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COVID-19: Border information for business

Cross-border supply chains are vital to ensure the continued flow of goods, including food and medical supplies for all Canadians. The CBSA and our federal partners are working with commercial stakeholders to ensure that commercial traffic at the border is not impeded by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Border restrictions and exemptions for commercial and trade

The CBSA is committed to supporting Canadian importers and exporters and the free flow of goods and services across our international borders.

To ensure that critical infrastructure, essential services and economic supply chains continue between Canada and the United States (US), certain travellers are exempt from entry restrictions and/or the requirements to quarantine. This allows food, fuel, and life-saving medicines to reach people on both sides of the border.

If you are exempted from the requirement to quarantine, you are still required to follow the public health measures outlined in the Public Health Agency of Canada handout for persons exempt from mandatory quarantine due to COVID-19.

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General information for our business clients

To help us respond to your questions quickly, if you are a business client using the services listed below, submit your inquiries, requests or questions via email or electronic forms:

You may be affected by processing delays if you are importing goods by mail. The COVID-19 pandemic has caused a significant increase in volume, resulting in processing delays at the three (3) international mail centres.

Learn more about Importing goods by mail.

Electronic notices

We urge carriers who do not already get electronic notices to sign up as soon as possible. Drivers and carriers who get electronic notices do not need to stop at Primary Inspection Lines (PIL) for a stamped copy of the lead sheet. This reduces document handling at PILs and is an important safety measure during COVID-19.

Sign up to get electronic notices

Electronic Longroom

The Electronic Longroom is an email and digital stamping service offered at some CBSA offices. Commercial clients can use this service instead of submitting paper, allowing the continued movement of cargo without the need for face-to-face interaction. The initiative is being expanded as part of CBSA's response to COVID-19.

Read more about the Electronic Longroom service, including the available locations.

Changes to CBSA services for importers

CBSA Assessment Revenue Management initiative: Delayed implementation

A planned implementation timeline will be added once operations normalize, following the COVID-19 pandemic.

Read more about the CBSA Assessment and Revenue Management (CARM) project.

Release of goods regulated by other government departments

As of , the CBSA decommissioned the legacy Other Government Department (OGD) release service options OGD PARS (SO463) and OGD RMD (SO471) as of .

Release requests submitted using the OGD legacy service options will be rejected with an error message of "Invalid Function Type Code." Transactions that were submitted using these service options prior to , will still be processed.

Please refer to Customs Notice 20-21 for the release service options that remain available to you.

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Relevant customs notices

For information related to temporary measures such as extension of timeframes, late accounting penalties, importation of emergency goods and system changes:

Statements of account

The payment deferral period ended on . If you are an importer or customs broker acting on an importer's behalf, you should have paid the full amount of duties and taxes owing on your statements of account by this date.

We may refer an unpaid account to the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) for collection activities. If you cannot make a full payment, the CRA may consider a payment arrangement. Late payment penalty and interest may be charged on overdue accounts. You can submit a request for a review for late accounting penalties and late transaction payment interest to the CBSA.

You, the importer, or your customs broker, will need to provide written evidence of any payments made to the CBSA against your , , and statements of account. We will use this evidence to consider each request to waive interest or penalties on a case-by-case basis.

The CBSA can use a bond posted as financial security for an importation of goods transaction to cover unpaid statements of account. However, this is only done after exhausting other reasonable efforts to collect from importers or owners.

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Changes to CBSA services for exporters

Export declarations

On , the CBSA launched the Canadian Export Reporting System (CERS), a web-based portal for exporters to electronically submit their export declarations and monthly summary reports. Paper-based reporting is no longer available. Please submit monthly Summary Reporting Program (SRP) reports via the CERS Portal.

More information

Special Import Measures Act activities: Schedule changes

Due to COVID-19, the CBSA revised schedules for a number of Special Import Measures Act (SIMA) activities. Refer to our Anti-dumping and countervailing page for more details.

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