Canada Border Services Agency

The CBSA is responsible for controlling the flow of goods and people into and out of Canada in an effort to support the security and safety of Canadians and to facilitate Canada’s increasing worldwide trade.

Canada has trade agreements with most countries but has also developed free trade agreements with the U.S. and Mexico (North America Free Trade Agreement), Costa Rica, Chile and Israel. Most goods from these countries are duty free entering Canada.

The CBSA uses advance commercial information (ACI), risk management and, pre-approved programs to reduce delays in crossing Canada’s border. The advance commercial information provides information on the goods allowing Customs to make risk assessments. Based on the risk assessment, decisions are made relative to the examination and release of the goods. To facilitate the movement of low-risk people and goods the CBSA administers pre approval programs; that individuals or companies can join to speed up their cross-border travel.

The NEXUS programs, a joint venture of the Canadian and U.S. Customs, is designed to improve border security while simplifying crossings for pre-approved low-risk travelers.

The Customs Self Assessment (CSA) program, an initiative of Canada Customs and the importing community, gives approved importers the benefits of a streamlined accounting and payment process for all imported goods, allowing importers to use their own business systems to fully self assess and meet their customs obligations. The CSA program also gives approved importers, approved carriers, and registered drivers the benefits of a streamlined clearance option for CSA eligible goods.

The Free and Secure Trade (FAST) program, a joint program between the Canadian and U.S. Customs administrations, allows pre-approved eligible goods to be moved across the border quickly with verification of trade compliance away from the border. In Canada, FAST builds on the CSA program with security measures under the Partners in Protection (PIP) program, which requires companies to assess their security systems while in the U.S. companies must adopt security measures in accordance with the Customs Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (C-TPAT) program.

Export regulations require exporters to report goods for export in advance of the goods being exported from Canada. Approved carriers and customs service providers enter agreements with the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) under which participants agree to request proof of report prior to loading. Goods not reported for export will not be loaded for export. This is the no report/no load policy.

Compliance with the requirements of these programs is essential. Following the rules, providing detailed information and proper documentation prevents the application of monetary penalties for non-compliance under the Administrative Monetary Penalty System (AMPS).

The trading community, working in partnership with the CBSA, will improve trade and enhance the safety and security of all Canadians.


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