Licensed Customs Brokers

Importers may want to prepare their own release and accounting documentation. Information on how to import is available on this website, or the importer can contact the local customs office. Importers who do not wish to transact business with the CBSA directly may authorize an agent to transact business on their behalf. Although importers may use an agent to transact business with the CBSA, the importer is ultimately responsible for the accounting documentation, payment of duties and taxes, and subsequent corrections such as re-determination of classification, origin and valuation. The importer remains liable for all duties owing until either the importer or the agent pays them.

Agents are required to obtain written authorization from their clients in order to transact business on behalf of their clients. This business may include but is not limited to:

  • Registering for a Business Number (BN), Importer/Exporter Account
  • Providing assistance in cases involving the Special Import Measures Act (SIMA)
  • Submitting refund/adjustment requests (B2)
  • Preparing release (interim accounting) documentation
  • Preparing final accounting documentation
  • Remitting payment of duties and taxes to the Receiver General of Canada

Importers and exporters who use a broker to carry out responsibilities on their behalf are responsible for the accuracy and completeness of import and export transactions. This includes any AMPS penalties that may be issued for non-compliance. It is recommended that businesses work closely with service providers and with the CBSA to ensure that import and export transactions fully comply with all CBSA requirements.

Customs Brokers

While in most cases any duly authorized agent may transact business with the CBSA on behalf of clients, only a licensed customs broker may account for goods and pay duties under Section 32 of the Customs Act as an agent of an importer or owner. Activities under Section 32 are the last three activities listed above. It should be noted that separately incorporated divisions of a single company are separate legal entities and may not transact business under Section 32 of the Customs Act on behalf of one another.

You may contact the CBSA Assessment and Licensing Unit if you would like to:

  • Submit a complaint about a Canadian licensed customs broker, or
  • Report a company that is not a Canadian licensed customs broker, but is acting as a customs broker or advertising their services as a customs broker.

Please send this information, along with any supporting documentation, to

Acting as a customs broker without a licence, may result in the application of a penalty (C011) under the Administrative Monetary Penalties System (AMPS).

Note: Fees charged for brokerage services constitute a private business transaction between the customs broker and the client. The CBSA does not intervene in fee disputes unless the client can demonstrate that the customs broker is in contravention of the Customs Brokers Licensing Regulations.

Date modified: