Archive for the ‘Canada Customs’ Category


Before You Import a Live Horse: A Document Checklist

Over the years, the importation of live horses has become highly regulated. Canada and the U.S. have regulations governing the movement of horses across their shared border. This has led to importers being required to prepare well in advance of their trip.

Basic requirements for importing a live horse into Canada:

As an importer you are legally responsible for the accuracy of information provided to CBSA, even if you use a customs broker, freight forwarder or service provider to prepare your documents. The importer must also ensure that the carrier has the proper health documents when transporting your horse across the border.

  • Canada Customs Invoice – When filling out the Canada Customs Invoice be careful with the ‘country of origin’. Often mistaken, this refers to the country in which the horse was born.  The horse’s name must be shown on all invoices and must match the health documents and include the name and address for the destination in Canada.
  • Bill of Sale – Horse’s name must be shown on all invoices and must match the health documents. CBSA is targeting valuation of horses and they have requested many times that customs brokers provide the bill of sale. Therefore, we make it part of our required documents to avoid delays at the border.
  • Health Documents – You must have a current Equine Infectious Anemia (EIA) also known as the Coggins and International Health Certificate which may be one or two pages but must show that the horse(s) have not been in the state of Texas or New Mexico within the past 21 days.
  • Entry Type – Your customs broker will want to know whether the horse is a temporary or a permanent entry.
    • If permanent, they will need to know its end use (race, show, breeding, other)
    • If temporary, they will need to know the reason and length of stay to determine if it can clear under a temporary import authorization D8-1-1 or if you will have to pay full taxes. Horses that are leased do not qualify for temporary import and must be fully GST/PST/HST paid depending on whether it is a personal or commercial importation. Horses imported temporarily for pasturage, competition, training or breeding qualify for temporary entry. The maximum length of stay is 12 months. Your horse must be exported prior to that time unless an extension is applied for and granted, or else it will be entered for consumption.

Canadian Horses Being Returned to Canada

Canadian horses returning to Canada can only be re-entered under 9813 or 9814 if:

  • Returning to the original owner and
  • Accompanied with proof of export (POE)

The usual POE for horses is the stamped copies of the health documents used to export the horses into the USA. However, a U.S. Customs entry and invoice or the transaction number covering the original entry into Canada will also be sufficient. Even in this instance, your customs broker will need to know “reason” for export to the USA.

Be careful for any dutiable costs while in the USA. For example, if the horse is now pregnant, you may need to determine a value for the foal.  If the information is already on the invoice, it will be included it in the value of the horse. If not, the information is only required if Canada Border Services Agency requests it at the time of release at the discretion of the Border Service Officer.

Horses Shipped from Texas or New Mexico

Texas and New Mexico currently have restrictions on horses importing to Canada. Horses shipped from Texas or New Mexico need a CFIA import permit which the importer must apply for in advance. Also, the carrier will need to make a vet appointment at the border.


Following the above general guidelines for importing a horse into Canada will streamline the crossing of borders to the satisfaction of all concerned, making your next trip with your horse a smooth ride.

Pacific Customs Brokers has years of experience handling the clearances of live animals such as horses. Should you require assistance in importing a live horse, our import specialists can simplify the process for you.


Additional Reading:

Trade Show Imports into Canada from the United States

Trade Show ImportsExhibiting at a trade show can be an exciting opportunity. Companies get a chance to showcase their goods and services to prospective buyers, network with colleagues in the same industry, and build brand equity. There are a few options for handling the Customs release to get your goods into Canada and minimize the costs when the goods are returned.

Customs Release of Event Goods

For the most part, the show organizer will appoint a customs broker and refer the customs broker to the exhibitor. Customs brokerage is a service industry, so professional fees vary from customs broker to customs broker. It is always worth shopping around – exhibitors do have the option of having their goods clear Customs at the border instead of moving in bond to clear at the show.

Tip » The sooner you get prepared to ship, the more alternatives you have to handle the Customs formalities, and get your goods to the show in time.

Customs Release Options for Canada

1. A.T.A. Carnet

Carnets can be obtained from your local Chamber of Commerce. They are considered to be similar to a passport for goods. The Carnet gets stamped by the exporting country on the way out and on the way into the importing country. The same process happens when the goods are leaving Canada. There is a bond charge that would be associated with a Carnet that is usually based on the value of the good and they are usually valid for a one year period.

Carnets are great if you are taking the same goods in and out of Canada multiple times a year. The disadvantage to Carnets is the quantity of the goods and equipment must be exactly the same at the time of export and import. So if the plan is to give away some samples and literature while you are attending the trade show, a Carnet may not be well suited for your company. Promotional giveaway items will need to be entered for consumption and duty paid into Canada, so shipping the giveaway items separately is a feasible option.

For more information about A.T.A. Carnets, please visit the Chamber of Commerce’s web site.

