Canadian Travel Regulations for Packages

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Part
01

Canadian Travel Regulations for Packages

This item will be considered a commercial good under Canadian customs regulations. The item can travel with the owner on a commercial flight and be declared on arrival, but customs may not release it immediately. The relevant paperwork for shipping the item to Canada can be completed by the owner without the assistance of a customs broker. There is no guarantee that the item will not be subjected to an invasive inspection regardless of the manner it is shipped. A customs broker, with extensive knowledge of the rules around importing commercial items, presents the best option of minimizing an inspection where the pressurized seal is broken.

ACCOMPANIED ON FLIGHT

  • There are restrictions on what you can bring into Canada as luggage on a flight.
  • You can bring goods for your personal use. This includes clothes, camping and sporting equipment, cameras, and personal computers.
  • Other goods must be declared on arrival. They cannot be used by a resident of Canada, used on behalf of a business based in Canada, given as a gift to a Canadian resident, or disposed of or left behind in Canada.
  • Any electronics equipment that is to be used for commercial purposes must comply with the Canadian rules regarding the importation of commercial goods.
  • Even though the item is returning to the US, it will not fit the definition of a personal use item. It must meet the rules around importing commercial goods.
  • Canadian legislation allows paying passengers to carry commercial goods. In these instances, the Commercial Hand Carried Goods Release Process applies.
  • The passenger declares the commercial goods and the import is processed as part of the normal traveler stream.
  • The passenger will be required to account for the item post-arrival. The item may be retained by CBSA and/or inspected before being released.
  • In all other instances, the following procedure for importing commercial goods must be adhered to.

PREPARING TO IMPORT COMMERCIAL GOODS

  • Before importing any commercial goods into Canada, an individual needs to obtain a Business Number (BN). This is not a complicated process.
  • A BN can be obtained free of charge. In most instances, it only takes a few minutes.
  • The goods for import must be identified. As much information as possible regarding the item should be provided.
  • This information should include descriptive literature and product composition literature. In this instance, details regarding the pressurized housing and the importance of the seal remaining intact would be fundamental.
  • The information needs to clearly explain what the item is and its components. Canadian border services will inspect any item they have concerns about.
  • If the item is inspected, there is no guarantee the seal will not be broken, so this information needs to be sufficient to alleviate any concern border officials may have.
  • This information is also used to determine any taxes or tariffs payable on the goods.
  • The country of origin must be identified.
  • Certain goods are prohibited from being imported into Canada.
  • This item does not appear to fall into this category. A comprehensive list of prohibited items is available in the Memoranda Series D9, Prohibited Importations.
  • Some goods require permits before being imported into Canada. There are also restrictions on importing certain goods.
  • Comprehensive details regarding import permits and restrictions are set out in Memoranda Series D19, Acts and Regulations of Other Government Departments. There is also a reference list available to assist importers.

CLASSIFYING GOODS AND PAYING TAXES

  • Any goods being imported into Canada must be identified by a tariff classification number.
  • This number and the country of origin are fundamental in determining if any tariff is payable.
  • Details regarding the classification of goods are set out in Memorandum D10-13-1, Classification of Goods.
  • This can be completed by mail in advance through the CBSA trade office.
  • Once the goods have been classified, the importer can determine if any tax or duty is payable.
  • Customs Tariffs can be calculated using the Customs Tariffs document.

SHIPPING

  • All commercial items must be reported to the CBSA, regardless of whether they are being transported by an individual or a carrier.
  • The information collected in advance from Advanced Commercial Information and eManifest allows the CBSA to make decisions and detect potential risks in advance of the item arriving.
  • Shipping companies typically have access to a portal that allows them to provide this information to CBSA.
  • If the item is valued at less than CAD$2,500, the item can be shipped using postal or courier services. In these instances, the item will be delivered to the specified address in Canada.
  • When the item is delivered, it will include the relevant paperwork and an invoice for any customs tariffs or duties.
  • Courier companies often complete the customs documentation for a fee.
  • Unfortunately, there is no guarantee that the item will not be inspected by CBSA. There is a possibility that the seal may be broken.

