Quick reference guide to the Canadian Export Reporting System

A detailed CERS User Guide is available upon request by contacting one of our client support groups.

1 Purpose

The Canadian Export Reporting System (CERS) is a free, web-based, self-service portal for submitting electronic export declarations and Summary Reporting Program monthly reports. This guide contains step-by-step instructions for key features of the CERS Portal. Please refer to the Electronic Commerce Client Requirements Document (ECCRD) Chapter 25: CERS Portal for CERS Portal data requirements and associated business rules, including definitions for commonly used terms. To request Chapter 25, contact: cbsa.cers_inquiries-renseignements_scde.asfc@cbsa-asfc.gc.ca

2 Revision history

CERS Portal Quick Reference Guide: Revision History
Date Changes Made Version Changes Made Changes Made By
1.0 First Draft CBSA – The CERS Portal Team & Importer and Exporter Programs Unit
1.1 Feedback incorporated from the Pilot Working Group CBSA – The CERS Portal Team

3 Register

3.1 All users

Users have two options to log in to the CERS Portal. They may use a Government of Canada online service account GCKey or a SecureKey Concierge Sign-In Partner.

3.1.1 Log in

3.1.1.1 Option 1: Log in to the CERS Portal using GCKey
  1. Navigate to the CERS Portal Log In page on the CBSA website
  2. Select GCKey Log In under the GCKey section
  3. Follow the instructions on the GCKey website to create a GCKey credential or Sign In using your existing GCKey username and password
3.1.1.2 Option 2: Log in to the CERS Portal using Sign-In Partner
  1. Navigate to the CERS Portal Log In page on the CBSA website
  2. Select Sign-In Partner Log in under the Sign-In Partner log in section
  3. Follow the instructions on the Sign-In Partner website, by selecting your participating financial institution and providing your existing online credential with that institution to gain access to the CERS Portal (upon completion, users will be re-directed back to the CERS Portal Log In page)

3.1.2 Create a CERS Portal user account

  1. Navigate to the CERS Portal Log In page on the CBSA website
  2. Enter your credential log in information; select Sign In
  3. Review the CERS Portal Terms and Conditions of Use; select I Accept
  4. Select Create New User Account
  5. Enter mandatory profile information; select Submit
  6. A User Account Created confirmation page will appear with your unique User Reference Number (URN); select Continue

Note: Users can be added to a Portal Business Account by providing their URN, last name, and e-mail address to the person who is the Account Owner. Account Owner(s) may continue to Create a Portal Business Account (below).

3.2 Account owners

Account Owners must have a valid Business Number designated for export and a Shared Secret before creating a Portal Business Account. During the onboarding phase of CERS, exporters or customs service providers may activate their CERS Business Account using a Business Number designated for export and a Shared Secret (in the form of an Authorization ID number) that will be provided by the CBSA. For further information regarding the Account Owner user role, refer to ECCRD Chapter 25: CERS Portal, Registering for the CERS Portal. Refer to the CERS website for additional information.

3.2.1 Create a CERS Portal business account

  1. Select Continue once the CERS Portal User Account is created
  2. Select Business Accounts
  3. Select Create Business Account
  4. Enter exporter Business Number; select Submit
  5. Enter the CBSA-issued account activation code (i.e. Authorization ID or Shared Secret); select Submit
  6. Enter Account Owner Information; select Submit
  7. Review Account Owner Information and Business Information; select Ok (Account Owners may select Create Another Business Account if they are the authorized representative of another business)

Note: By default, the individual who activates the CERS Business Account will become designated as the Business Account Owner. A company may contact the CBSA’s Commercial Registration Unit (cbsa.export_program-programme_exportation.asfc@cbsa-asfc.gc.ca) to receive help with changing the Business Account Owner.

4 Transfer credentials

4.1 All users

Portal users have the option of transferring to the Sign-In Partner or GCKey credential providers at any time. The two possible credential transfer processes are identified and described below and apply to all Portal Users wishing to complete a credential service transfer.

4.1.1 Transfer from your GCKey credential to Sign-In Partner

You can choose one of two options to complete this transfer:

4.1.1.1 Option 1:
  1. Navigate to the CERS Portal Log In page on the CBSA website
  2. Select Sign-In Partner Log in under the Sign-In Partner log in section
  3. Follow the instructions on the Sign-In Partner website. Select your participating financial institution and provide your existing online credential with that institution to gain access to the CERS Portal
  4. Select Transfer GCKey
  5. To complete the transfer provide your current GCKey credential
  6. Upon completion, users are redirected back to the CERS Portal Log In page to log in to the Portal with their new Sign-In Partner credential

4.1.1.2 Option 2:

  1. If you are currently logged in to your CERS Portal Account, select the My Profile tab
  2. Select Change Credential Provider…
  3. Follow the instructions on the Sign-In Partner website. Select your participating financial institution and provide your existing online credential with that institution to gain access to the CERS Portal
  4. A credential transfer confirmation will appear

4.1.2 Transfer from your Sign-In Partner credential to GCKey

You can choose one of two options to complete this transfer:

4.1.2.1 Option 1:
  1. Navigate to the CERS Portal Log In page on the CBSA website
  2. Select GCKey Log In under the GCKey section
  3. Follow the instructions on the GCKey website to create a GCKey credential
  4. Select Transfer Sign-In Partner
  5. To complete the transfer provide your current Sign-In Partner credential
  6. Upon completion, users are redirected back to the CERS Portal Log In page to log in to the Portal with their new GCKey credential
4.1.2.2 Option 2:
  1. If you are currently logged in to your CERS Portal Account, select the My Profile tab
  2. Select Change Credential Provider…
  3. Follow the instructions on the GCKey website to create a GCKey credential
  4. A credential transfer confirmation will appear

5 Adding a user to a CERS Portal business account

5.1 Account owners and/or Proxy account owners

Before users can be added to the CERS Portal Business Account, users must have created a CERS Portal User Account and have a valid URN. For further information regarding user roles (Proxy Account Owner, Account User, Account Browser), refer to ECCRD Chapter 25: CERS Portal, Registering for the CERS Portal.

  1. Log in to the CERS Portal
  2. Navigate to Business Accounts
  3. Select a Business Name
  4. Select User Access tab
  5. Select Add User
  6. Enter the URN, last name and e-mail address of the user; select Submit
  7. Select a user role for the new user; select Submit

6 Submit an export declaration/summary report

Users can report exports electronically to the CBSA by submitting an Export Declaration/Summary Report in the CERS Portal.

6.1 Account owners, proxy account owners and account users

  1. Log in to the CERS Portal
  2. Navigate to Business Accounts
  3. Select a Business Name
  4. Select Export Documents tab

6.1.1 Upload summary report

Follow steps 1-4 from Section 6.1 (to access the Export Documents tab) then:

  1. Select Create Export Document
  2. Select the type of Export Document (i.e. Summary Report); select Submit
  3. Select the Commodity tab
  4. Select Browse to obtain the .xml data file
  5. Select Submit
  6. Select Save and Finish Later to create a Draft Summary Report

Note: Refer to the ECCRD Chapter 25: CERS Portal, Appendix C – Summary Report Upload for additional information on the Summary Report Upload Procedure. Follow steps below, in 6.1.2.2 Option 2 (when retrieving a Draft Export Document), to Submit an Export Document.

6.1.2 Submit an export document

6.1.2.1 Option 1 (when creating a new export document):

To create and submit a new Export Document, follow steps 1-4 from Section 6.1 then:

  1. Select Create Export Document
  2. Select the type of Export Document; select Submit
  3. Enter all applicable information
  4. Select Submit to the CBSA
6.1.2.2 Option 2 (when retrieving a draft export document):

To submit a Draft Export Document, follow steps 1-4 from Section 6.1 then:

  1. Select Draft Documents tab
  2. Select link of the applicable Draft Document Name
  3. Enter all applicable information
  4. Select Submit to the CBSA

Note: Any errors will be identified for correction and a confirmation page will appear upon successful submission. The user may print/download a PDF file of the submitted document, and may create an Export Document Template (a copy of previous document submission) to use when creating new Export Documents.

7 Manage bulk load

Users can upload one or more Export Declarations to CERS using the Upload Bulk Load feature in the Portal to submit them to the CBSA.

7.1 Account owners, proxy account owners and account users

7.1.1 Upload bulk load

  1. Log in to the CERS Portal
  2. Navigate to Business Accounts
  3. Select a Business Name
  4. Select Export Documents tab
  5. Select Create Export Document
  6. Select the type of Export Document as Bulk Loads; select Submit
  7. Upload a text file (.txt) to create one or more Export Declarations
  8. Select Submit

Note: These Bulk Load Export Declarations are stored in the Bulk Upload tab. Users may continue to submit one or more Export Declarations simultaneously to the CBSA (below).

7.1.2 Submit bulk load

Follow the steps 1-8 above, in 7.1.1 Upload Bulk Load, to upload one or more Export Declarations.

  1. Log in to the CERS Portal
  2. Navigate to Business Accounts
  3. Select a Business Name
  4. Select Export Documents tab
  5. Select Bulk Upload tab
  6. Select the checkbox of one or more applicable Bulk Load Export Declarations
  7. Select Submit Selected
  8. Select Ok

Note: Upon successful submission to the CBSA, the user will obtain the Bulk Load Documents Submission report to print/download.

