Archive for the ‘Customs Brokerage’ Category


 

What Is A Bill Of Lading And What Is Its Purpose?

Bill Of Lading

What Is A Bill Of Lading And What Is Its Purpose?

A bill of lading is a receipt provided by the carrier to the consignee. The receipt contains a detailed list of all of the shipments goods.

The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) will need to know exactly what is on your truck. To help make sure all of your goods are accounted for and declared, you must supply a bill of lading or pick up receipt when faxing your Pre-Arrival Review System (PARS) entry to your customs broker.

Why A Bill Of Lading Is Used

1. The main purpose of the standard straight bill of lading is it is a contract of carriage.

Other Bill Of Lading Purposes Include:

2. It may incorporate the full terms of the contract between the consignor and the carrier by reference.
3. It is a receipt signed by the carrier confirming whether goods matching the contract description have been received in good condition.
4. When completed in full, it helps the customs broker match up commercial clearance paperwork to ensure a complete declaration for all of the goods aboard the truck.

The carrier or the shipper can complete it, but the driver of the transport company is to sign and date the bill of lading once the goods are onboard their truck.

Why A Bill Of Lading Is Important

For Customs purposes the most important details on the bill of lading are:

  1. Piece count (total skids, boxes, pallets)
  2. Weight (total weight of the goods listed)
  3. Description of the goods
  4. Date (the date of pick up/export is used to establish the date for exchange rate)

If there is only one (1) location you have picked up goods from, then only one (1) bill of lading or pick up receipt is required. If you are picking up from multiple locations, then you need to have a bill of lading or pick up receipt for each location you have picked up from.

Commercial Documents

When picking up freight from the shipper, they may give commercial documents to you. If they do, please send your commercial documents to the customs broker with the bill of lading or pick up receipt. It is important that you send the customs broker all the documents you have. It helps ensure that all required documents are in place to declare those goods to Customs.

If the shipper does not supply you with commercial documents, please let the customs broker know as soon as you know, so they can work on getting the documents in order.

Other Documents

Often, a commercial invoice and bill of lading are sufficient for the customs broker and CBSA to process your load. There are many instances where special documentation will be required. Some examples of goods that need additional documents are:

  • CFIA regulated goods (fresh fruits & vegetables, fresh cut flowers)
  • Transport Canada regulated goods (vehicles) – which require another government agency (in addition to CBSA) to review the import

When faxing your PARS to the customs broker, simply affix your barcode label to the bill of lading. Make sure you are not covering up any important information. Be sure to clearly indicate which port you are crossing at and on what date and time. Please also include your phone number so that you can be contacted in the case there are any documentation issues.

Remember to ALWAYS confirm that your load has been set up before you get to the border.

Be accountable for the goods you are transporting and your cross border experience. Providing all the appropriate paperwork to your customs broker will truly ease your journey. If you need assistance with your bill of lading or any other customs brokerage or freight forward services, feel free to contact the experts at Pacific Customs Brokers for all of your international trade needs. 

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USMCA Details | United States Mexico Canada Agreement | NAFTA 2.0

USMCA Details

The United States Mexico Canada Agreement (USMCA)

The U.S., Mexico and Canada reached a revamped NAFTA deal in the 11th hour on Sunday September 30th, 2018. NAFTA 2.0 has been renamed the United States Mexico Canada Agreement.

After more than a year of intense negotiations, the U.S., Mexico and Canada reached an agreement to update NAFTA. NAFTA dates back to 1994 when the pact was originally signed by all three countries to govern the $1.2 trillion worth of trade between the countries.

In August, the U.S. and Mexico resolved an issue over auto manufacturing but Canada and the U.S. still had some contentious points to resolve. The U.S. wanted Canada to open its dairy market to U.S. farmers and Canada wanted to preserve a mechanism for resolving disputes. These goals were eventually achieved which resulted in the new USMCA.

Auto Industry

Starting in 2020, to qualify for zero tariffs, a car or truck must have 75% of its components manufactured in the U.S., Mexico, or Canada, a boost from the current 62.5% requirement. In addition, also starting in 2020, cars and trucks should have at least 30% of the work on the vehicle done by workers earning at least $16 an hour, which will gradually move to 40% for cars by 2023.

