When importing goods into Canada, there are specific forms that are required by Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) when presenting the entry information. These forms are intended to provide all necessary information to various Canadian Government Agencies and Departments. Transmanna experts can prepare all these documents for you at nominal cost so that you can relax after eliminating the risk of committing costly errors in completing these forms. We can also save your trade record for seven years as per CBSA requirement. The forms that we can prepare and save for you are given below:

 Commercial Invoice (CI)

The Commercial Invoice is prepared by the exporter and is required by the foreign buyer to prove ownership and arrange for payment. It is the primary document used by most foreign customs agencies for import control, valuation, and duty determination. The information provided on other international shipping documents, including the air waybill or shipping label, must correspond with the Commercial Invoice. You will need two copies of the Commercial Invoice, one must accompany the freight from the point of pickup to the point of customs clearance, the other should be attached to the Bill of Lading. A Commercial Invoice is a form identifying the seller and buyer of goods or services, identifying invoice number, date, shipping date, mode of transport, port of entry, delivery and payment terms, and a complete listing and description of the goods or services sold including, quantities, prices, and terms of sale.

Canada Customs Invoice (CCI)

Sometimes, the invoice might not have the necessary information, therefore completing a Canada Customs Invoice will allow you to collect all the necessary information to support and complete a Canada Customs Coding form. All commercial shipments entering Canada must be documented on a Canada Customs Invoice (CCI) or a Commercial Invoice that contains all the information that would be provided on a CCI. For example: country of origin, packing charges, etc. The minimum information required by CBSA to obtain release, is the information contained on a CCI. CBSA may request a copy of the Commercial Invoice to verify the accuracy of the CCI. This document should accompany the freight from the point of pickup to the point of customs clearance. An additional copy should be attached to the Bill of Lading. If border clearance is indicated on the Bill of Lading, please write “PARS Clearance” on the Canada Customs Invoice.

Bill Of Lading

A bill of lading is a legal document between the shipper of goods and the carrier detailing the type, quantity and destination of the goods being carried. This document is issued by a carrier, or its agent, to the shipper as a contract of carriage of goods. It is also a receipt for cargo accepted for transportation, and must be presented for taking delivery at the destination. Among other items of information, a bill of lading contains (1) consignor’s and consignee’s name, (2) names of the ports of departure and destination, (3) name of the vessel, (4) dates of departure and arrival, (5) itemized list of goods being transported with number of packages and kind of packaging, (6) marks and numbers on the packages, (7) weight and/or volume of the cargo, (8) freight rate and amount. This document must accompany the shipped goods, no matter the form of transportation, and must be signed by an authorized representative from the carrier, shipper and receiver. In negotiable form, it is commonly used in letter of credit transactions, and may be bought, sold, or traded; or used as security for borrowing money. A bill of lading is required in all claims for compensation for any damage, delay, or loss; and for the resolution of disputes regarding ownership of the cargo. The rights, responsibilities, and liabilities of the carrier and the shipper under a bill of lading (often printed on its back) are governed generally either by the older Hague rules, or by the more recent Hague-Visby rules.

Certificate of Origin

The importer in the foreign country may be entitled to claim a preferential tariff treatment and pay a lower duty rate if they have a valid certificate of origin. The Certificate of Origin is a signed declaration from the manufacturer of the goods indicating that the goods are of Canadian origin and meet the requirements of a free trade agreement. The type of commodity you’re exporting and its destination country will determine whether it is required – for example, many countries require a Certificate of Origin for textiles, such as fabric or clothing, over a certain value.
A Certificate of Origin must be completed and signed by the exporter of the goods. When the exporter is not the producer, the exporter can complete the certificate on the basis of knowledge of the goods’ origin, reasonable reliance on the producer’s written representation of the goods’ origin, or a completed and signed Certificate of Origin for the goods voluntarily provided to the exporter by the producer.

  • A copy of this document should be forwarded to the importer and retained by the exporter. Be sure to include a copy of your Certificate of Origin INSIDE as well as OUTSIDE the shipment.
  • Canada Customs regulations require that you keep this certificate and the backup documentation for six years following the year of its issuance. Failure to do so could invalidate the preferential duty claim.
  • In some countries, the Certificate of Origin must be notarized. Please check the destination country’s regulations.

