Clearance of Imported Goods in Canada – Here’s Everything You Should Know

Customs laws in Canada, just like every responsible country should have, are very strict. These laws are mostly imposed to discourage smuggling in the country. Which means that every shipment goes through rigorous checking before it is cleared at customs for sale/personal use anywhere in the entire country. Having said that, it’s no one better than an importer – whether it’s a first time importer or an experienced importer – who understands the importance of hiring experienced customs import brokers who are the best people to get the goods cleared in time. And, this guide is specially dedicated to the many ways in which such brokers help with shipments arriving by air, sea, as well as truck. 

However, before we can take you through the different ways in which shipments are cleared, we’d like to mention that every clearance begins when you sign-up with Clearit Canada website. Once you’re signed up, the company assigns a Clearit customs clearance broker to handle your cargo personally. And that broker handles the cargos arriving in Canada in the following ways. 

  1. For Air Shipments 

Every shipment arriving by air requires proper documentation. The documents that has to come from your end include:

  • Commercial invoice 
  • Packing list 
  • Trade certificate(s) 

In case of car imports, there’s an ITN number without which the vehicle will not be cleared at customs. You can apply for this number via Clearit at just 125 dollars. 

Once the agent finds that all the documents are complete, they submit them at customs electrically. The document that has to come from your freight forwarder is the Airway Bill Number (AWB) that has to be submitted at customs at the time of arrival.

  1. For Sea Shipments

Whilst most of the work is very much the same as air shipments, a few differences are listed below. 

  • An extra bill of lading has to be provided for sea shipments alongside the usuals – commercial invoice, packing list, and trade certifications. 
  • Sea shipments take almost 48 hours to get a clearance.
  1. For Truck Shipments

Besides the usual documents, your transportation provider will have to provide the import broker with the PARS (pre-arrival processing system) notice so that they can get your cargo cleared at the crossways before your truck can actually cross the border. It saves a lot of time and ensures that the order isn’t delayed at all. 

Additionally, Clearit also:

  • Send their agent(s) on site while customs clearance is in progress to have a look at the goods to ensure that the package isn’t damaged. 
  • Offers warehousing and transportation services after the clearance of goods at customs. 

Have a look at their website, Clearit Canada, for more details.

Rozella Kessler
the authorRozella Kessler