- What is a customs broker? What do brokers do?
- What are the advantages of using a Customs Broker?
- Where can I learn more about Exporting & Importing?
- Why do you have to report your exports?
- What documents do you need from the vendor or exporter of your shipment?
- Where will my shipment enter Canada? Where will the goods be released?
- What books and records do I have to keep?
- How can you determine in advance what duties you will have to pay on your shipment?
1. What is a customs broker? What do brokers do?
The Canada Customs and Revenue Agency(CCRA) license customs brokers to carry out customs-related responsibilities on behalf of their clients. A broker's services include:
- obtaining release of the imported goods;
- paying any duties that apply;
- obtaining, preparing, and presenting or transmitting the necessary documents or data;
- maintaining records; and
- responding to any CCRA concerns after payment.
You will have to pay a fee for these services, which the brokerage firm establishes.
As the importer, you remain liable for all duties owing until either you or your broker pays them. This applies regardless of whether or not you paid the amount to your broker.
2. What are the advantages of using a Customs Broker? A you know, many changes in government rules and regulations require constant monitoring. It is expensive and time consuming to monitor these changes. Consequently, you may send staff to the clearance site to process and prepare the customs declaration, to await the customs clearance, to pay the charges due and to then await delivery of their goods. It makes good business sense to hire a customs broker to ensure that the goods are processed in an efficient and cost-effective manner.
3. Where can I learn more about Exporting & Importing?
You can see the importing and exporting sections of the Canada Customs & Revenue Agency -CCRA's web site: www.rc.gc.ca,
along with the D Memoranda and other documents in their customs technical publications section. You can also call them for further inquires at 1-800-461-9999
4. Why do you have to report your exports?
It is important that you report your exports. CCRA export program has three main objectives:
collect timely and accurate export statistics;
control the export of strategic, embargoed, and dangerous goods, as well as other controlled and regulated goods; and
control the movement of in-transit goods
5. What documents do you need from the vendor or exporter of your shipment?
In order to successfully clear your goods with customs, the vendor or exporter (the person or company that sold you the goods) should give you a sales receipt or invoice that describes the goods in detail and shows the purchase price.
The vendor or exporter should also provide you with a certificate of origin so the goods may qualify for lower duty rates, such as those outlined in the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), or the Canada-Israel Free Trade, Agreement (CIFTA).
For details, see Tariff Treatments.
6. Where will my shipment enter Canada? Where will the goods be released?
The CCRA releases most shipments at their point of arrival -- highway border, rail border, international airport, or seaport. However, you can request that goods arriving at one of these border locations be released at an inland office. For example, a shipment arrives at Fort Erie, Ontario, but the client wants it released in Metro Toronto. The goods are reported at Fort Erie, then travel under customs control by a bonded carrier for release at the Metro Toronto inland site
7. What books and records do I have to keep?
As the importer, you have to keep books and records to substantiate all imported goods, including their quantity, price, and origin. You must keep records in Canada, in either paper or electronic format, for six years after the year you imported the goods. You can keep your records outside Canada only with written approval from the Canada Customs and Revenue Agency (CCRA).
8. How can you determine in advance what duties you will have to pay on your shipment?
Before your shipment arrives, CCRA can assist you in determining the duties you will have to pay on the goods. It is important that you have a thorough description of the goods and know their value and origin. CCRA can also give you advice about the appropriate valuation method, tariff classification, and tariff treatment. You can also request a National Customs Ruling on tariff classification or valuation.
All commercial goods you bring into Canada are subject to customs duty and the goods and services tax (GST), unless they are exempt or free of duties. Regardless of the currency you use to pay for your goods, you must always convert the value of the goods into Canadian funds to determine the duties payable.
Depending on the goods or their value, some other charges or taxes may apply, including excise duty and excise tax on luxury items like jewellery or alcohol.