2. E29B – Temporary Admission Permit

If you plan to participate in multiple trade shows, an E29B gives you the flexibility of changing up the equipment you are bringing back and forth across the border. The temporary admission permit can be issued by a customs broker against the customs broker’s E29B bond. An E29B would be prepared each time you exhibit. The E29B must be canceled prior to the goods exiting Canada. There is a charge for preparation and use of the customs broker’s E29B bond and a refundable security deposit may also be required. The security deposit gets returned when the customs broker receives proof the bond has been properly canceled with Canada Border Services Agency. If there are giveaway items, a separate B3 consumption entry will need to be prepared for the goods that will remain in Canada. Even if they are free, they will require a value for Customs purposes. Depending on the types of giveaway items and where they are made, there may be duty payable upon import and they will likely be subject to the 5% Canadian Goods and Services Tax (GST).

For a sample Form E29B and detailed instructions for each field on the form please see the Appendix of Memorandum D-8-1-4.

3. B3 – Consumption Entry

Depending on the value of the goods, sometimes it makes more sense to duty pay the goods into Canada and pay the 5% Goods and Services Tax (GST). For example, shipments that are valued less than $5000 Canadian dollars that are made in the United States or Mexico, and are eligible for the benefit of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), the cost of duty paying them would only be the GST. With the dollar currently being very close to par, the cost works out to be around $275 Canadian dollars. A professional fee would apply for preparing the Customs entry. There would also be no bond cancellation to worry about for goods entered on a B3 consumption entry.

Note: Additional documentation may be required depending on the type of goods coming into to Canada.

Returning Event Goods to the United States

For ease of return to the United States, a 4455- Certificate of Registration is recommended. It must be signed off by U.S. Customs prior to the goods exiting Canada. It registers the goods as U.S. goods and is proof that the goods landed in the United States to avoid duty paying them back into the U.S. on their return home. The basic form required to declare the shipment to Canada Customs is a Canada Customs Invoice. This form and others are available on our website.

Tip » Using the same customs broker for your import and export activities simplifies the process.

Choosing a Service Provider

Customs brokerage services vary from company to company. At Pacific Customs Brokers, we specialize in handling shipments for various industries and clients of all sizes. We are open 24/7, understand the urgency of getting shipments delivered on time, and can look after Customs releases at all ports of entry into Canada and the United States. Our friendly and professional customs brokers are at your service to help cut through the red tape and clear your trade show goods into Canada.

To learn more about trade show event logistics visit our website.

Related Blog Post:


We Invite You To The 3rd Annual Carrier Appreciation & Cross-Border Info Reception

An opportunity to ask questions, mingle and network.

Win an iPad Mini

To show our appreciation to cross-border carriers and self-carrying importers for their continued support in the movement of international goods, Pacific Customs Brokers will host a two-hour reception Thursday, May 1, 2014. Please join us for complimentary food, beverages, live entertainment and a prize giveaway.

Don’t miss the opportunity to talk directly to Canada Border Services Agency, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, and Commercial Vehicle Safety and Enforcement who will be on site and stationed at tables fielding questions from the carriers. Pacific Customs Brokers will provide a demo and preview of our soon to be released mobile website and updated mobile tracking and tracing application.


Date and Time:

Thursday, May 1, 2014
5:30 pm to 7:30 pm (doors open at 5:00 pm)


Eaglequest Coyote Creek Golf Course
7778 152nd Street,
Surrey, British Columbia

Event Inquiries:

Phone: 604.538.1566
Toll Free: 888.538.1566
Contact: Yvette Fox / Adriana Zamora



** Only confirmed registrants may attend**

RSVP Submission:


Fax: 604.531.3120

RSVP Deadline:

Friday, April 25, 2014


Mandatory ACI eManifest Rapidly Approaching

StopwatchThe Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) is now only a couple of steps away from the implementation of mandatory ACI eManifest reporting for carriers.  On February 15, 2014, proposed eManifest regulatory amendments were published in Part I. of the Canada Gazette. The proposed amendment reinforces that mandatory requirements for carriers to supply advance conveyance and shipment information to CBSA will soon be implemented.

This pre-publication provides a 30-day period for public and industry stakeholders to comment or pose questions on the proposed regulatory amendments. Once confirmed, the CBSA will inform the trade community of when regulations to enforce the eManifest requirements are expected to be in place, with a 45 days notice in advance of the mandatory compliance date.

What this means is that full compliance could be mandatory 75 days from February 15th, 2014.

Once full compliance is mandatory, there will be a six month period where those who do not comply will be subject to zero-rated Administrative Monetary Penalty System (AMPS).  After which, carriers who have not met all of their obligations with respect to this program, will be assessed AMPS penalties.

A word of caution to those carriers that wait until the 45 day notice period to sign up — they may get caught up in the rush of last minute registrants and find it difficult to be fully set up by the deadline. Those carriers that have chosen to wait until the eleventh hour need to act swiftly to ensure they are ready for the cutoff date. Acting now may allow you to fine tune your processes and work out any bugs before the due date, without fear of Administrative Monetary Penalty System (AMPS).