Supply Management Agriculture Sector

Canada agreed to set new quotas for dairy imports from the U.S. Canada will still put tariffs on dairy products that exceed quotas. The new quotas will give the U.S. access to 3.6% of Canada’s market. U.S. farmers will now be able to export 120 million eggs into Canada the first year. This will grow 1% per year for the next 10 years. The chicken concession will allow 57,000 metric tons phased in over six years and in year 7 will increase 1% per year for the next 10 years.

Chapter 19

Canada wanted to keep Chapter 19 in place and in the end Chapter 19 remained intact. Chapter 19 allows the U.S., Mexico and Canada to challenge anti-dumping and countervailing duties in front of a panel of representatives from each country. In the past, Canada has successfully used Chapter 19 to challenge the U.S. on its softwood lumber restrictions.

Intellectual Properties Protections

The USMCA has a new IP chapter, which is 63 pages long and contains stricter protections for patents and trademarks, including biotech, financial services and even domain names. Copyright terms in Canada now extend for 70 years beyond the year the creator of the work dies, bringing Canada in line with those of the U.S. and Europe. The IP chapter also includes an extension of the length of time new biological drugs will be protected from generic drug competition, up 2 years from Canada’s previously agreed upon 8 years to 10 years of exclusivity. This was necessary for all sides to update this field as the original agreement was over 25 years old.

De Minimis Threshold

The de minimis threshold or the duty-free amount Canadians can buy in the U.S. and import into Canada without having to pay a duty has increased from $20 to $150. Mexico agreed to raise their de minimis from $50 to $100.

The tax portion of the de minimis threshold has been separated. The new rules will see the tax threshold rise to $40.

For example, when someone in Canada buys something online in the U.S. for $149 they will be spared the duty but they will pay anywhere from $17 to $22 in taxes depending on the province and the tax rate for that province.

Labor & Environmental Rights

Significant upgrades to environmental and labor regulations were made, especially in Mexico. Mexican trucks crossing the border must meet higher safety regulations and Mexican workers must have the ability to organize and form unions.

Chapter 11

Chapter 11 provided companies and investors a special process to resolve disputes with one of the governments of the agreement. The premise being that if an investor put money into a project and then the government changed the rules, there is a dispute process outside the court system where the investor could get their problem resolved. Chapter 11 is essentially gone with the exception of few industries such as energy and telecommunications.

USMCA Timeline

The USMCA will not go into effect right away. Most of the key provisions will not start until 2020. The leader of each country still has to sign the agreement, and then congress in the U.S. and the legislatures in Canada and Mexico have to approve it. This process is expected to take months.

How Will The USMCA Affect You?

You have the opportunity to get an early edge on your competitors with the advantage of a trade advisor. Pacific Customs Brokers has you covered with expert trade advisors who are able to help you navigate the changes that will affect you with the new United States Mexico Canada Agreement.

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Jan Brock | Author

Safe Food For Canadians Regulations To Require License For Businesses

 

Safe Food for Canadians Regulations


Safe Food For Canadians Regulations (SFCR)

If you have a business providing food to Canadians, you will most likely be affected by the new SFCR being implemented January 15, 2019. The SFCR focus is to prevent unsafe foods from entering into Canadian marketplaces, as well as, providing faster means to eliminate unsafe foods when they manage to penetrate the marketplace.

How Will SFCR Affect Food Businesses?

Starting January 15, 2019, if you provide food to Canadians, and the food crosses provincial or territorial borders, you will be required to have a license under the SFCR.

The SFCR will also require you to have preventative controls, traceable goods, packaging requirements, and labeling standards to make sure your food is safe for Canadians.

As a food business, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) has a helpful tool to inform you;

  1. If you need a license,
  2. When you will need the license by, and
  3. How to apply for the license.

What Food Business Activities Will Require A SFCR License?

For more information on if you need a license, the CFIA has also produced a well structured guide “Food business activities that require a license under the Safe Food for Canadians Regulations”. This guide is helpful for the DIY (Do It Yourself) approach. It covers who will need a license and who will not. For instance, if you are going on a road trip across Canada and you have a few snacks, you will not need a license. However, if you are importing food into Canada, you will need a license if you are importing food additives, alcoholic beverages, and for all unprocessed foods listed in Schedule 1 of the SFCR.

