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  • Writer's pictureCherie Storms

Shipment Stuck at the Border - Delays with Customs?

Updated: Oct 19, 2023

There are many steps to ensure that a shipment clears Customs without delay or penalty.

Here are some of the main reasons for delay.

1. Not set up with a Customs broker

Partner with a customs broker. We are licensed professionals who are experts in the complexities of global trade, can assist importers with completing all of the required documentation to clear shipments through the Customs, and help you avoid delay or penalty.

2. Forgot to research the product before we shipped

Is the product allowed to come in?

  • Research the requirements for your commodity, or

  • Have a Customs broker help you with research

Knowledge regarding your commodity is essential, including being aware of duty rates and which government departments (i.e. CFIA, Health Canada) need to be involved. The end use and composition of the product are examples of data used to determine cost and import requirements.

3. Didn’t pre-register with CBSA

Is our company set up with Customs? The importer must register with CBSA and obtain a 15 digit import business number.

4. Be certain that your paperwork is complete, accurate and readable

The details matter, have a broker help you with this. Errors, omissions and inconsistencies in documentation are one of the main reasons that shipments are delayed at the border.

Arrange for your documents to be sent too and reviewed by your broker prior to the goods’ arrival at the border!

Documentation issues can include:

– Insufficient or inaccurate description of goods

– Missing values

– Country of manufacture not specified

– Quantity or weight not indicated

– Failure to name the Customs broker on the paperwork

– Ensuring the goods can be easily associated with the corresponding paperwork

5. Embrace technology - Submitting Documents

Find a technology-based solution for submitting documents. The use of electronic methods for data transmission ensures speed and reduces the chance of errors. Communicating shipment information via Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) to your broker is a tech-based solution that contributes to efficient quick clearings at the border and provides a method to pre-check the clearance status prior to arrival.

6. Embrace technology - Shipment Visibility

Use a technology solution to verify Customs status throughout your declaration:

  • Submitted

  • Transmitting

  • Accepted / Rejected

  • Match to Carrier Information

  • Release

  • Refer for exam

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