Cargo Control Document (CCD) -A8A

The Cargo Control Document (CCD), also known as form A8A, is a critical document because it contains the unique carrier code and shipment number. The CBSA issues each of the freight transportation companies, known as carriers, an individual four-digit carrier code. This code, combined with a unique shipment number (assigned by the carrier) and presented in bar-code format, helps the CBSA identify both the carrier and the shipment when documentation is presented at the border. The CCD is generated by the carrier and contains general information about the shipment, such as:

  • Address of the receiver (consignee) and shipper (sender)
  • Description of goods
  • Number of packages and weight
  • Name of the carrier
  • Carrier Code (barcode format).

Carriers can personalize the CCD using specific guidelines set by the CBSA. 

Canada Customs Coding Form (B3 or B3B Form)

CBSA requires that imported goods be accounted. Just as businesses account for invoices, payments, and inventory, they should also account for imported goods. To account for goods that have entered Canada, an importer must complete an Import form. The form required is called the Canada Customs Coding form, widely known in the industry as a B3. Form B3B is used together with Form B3 when there is more than one cargo control document to be acquitted by one B3 form. The border services officer will review Form B3 documentation to ensure compliance with the CBSA’s requirements. They will return any B3 form that does not meet the requirements to the importer/owner or broker, and where applicable, withhold release of goods. In all such cases, the border services officer will inform the importer/owner or broker of the reasons for rejection.

Confirmation of Sale (COS)

This form in triplicate, completed, and signed, is required for all commercial importations of fresh fruits and vegetables to confirm a sales transaction actually exists.

Packing List

A packing list is similar to a shipping list in that it lists the goods being shipping, information on how it was packed, how the goods are numbered, and weight/height dimensions. Even though it’s not always required, it’s an important document used by freight forwarders to prepare a bill of lading and to understand how much cargo is needed.

CFIA Import Declaration – Form 4560  

This form is required to obtain the release of dairy, processed fruit and vegetables, honey, pesticides, seed, fertilizer and feed products.

Exporter’s Statement of Origin

In some countries, the process for obtaining a certificate of origin can be lengthy requiring weeks if not months of administrative delays. To streamline international trade transactions, Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) will accept an exporter’s statement of origin.  The exporter’s statement of origin must be signed by the exporter in the originating country.

Free Trade Agreement (FTA)

Canada has signed many other trade agreements most of which require a country specific form to be completed. Contact Client Services Team for more information

Sea Waybill

Shipping document that is only a receipt of cargo taken ‘on board’ a vessel and which, unlike a bill of lading, is not a document of title.

NAFTA Certificate of Origin 

The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) is a preferential tariff program that eliminates duty on qualifying goods. This form is required to claim preferential “duty free” NAFTA tariff treatment for shipments to Canada. It is not a requirement for customs clearance but should be on hand with the importer or their customs broker at time of import to ensure preferential duty rates are applied.

Export Declaration (B13A)

A B13A is a customs declaration required by the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) to report exports from Canada that are valued at CAD$2,000 or greater destined to any country other than the U.S., Puerto Rico or the U.S. Virgin Islands or shipping controlled, prohibited or regulated goods regardless of value. Please note there are some exceptions to these requirements.

-Failure to report B13A export information and/or an Export Permit when required is subject to Administrative Monetary Penalty System (AMPS) penalties. Missing required data elements on the B13A are also subject to AMPS penalties.

– Even though you may not be required to file a B13A Export Declaration for a shipment, you may still be responsible for filing other documents such as export permits, certificates, and licenses required by other Canadian government departments or agencies that regulate the export of goods.

Import Declaration Form

Most processed fruits & vegetables, dairy products, honey products, seeds & animal feeds require an Import Declaration Form to be completed. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency uses the information contained on this form to administer the Agriculture Canada Regulations.

Transport Canada Form 1 and Form 2

Completion of a Form 1 – Safety Compliance Form is required for the import of all new and used vehicles. This form identifies the vehicle by VIN Number and is used to track all vehicles imported into Canada. The Form 1 is stamped by CBSA at time of import, and then is forwarded to Transport Canada Registrar of Imported Vehicles (RIV). Once the registration charges are paid and RIV has received a copy of the recall clearance documentation, they will then process and send a Form 2 to the importer. In order to complete the safety inspection for a vehicle less than 15 years old, an importer will require a stamped Form 1, recall clearance documentation, and the Form 2. Vehicles greater than 15 years old, require only a stamped Form 1 to have their safety inspection completed. Once the safety inspection is completed, the importer can go to their provincial licensing authority to complete the licensing and insurance process of the vehicle.

Softwood Lumber Permit Application Form

The Softwood Lumber Agreement between Canada and the USA requires Canada to limit the quantity of softwood lumber exported to the USA. This is done through allocation of regional quotas and by issuance of permits to control quantities

Dock Receipts

The purpose of this receipt is to provide the exporter with proof that the delivery of goods to the international carrier was successful and in good condition.