An Expert Trade Advisor You Can Rely On

For those who do not want to study the requirements top to bottom, a customs broker or trade advisor will be able to help you navigate the new regulations of the SFCR beginning early 2019. You can contact one of our expert trade advisors today to help you simplify the complicated world of trade.

 

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Your Tsawwassen Container Examination Facility Update

tsawwassen container examination facility

Tidewater Container Services Selected To Operate New Examination Facility

In July of 2018 the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority (VFPA) announced they had selected Tidewater Container Services through Harbour Link to be the operator and drayage provider of the newly built Tsawwassen Container Examination Facility (TCEF) located on the Tsawwassen First Nation Lands.

Tidewater Container Services is a wholly owned subsidiary of Harbour Link Container Services. Tidewater will be performing the container and cargo handling services for VFPA related to the examination of containerized cargo by the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA). Harbour Link provides container drayage and off-dock container terminal services to all sectors of the container shipping community and currently operates a sufferance terminal in Delta, B.C.

Tidewater will be utilizing approximately 50,000 square feet of the TCEF structure to provide commercial warehousing and transloading services.

TCEF Operational Before 2019?

The TCEF is in its final phase of completion. Once complete the VFPA will apply for an Occupancy Permit from the Tsawwassen First Nation and upon receipt of the permit, Tidewater will begin to outfit the facility to make it operational. TCEF is expected to be operational by the end of 2018.

In the November 2017 blog post, The Issues and Solutions of Container Exams at the Port of Vancouver, you learned about the frustrations of the lengthy delays and costs of container exams in Vancouver.

In June of 2018, CBSA provided an update on their website of the Marine Container Examination Process. CBSA reiterated that CBSA is only responsible for the examination of marine containers, but does not control, influence, or charge for the:

  • Movement of containers to and from the CBSA: and
  • Offloading and reloading of containers

CBSA provided the following diagrams:


tsawwassen container examination facility


tsawwassen container examination facility


Tidewater, the facility operator at the TCEF, will generate the fees for presenting the goods for examination, to cover the cost of transportation to and from the examination facility, and for unloading and reloading the container. Tidewater will then bill the shipping line for these costs who will pass the cost to the importer.

Stakeholder Recommendations To Improve Ocean Trade

Recommendations for improvements for Ocean Trade were made at a September 2017 stakeholder conference. The main thread with the recommendations made were to improve the communication between all stakeholders regarding delays, service hours, and service standards.

  • Shipping lines, terminal operators and warehouse operators are required to post standard fees associated with the movement and facilitation of freight through the marine process.
  • Terminal operators need to improve the reservation system for pick up and return of CBSA examined or targeted containers.
  • CBSA needs to provide proof of examination, LSI exam and ventilation timelines to stakeholders.
  • There needs to be a transparent dispute resolution between all stakeholders.
  • Use of technology for real-time status and progress of the exam providing importers and their service providers’ insight to better plan and mitigate impacts of the exam to their business and supply chains.
  • Importers need the flexibility and the option to deliver direct from the exam site.
  • CBSA needs to identify opportunities to improve efficiencies and consistencies with their targeting and examination of container freight. A clear focus on the client is necessary which is transparent with defined and measurable service standards.

The hope is, with the opening of the TCEF, all of the above recommendations from the stakeholders meeting will be put into effect. As of now all the trade community can do is wait and see.

Experts You Can Trust

If you need assistance importing into the U.S., importing into Canada, or Freight Forwarding around the world, contact our experts to help get your goods where they need to go.

Jan Brock | Author

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Single Window Initiative Requires Additional Data For Your IID

Single Window Initiative

You have read What Is The Single Window Initiative (SWI) and learned how additional data will be required on Integrated Import Declarations (IID) for Customs release on all commodities regulated by Participating Government Agencies.

You will now need to include data elements in your IID that may have been previously reported after importation, or in paper format, and will become mandatory in January 2019.

This means you will need to provide more information to your Customs Brokers than you have in the past for all commodities regulated by Participating Government Agencies (PGA) such as Health Canada, and Environment and Climate Change Canada.

Is your commodity subject to Participating Government Agencies?

You can find out from our helpful What Does My Commodity Need? infographic.

What Regulated Commodities Will Be Affected By Single Window Initiative?

If your commodity is regulated by a Participating Government Agency you will be impacted by a Integrated Import Declarations. However, for some commodities the details have already been required for many years.

For example, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) requires all importers with commodities regulated by the CFIA to provide shipment details prior to entry releases. As a result, for goods regulated by the CFIA, you may not have to provide any additional data to your Customs Broker in order to clear these entries.

Cases where they would need information that they did not before IID’s include consignee contact information as well as requiring copies of documents such as import declarations. In cases where the consignee is different than the importers or manufacturers, you will need to include the consignee contact information in box 12 of your CCI.

All Participating Government Agencies, including the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, will prompt your Customs Broker to ensure the documentation you provide includes all of the data required for the IID.

The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) has provided a guideline indicating what data is required for each Participating Government Agency which you can check out in the links below. Please note that the information in these links is subject to change and is correct at the time of publishing.

Where Do I Report The Additional Data Elements On My Canada Customs Invoice?

If the products you import into Canada are regulated by any of these Participating Government Agencies, you will be required to add all of the data elements listed in the links above to your commercial or Canada Customs Invoice. Below are a few examples you can follow along to see how you can report the additional data elements.

Example 1: Consumer Product Safety, Regulated by Health Canada

Below is a summary of the additional data elements required for consumer Products regulated by Health Canada. Please note that although many of these elements are noted as optional, and only two as mandatory, you are recommended to include all elements in preparation of when/if the optional elements become mandatory, as well as to help Health Canada make a release decision.

  • Importer’s Contact Information: This includes a contact name at the Importer of Record company, telephone number and email address. In most cases, your Customs Broker will have this information as it will be their contact for your company on file. Therefore the information will be included on the IID and there would be no need for you to provide this on the CCI.
  • Manufacturer Contact Information: The manufacturer’s name, address, contact name, email and telephone will be required in box 12 of the CCI. If this is the same as the vendor, you can add it to box 1 as shown in the example.
  • License, Permit, Certificate or Other (LPCO) Information: If your consumer goods require a license, permit, certificate or other type of document such as a safety standard certification or product label, in order to enter the country, you need to make this available to your Customs Broker. Your Customs Broker will attach the LPCO as an image file in the IID. If it is not a document, but rather a number, please place it in box 12 on the CCI along with an indication of what number it is.
  • Item Specific Information: This information provides the individual details of the imported items which are to be included in box 12 of the CCI which includes:
    • Global Trade Identification Number (GTIN): This 14 digit number is used to identify products and services through a barcode. This is usually the UPC number.
    • Brand Name
    • Product Name
    • Manufacture Date
    • Batch/Lot Number
    • Unit Size and Unit of Measure
    • Intended End Use: Identify how the items will be used from one of the following options: Sale or distribution, education, resale, charitable, repair, immediate re-exportation.
    • Commodity Type: A Product Category must be listed. The category listed is dependant on the intended end use. Use the table below to identify the wording that should be listed in box 12.

Intended use

Product Category

For Sale of Distribution

Consumer product for infants (0-18 months)

Consumer product for infants (19 – 36 months)

Consumer product for infants (3-6 years)

Consumer product for infants (6-8 years)

Consumer product for infants (8-12 years)

Consumer product for infants (13+ years)

Consumer product for infants (all ages)

Consumer chemical

Cosmetic

Educational, resale, charitable, repair or immediate re-exportation

Consumer product (for all ages)


Using the information provided above for consumer products, and applying the example of stuffed toy animals, the Customs Invoice will require the additional data highlighted in the sample below.

Single Window Initiative - Consumer Goods

 

Example 2: Natural Health Products, Regulated by Health Canada

Below is a summary of the additional data elements required for natural health products regulated by Health Canada.