SHIPPING COMPANIES

  • USPS, DHL, and APC are 3 companies that will ship this piece of commercial equipment to Canada. The time frame and the rates depend on the class chosen and the weight of the item. It is also dependent on the pick-up and drop-off locations.
  • DHL can have items to most Canadian locations within 1-3 business days. There is a tool on their website that assists in calculating the rates.
  • DHL also offers a customs brokerage service that completes the necessary paperwork for the customer.
  • USPS offers priority shipping delivered within 6-10 business days. The rates are available on their website and are dependent on weight.
  • They do not offer a brokerage service, so the necessary paperwork needs to be completed by the consumer using the aforementioned process.
  • APC's expedited service can deliver items to Canada within 6-9 business days. They provide a paid duty option or an invoiced option.
  • The rates are not readily available on the website. Customers are asked to contact the company directly for this information. They do not offer a brokerage service, so the necessary paperwork needs to be completed by the consumer using the aforementioned process.

CUSTOMS BROKER

  • Customs brokers can assist in ensuring all the necessary paperwork is completed before shipping.
  • They can ensure that the item meets all requirements for import into Canada and they can arrange preliminary clearance of the item before it arrives at the Canadian border.
  • One of the advantages of using a customs broker is they have relationships with the CBSA. They are also aware of the regulations and deal with specialist items daily.
  • The rules for importing commercial items are complex. This is a specialist piece of equipment, that needs to be handled uniquely.
  • There is never any guarantee that an item will not be opened and inspected by the CBSA. There is no guarantee as to the nature of this inspection.
  • Providing as much information as possible about the item in advance, as detailed above, will minimize the likelihood of an overly invasive inspection, where the pressurized seal is broken.
  • While this can be completed by the consumer, the nuances of the import law and the very specialized way in which this item needs to be treated are such that the use of a customs broker appears to be the best way to minimize the risk around inspection.
  • The ability to have the item cleared on a preliminary basis is an overwhelming advantage.
  • There are many brokerage firms available, and all give online quotes. However, given the very specific manner in which this item needs to be handled, we highly recommend speaking with the company rather than relying on AI-supported chats.
  • The time frame, pricing and process are not readily available. The consumer is required to contact the company directly to obtain this information due to the unique nature of different commercial goods.
  • A&A and PCB are 2 companies that offer brokerage services between the US and Canada.

RESEARCH STRATEGY

We extensively searched the Canadian Customs Rules and Regulations to determine if this item could be accompanied luggage on a commercial flight. Although this is allowed, the item will be considered a commercial item, and the relevant rules must be adhered to.

Firstly, we considered the rules around declaring the item on arrival. This information was obtained by reviewing relevant Canadian Customs documents. This enabled us to determine the risks and any delays that may be encountered. We then considered unaccompanied shipping.

Regardless of whether the item is shipped by an individual or a customs broker, the rules around importing commercial goods need to be followed. We reviewed the procedure and regulations around importing commercial goods. We have provided links to the relevant documents that need to be considered throughout this process. There are several steps. Wherever possible, we have provided any available information from CBSA to ensure a trouble-free process.

Next, we considered the rules around inspection on the CBSA website, and in associated documentation. This enabled us to provide information around the likelihood of an invasive inspection, and the best way to minimize this.

We then reviewed shipping companies that will ship this item to Canada. We searched a range of industry websites and articles. After identifying several companies, we searched the information available on their websites regarding shipping times, rates, and services provided. By doing this, we were able to identify the 3 companies that can ship in the most timely manner and had the most reasonable rates. We have included information on each of these companies.

Finally, we considered the customs brokers. We searched a range of industry publications and articles to determine the advantages and disadvantages of using a customs broker. The research criteria asked us to analyze all the information and make a recommendation whether a customs broker is required. In normal circumstances, based on the information available, the process is one that can be completed by the consumer. However, in this instance, the equipment is specialized, and there are specific requirements if an inspection is required. Given this and based on the information we discovered regarding the advantages of a customs broker, we concluded this is the best way to minimize the risks around the pressurized seal being broken during an inspection. We considered a range of customs brokers. We have provided the names of 2 customs brokers who provided comprehensive information around the advantages of using their services and the benefits to the customer. The services provided by these 2 customs brokers comply with the specialist services required by this client.
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