Inspection Certificate

These inspections are usually done with industrial equipment, perishable merchandise and meat products. It certifies the items were received in good condition and that the shipment contained the correct quantity.

Insurance Certificate

For export shipments, this document certifies you have bought an insurance policy for cargo on board. Insurance may be purchased because liability and large losses are a concern to the exporter.

Electronic Export Information (EEI)

A required government online form for all exports in excess of $2,500 or ones that require an export license. The EEImust be filed with the U.S. Census Bureau to collect trade statistics and apply export controls.


All importers or their agents are required by law to keep all their records pertaining to their importations for six years following the importation of good(s) in either electronic or paper format inside Canada. This includes information relating to the quantities received, price paid, the country of origin, vendor, product, and all other related information. Record-keeping requirements for imported commercial goods apply to resident and non-resident importers, including exporters abroad who ship commercial goods to themselves in Canada. Generally, an importer is required to maintain imported goods records at its place of business in Canada. However, an importer may submit an application to the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) requesting authorization to maintain records at a location in Canada other than its place of business. The letter must identify the business address where the records will be maintained and how the location relates to the importer (e.g., accountant’s office, customs broker office).

Non-resident Importers:

Non-resident importers usually do not maintain a place of business in Canada a customs broker, accountant, or other authorized agent may be designated by a non-resident importer to maintain its records in Canada. However, when CBSA authorizes such requests for an agent to maintain records, the Non resident importer continues to be responsible for all of the legislative requirements of subsections 40(1) and 43(1) of the Customs Act (the Act) and related regulations. Non-resident Importers may also submit a request to the CBSA for an authorization to maintain records at their place of business outside of Canada, at a specific location authorized by the CBSA, or designate an agent to keep records on their behalf Imaged and Microfilmed Records: Where records are maintained in an electronic imaged or microfilmed format, the imaging or microfilming program must adhere to the National Standards of Canada, CAN/CGSB-72.34-2005, Electronic Records as Documentary Evidence, and CAN/CGSB-72.11-93, Microfilm and Electronic Imaging as Documentary Evidence. These Standards are available from the Canadian General Standards Board.

1.    Electronic Data Processed Records:  

Records maintained in electronic imaged or microfilmed format are recognized as records of account, provided the medium can be related back to the supporting source documents or hard copy documents and is supported by a system capable of producing an accessible and readable copy.

  • All records of account (including source documents) available in paper format must be kept, except where an acceptable electronic imaging or microfilming program identified in paragraph 6 is in place.
  • The CBSA eManifest Portal users are required to retain separate records in respect of imported goods in accordance with the information provided in this memorandum. The eManifest Portal is not to be used for record-keeping.
  • Records kept outside of Canada and accessed electronically are not considered to be records in Canada. However, where records are maintained electronically at a location outside of Canada, a copy of the records may be accepted, provided these are made available to the CBSA in Canada or at a location designated by the Minister in an electronically readable and useable format.

2.    Availability for Inspection and Delivery:

The records referred to in sections 2 and 3 of the Imported Goods Records Regulations (the Regulations) shall be kept in such a manner as to enable a CBSA officer to perform detailed audits and verifications to obtain, or verify the information upon which a determination of the amount of the duties paid or payable was made.

  • In accordance with subsection 43(1) ofthe Act, the Minister may, for any purpose related to the administration or enforcement of the Act, require from any person the production of any record, book, letter, account, invoice, statement (financial or otherwise), or other document at a place, and within the time specified therein.
  • In addition to granting access to the records, the importer must provide access to key personnel who can deliver explanations on the information provided.

3.    Non-compliance:

Where it is determined that an importer has failed to comply with any of the requirements for the maintenance of records, the importer will be requested to fulfill these requirements within a reasonable period of time. If an importer fails to comply with the requirements of record maintenance under subsection 40(1) of the Act, the CBSA may:

  • Assess Administrative Monetary Penalty System (AMPS) penalties in accordance with subsection 109.1(1) of the Act;
  • Detain under the authority of section 41 of the Act, any goods imported by the importer until the importer has complied with the requirements.

Where a person who is required by subsection 40(1) of the Act to keep records, other than a person referred to in section 3.1 of the Regulations, has not kept records or has been requested to provide records in accordance with subsection 43(1) of the Act and fails to do so, preferential tariff treatment may be denied or withdrawn for the commercial goods that are the subject of those records.

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