officer will schedule a site visit with you. Visiting the site will allow the PIP program to verify the information provided in the Security Profile.
Note: If your company has been validated by CTPAT within the last two years, a PIP site visit may not be required. However, each program reserves the right to perform its own site validations.
- If your company successfully passes the site validation, your PIP membership will be approved.
Already a PIP Member? Migrate to the Trusted Trader Portal
For instructions on how PIP members will access their Trusted Trader Portal (TTP) account, visit the portal help page.
PIP / CTPAT harmonization for highway carriers
The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) and the United States Customs and Border Protection (U.S. CBP) have committed to harmonizing the CBSA’s Partners in Protection (PIP) and U.S. CBP’s Customs Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (CTPAT) programs, with a focus on highway carriers. Harmonization aligns the membership requirements of both programs, to the greatest extent possible, for the benefit of applicants, members, and both customs organizations.
Harmonization enables eligible companies to apply to both programs using a single application process, undergo only one site validation, and have a single point of contact to administer their membership in both programs. Based on the location of the company’s corporate headquarters, either PIP or CTPAT will be designated as the host program to administer harmonized membership on behalf of both programs, thereby streamlining the requirements for maintaining membership status.
New applicants to both programs in the highway mode that are based in Canada may apply for harmonized membership through the TTP, whereas highway carriers based in the United States will be redirected to apply for harmonized membership through the CTPAT portal. Highway carriers that are an existing member in only PIP or CTPAT must apply for harmonization through the portal in which they already hold membership. Once the harmonized application has been approved by both programs, harmonized membership will be administered by the host country on behalf of both programs (i.e., PIP will be the host program for Canadian-based businesses and CTPAT will be the host program for U.S.-based businesses).
Note: Approval in one program does not guarantee approval in the other, as each country will retain sovereignty over its own program. Both programs retain the right to accept or deny membership regardless of the decision rendered by the other program.
You may choose to maintain separate, non-harmonized memberships in both programs. Companies that are members of both PIP and CTPAT outside of harmonization will still have access to the benefits of both programs. However, these companies will be required to manage separate accounts and provide updates to both programs regarding any changes to their business structure or security practices. In addition, each program will have separate revalidation schedules and separate site validations will be conducted by the PIP and CTPAT programs.
Harmonization Eligibility Requirements
To qualify for harmonized membership with the United States Customs and Border Protection’s (U.S. CBP) CTPAT, a company must:
- Be a carrier in the highway mode with a valid Canadian carrier code and a valid U.S. Standard Carrier Alpha Code (SCAC);
- Own or operate facilities in Canada or the United States that are involved in the cross-border movement of commercial goods;
- Have a good record of compliance with the CBSA and U.S. CBP;
- Have no history of significant customs contraventions;
- Consent to exchange of information between the PIP and CTPAT programs; and
- Comply with all eligibility requirements and minimum security criteria of both programs, unless special consideration is given to your particular business and/or security structure.
For information on applying for harmonized membership, visit the Trusted Trader Portal help page.
PIP membership terms and conditions
To maintain membership in the PIP program, you must:
- Sign in to your TTP account to check the accuracy of your information on an annual basis and when notified by PIP.
- Advise PIP of any changes to your Company Profile or Security Profile in a timely fashion.
- Have your membership validated every four years. Upon notification from PIP, you must submit an updated Security Profile. This will be followed by a renewed risk assessment and site visit. The revalidation process ensures that you remain compliant with PIP minimum security requirements.
If you do not follow the terms and conditions of PIP membership, or you do not meet the minimum security requirements of the program, your membership may be suspended or cancelled. There are no monetary penalties associated with PIP.
An applicant or member that disagrees with a denial, suspension, or cancellation decision by the CBSA may submit an appeal electronically to: CBSA.Trusted_Trader-Negociants_dignes.ASFC@cbsa-asfc.gc.ca.
Verifying business partners' PIP memberships
You can verify the membership status of your business partners by reviewing the PIP membership list, which identifies members that have consented to be on the list.
The CBSA has established client support units to assist partners with the implementation of and compliance with the PIP program. These units can be contacted by email and/or telephone.
- PIP Inbox – provides support for PIP program or TTP related inquiries.
- Technical Commercial Client Unit (TCCU) – provides technical support for the Trusted Trader Portal, that is available Monday to Friday, 08:00 to 17:00 (Eastern time ):
If calling from within Canada and the U.S. (toll free):
1-888-957-7224, press 2
If calling from outside Canada and the U.S. (long distance charges apply):
Or by email: email@example.com
- For general information about the CTPAT program, please visit the U.S. CBP website.
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