8 Manage submitted documents

Users can view, amend, or void (cancel) export documents that have been sent to the CBSA.

8.1 All users of the portal

8.1.1 View submitted documents

  1. Log in to the CERS Portal
  2. Navigate to Business Accounts
  3. Select a Business Name
  4. Select Export Documents tab
  5. Select Submitted Documents tab
  6. Select the Export Document Type (Export Declaration or Summary Report); select Refresh

Note: Select the Status link of a document to view the Status History; or select the Proof of Report link to view details of a submitted Export Document.

8.1.2 View submitted documents (CAED export declaration)

To view migrated Canadian Automated Export Declaration (CAED) export declarations from , to present day:

  1. Log in to the CERS Portal
  2. Navigate to Business Accounts
  3. Select a Business Name
  4. Select Export Documents tab
  5. Select Submitted Documents tab
  6. Select Search Submitted Export Documents
  7. Select the Export Document Type (Export Declaration)
  8. Enter the Proof of Report number with hyphens added to the end of the Year and Month (Example: 05X222SC12342019-12-00001)
  9. Select Search

Note: Exporters and/or customs service providers that had an active, valid Business Number designated for export prior to data migration, will be able to view CAED export declarations in the CERS Portal.

8.2 Account owners, proxy account owners and account users

Follow the steps 1-6 above, in 8.1.1 View Submitted Documents, to access the Proof of Report link to amend or void (cancel) a submitted Export Document.

8.2.1 Amend submitted documents

  1. Select the applicable Proof of Report link
  2. Select Amend
  3. Enter all applicable information
  4. Select Resubmit to CBSA
  5. Confirm submission; Select Yes
  6. Select a reason for amendment
  7. Choose Select
  8. A confirmation page will appear; select Ok

Note: A confirmation page, Resubmit to CBSA, will appear with their submission details. A user may print/download a PDF file of the submitted document.

8.2.2 Void submitted documents

  1. Select the applicable Proof of Report link
  2. Select Void
  3. Select Yes
  4. A confirmation page will appear; select Ok

Note: A confirmation page, Request to Void Sent, will appear with their submission details. A user may print/download a PDF file of the submitted document. Users are encouraged to view the Status History of the Export Document to confirm that it has been Voided.

8.2.3 Void submitted documents (CAED export declaration)

Follow the steps 1-8 above, in 8.1.2 View Submitted Documents (CAED Export Declaration), to void (cancel) the CAED Export Declaration that was submitted within the past 90 days then:

  1. Select Void
  2. Select Yes
  3. A confirmation page will appear; select Ok

Note: A confirmation page, Request to Void Sent, will appear with their submission details. A user may print/download a PDF file of the submitted document. Users are encouraged to view the Status History of the Export Document to confirm that it has been Voided.

9 Manage draft documents

Draft Documents are created in the Portal and used later to submit an Export Declaration and Summary Report to the CBSA.

9.1 All users of the portal

9.1.1 View draft documents

  1. Log in to the CERS Portal
  2. Navigate to Business Accounts
  3. Select a Business Name
  4. Select Export Document tab
  5. Select Draft Documents tab
  6. Select link of the applicable Draft Document Name

9.2 Account owners, proxy account owners and account users

9.2.1 Create draft documents

  1. Log in to the CERS Portal
  2. Navigate to Business Accounts
  3. Select a Business Name
  4. Select Export Documents tab
  5. Select Create Export Document
  6. Select the type of Export Document (Export Declaration or Summary Report); select Submit
  7. Enter all applicable information
  8. Select Save and Continue or Save and Finish Later

9.2.2 Edit draft documents

Follow the steps 1-6 above, in 9.1.1 View Draft Documents, to access the applicable Draft Document Name link:

  1. Enter all applicable information
  2. Select Check for Errors, Save and Continue, Save and Exit, or Submit to the CBSA

9.2.3 Delete draft documents

Follow the steps 1-6 above, in 9.1.1 View Draft Documents, to access the applicable Draft Document Name link:

  1. Select Delete
  2. A confirmation page will appear; select Yes

10 Manage lookups

Lookups are created in the Portal for specific information relating to an Exporter, Consignee, Service Provider, or Commodity. All information saved in a specific Lookup record can be automatically uploaded to a new export document; reducing the number of mandatory entries a user will have to input when creating an Export Declaration and Summary Report.

10.1 All users of the portal

10.1.1 View lookups

  1. Log in to the CERS Portal
  2. Navigate to Business Accounts
  3. Select a Business Name
  4. Select Lookups tab
  5. Select Lookup tab of interest (e.g. Exporter)
  6. Select link of the applicable Lookup Name/HS8 Code

10.2 Account owners, proxy account owners and account users

10.2.1 Create lookups

10.2.1.1 Option 1:

Follow the steps above, in 9.2.1 Create Draft Documents, to enter all applicable information in Exporter, Consignee, Service Provider (Service Provider Lookup available for Customs Service Providers only), or Commodity to create a Lookup (a copy of a specific record).