Pacific Customs Brokers’ Border Pro for Carriers offers a full and self eManifest filing service option that can take the hassle of getting registered with CBSA off of your plate.

If you have any questions about ACI eManifest, how to register or  how it will affect your business, please contact our Border Pro eManifest Team at 855.542.6644  or via email at We also welcome your questions regarding ACI eManifest and its implementation in our comments section below.

For the latest updates on eManifest visit the Carrier News section of our website regularly or  sign up for our weekly Border Pro newsletter. Additionally, you’ll find the Your Broker Knows YouTube channel to be an excellent resource.


Additional Resources:

Considerations When Importing Produce Into Canada

Check boxes

The importation of produce into Canada is a hugely important industry and it brings with it some unique challenges.

One of the primary  challenges is understanding the interaction between Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) and Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA). The type of produce, the time of year, and the packaging itself are all variables that can cause potential delays and added costs at the border. Licensing, permits and accurate documentation all play a key role in a successful shipment.

For example, fresh potatoes for consumption have minimum grade requirements that must be met as well as be accompanied by a certificate from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) attesting to this fact. Potatoes also are one of the few fresh produce items that attract a duty rate of $4.94 per metric tonne. In addition, during the period of August 1st through April 30th, Russet potatoes are subject to dump duty. The amount of dump duty changes from week to week and is affected by the type of potato, packaging, and the U.S. state it is grown in. Not all produce commodities are as complicated as potatoes, however the basic procedures and processes are similar.

Getting Started:

A good first step is to ensure that the type of produce that you wish to import is admissible into Canada. Certain commodities from certain countries or regions are prohibited entry, such as crab apples from Brazil or blueberries from Peru. The CFIA’s Automated Import Reference System (AIRS) is a handy interactive tool that allows importers to check the admissibility of a wide variety of products. This website will also advise of any additional documentation requirements and the associated regulations.

Secondly, importers of fresh fruits and vegetables are required to hold either a CFIA Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Licence or become a member of the DRC (Dispute Resolution Corp). Please see the below links to each of the respective applications.


Fresh Fruit and Vegetables for which Grades are Established:


1. Apples

2. Apricots

3. Blueberries (exception – for processing)

4. Cantaloupes

5. Cherries

6. Crabapples

7. Cranberries

8. Grapes

9. Peaches

10. Pears

11. Plums and Prunes

12. Field Rhubarb

13. Strawberries (exception – if no grade is used)

Vegetables: (miniature vegetables are excluded, but miniature cucumbers are included)

14. Asparagus (exception – white asparagus)

15. Beets (exception – beets with tops)

16. Brussels Sprouts

17. Cabbages

18. Carrots (exception – carrots with tops)

19. Cauliflower

20. Celery

21. Sweet Corn

22. Field Cucumbers (exception – pickling cucumbers)

23. Greenhouse Cucumbers

24. Head Lettuce – Iceberg type

25. Onions (exception – onions with tops)

26. Parsnips

27. Potatoes (excluded if certified for seed)

28. Rutabagas

29. Field Tomatoes (exception – cherry tomatoes)

30. Greenhouse Tomatoes

For most produce items containers cannot exceed 50 kg, although container sizes for apples cannot exceed 200 kg. Containers that fall outside of the approved standard sizing requirements would require application for a Ministerial Exemption which is further explained under the General Guidelines for Requesting Ministerial Exemptions.

Labelling and Packaging:

As with all importations into Canada, produce is subject to strict guidelines on labelling and packaging. Please visit Labelling Guide for Fresh Fruit and Vegetables for more information.


Documentation Requirements:

All produce entries are required to be documented on a Confirmation of Sale (COS). This document must be completed properly, signed, and kept at the importer’s place of business for six (6) years. Your customs broker will also be able to assist with filling this out.

Certificates of Origin, Phytosanitary Certificates, Plant Protection Import Permits, CITES Certificates, and Ministerial Exemptions are all types of additional documents that may be required to satisfy the CFIA, CBSA and other government departments. The perishable nature of produce make it a target for a variety of pests and this pest risk factor is the biggest trigger for additional documentation. As mentioned , the CFIA AIRS website mentioned above is an excellent tool that importers can use to determine whether the commodity in question requires any further documentation. Once a specific commodity is typed into the search, the system will prompt you for further information until all variables have been satisfied and then a list of required documents will pop up. Additionally, the specific regulations that pertain to the commodity are accessible by clicking the link.

In conclusion, the key to any successful importation is to research the product and regulations surrounding it thoroughly prior to its arrival at the border. A good rule of thumb is to check with your customs broker prior to importing a new produce item or importing from a new supplier as this will allow time to obtain any additional documents needed to meet the requirements of CBSA and CFIA.

Many importers find it valuable to attend educational seminars and webinars on the topic. The next webinar on CFIA Regulated Goods will be on Thursday, March 13, 2014, at 11:00 am PDT for 75 minutes. Register today!

Have questions about importing produce into Canada? Leave them in our comments section below or email Ask Your Broker.