  1. Enter Lookup Name
  2. Select Create…Lookup (e.g. Create Exporter Lookup)
  3. Select Ok
10.2.1.2 Option 2:

Lookup records may also be created within the Lookups tab of interest (i.e. Exporter, Consignee, Service Provider, Certifier, HS Code, or Summary Report Line):

  1. Log in to the CERS Portal
  2. Navigate to Business Accounts
  3. Select a Business Name
  4. Select Lookups tab
  5. Select Lookup tab of interest (e.g. Exporter)
  6. Select Create…Lookup (e.g. Create Exporter Lookup)
  7. Enter all applicable information
  8. Select Create
  9. Select Ok
10.2.1.3 Option 3:

Follow the steps 1-6 above, in 10.1.1 View Lookups, to access the applicable Lookup Name/HS8 Code link:

  1. Select Edit
  2. Enter all applicable information
  3. Select Save As to save as a new Lookup
  4. Enter a new Lookup Name
  5. Select Submit
  6. A confirmation page will appear; select Ok

10.2.2 Edit lookups

Follow the steps 1-6 above, in 10.1.1 View Lookups, to access the applicable Lookup Name/HS8 Code link:

  1. Select Edit
  2. Enter all applicable information
  3. Select Submit to save modifications to the existing Lookup
  4. A confirmation page will appear; select Ok

10.2.3 Delete lookups

Follow the steps 1-6 above, in 10.1.1 View Lookups, to access the applicable Lookup Name/HS8 Code link:

  1. Select Delete
  2. A confirmation page will appear; select Yes

11 Manage templates

A user can create a template after submitting an Export Declaration or Summary Report to the CBSA. All of the business data entries assigned to the submitted export document will be saved to the Template, which can be used to create new export documents.

11.1 All users of the portal

11.1.1 View templates

  1. Log in to the CERS Portal
  2. Navigate to Business Accounts
  3. Select a Business Name
  4. Select Templates tab
  5. Select link of the applicable Template Name

11.2 Account owners, proxy account owners and account users

11.2.1 Create templates

11.2.1.1 Option 1:

Follow the steps above, in 6 Submit an Export Declaration/Summary Report, to submit an Export Declaration or Summary Report to the CBSA. A confirmation page will appear:

  1. Select Use submitted Export Declaration/Summary Report information to create Export Declaration/Summary Report template
  2. Enter an Export Declaration/Summary Report Template Name
  3. Select Create Template
11.2.1.2 Option 2:

Follow the steps above, in 8.1.1 View Submitted Documents, to view the applicable submitted Export Document:

  1. Select the applicable Proof of Report link to view details of a submitted Export Declaration/Summary Report
  2. Navigate to the bottom of the View Submitted Export Declaration/Summary Report page
  3. Select Use submitted Export Declaration/Summary Report information to create Export Declaration/Summary Report template
  4. Enter an Export Declaration/Summary Report Template Name
  5. Select Create
11.2.1.3 Option 3:

Follow the steps 1-5 above, in 11.1.1 View Templates, to access the applicable Template Name link:

  1. Select Edit
  2. Enter all applicable information
  3. Select Save As to save as a new Template
  4. Enter a new Export Document Template Name
  5. Select Create Template
  6. A confirmation page will appear; select Ok

11.2.2 Edit templates

Follow the steps 1-5 above, in 11.1.1 View Templates, to access the applicable Template Name link:

  1. Select Edit
  2. Enter all applicable information
  3. Select Save to save modifications to the existing template
  4. A confirmation page will appear; select Ok

11.2.3 Delete templates

Follow the steps 1-5 above, in 11.1.1 View Templates, to access the applicable Template Name link:

  1. Select Delete
  2. A confirmation page will appear; select Yes

12 View bulletins and links

The CBSA will regularly post information to the CERS Portal. CERS will not notify users when new Bulletins and Useful Links are added to the Portal. Users are encouraged to view the Bulletins tab regularly for information related to exporter reporting. Users may also subscribe to receive email Portal bulletins related to system outages, etc., by visiting Electronic Data Interchange/Portal Clients and by completing the EDI/Portal bulletins section on the Stay Informed tab and selecting Exporter as the bulletins you like to receive.

12.1 All users of the portal

  1. Log in to the CERS Portal
  2. Navigate to Business Accounts
  3. Select a Business Name
  4. Select Bulletins tab
  5. Select link to CERS notices in Bulletins and/or Select link to website information in Useful Links
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