  • Importer’s Contact Information: This includes a contact name from the Importer of Record company, telephone number and email address. In most cases, your Customs Broker will have this information as it will be their contact for your company on file. Therefore your broker will include your information on the IID and there would be no need for you to provide this on the CCI.
  • Informational Contact: This is someone who has knowledge of the items being imported in the case that Health Canada would like further information about the product. Name, telephone number and emails address is required. If this is the same as the vendor or consignee, then you can place this information in those boxes. However, if it is different, place this information in Box 12.
  • License, Permit, Certificate or Other (LPCO) Information: If your consumer goods require a license, permit, certificate or other type of document in order to enter the country, you need to make this available to your Customs Broker. They will attach it as a image file in the IID. If it is not a document, but rather a number, please place it in box 12 on the CCI along with an indication of what number it is. See the table below for more information.
  • Item Specific Information: This provides details of the imported items included in Box 12 of the CCI;
    • Global Trade Identification Number (GTIN): A 14 digit number used to identify products and services through a barcode. This is usually the UPC number.
    • Brand Name: If there is no brand name available, a product name, active ingredient or chemical name of the commodity must be provided by the manufacturer.
    • Product Name
    • Manufacture Date
    • Batch/Lot Number
    • Intended End Use: Identify how the items will be used from one of the following options: Human therapeutic use, human clinical trial, special access, research and development, other.
    • Commodity Type: A Product Category must be listed. The category listed is dependant on the intended end use. Use the table below to identify the wording that should be listed.

Intended End Use

Documents Required (LPCO)

Human Therapeutic Use

  1. Site License – 5022
  2. Natural Product Authorization 023 or Homeopathic Medicine Drug Identification 5024

Human Clinical Trial

NHP Notice of Authorization (NOA) 5023

Special Access

Letter of Authorization (LOA) 5045

Research and Development

No Documents Required

Other

No Documents Required


Using the information provided above for Natural Health Products, and applying the example of green tea extract, the Customs Invoice will require the additional data highlighted in the sample below.

Single Window Initiative - Natural Health Products

Example 3: Vehicles and Engines, Regulated by Environment and Climate Change Canada and Transport Canada

Below is a summary of the additional data elements required for on-road vehicles, engines and equipment regulated by Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) and Transport Canada (TC). Please note there are two Participating Agencies involved in the importation of vehicles and engines.

**To understanding the info required by each PGA the data elements required from ECCC are in blue and Transport Canada are in red. All text appearing in black indicates that both of these agencies require this information.**

  • Importer’s Contact Information: This includes a contact name at Importer of Record company, telephone number and email address. In most cases, your Customs Broker will have this information as it will be their contact for your company on file. Therefore they will include that information on the IID and there would be no need for you to provide this on the CCI.
  • Informational Contact: This is someone who has knowledge of the items being imported in the case that ECCC would like further information about the vehicle or engine. Name, telephone number and emails address is required. If this is the same as the vendor or consignee, then you can place this information in those boxes. However if it is different, place this information in Box 12.

Exceptional Processing: The Transport Canada status of the of the vehicle/importer will establish all of the additional data elements required and must be provided or identified on the invoice using one of the following options:

  • Appendix F Pre-Cleared Importer (indicated on the invoice)
  • Appendix G Pre-Cleared Importer (indicated on the invoice)
  • Transport Canada Approved case-by-case approval for New, Canadian-specification vehicle purchased from foreign manufacturer with CMVSS approval letter
  • Transport Canada Approved case-by-case approval letter to accompany the documents for
    • New – Canadian-specification vehicles purchased from foreign manufacturer
    • New – Vehicles manufactured to the Federal Motor Vehicle Standards and purchased from foreign manufacturer
  •  Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards manufactured vehicle requiring inspection by the Registrar of Imported Vehicles (Indicated on the invoice)
  • Vehicles greater than 15 years old, except buses
  • Canadian-specification vehicles returning to the original owner
  • Vehicles Imported for parts
  • Non Regulated Vehicles: please visit Transport Canada’s site on no-regulated vehicles for more information

 

  • Make of Vehicle
  • Make of Engine
  • Model of Vehicle
  • Model of Engine
  • Model Year of Vehicle
  • Model Year of Engine
  • Engine Manufacturer Name
  • Vehicle Identification Number (VIN): 17 digit number
  • Engine Identification Number
  • Name of Engine Family
  • Chassis Info: If the chassis is manufactured by someone other than the final stage assembler, the following details are required:
    • Manufacturer name and address
    • Make
    • Model
    • Year
  • Vehicle Production: Date, Month & Year
  • ECCC Vehicle Class:  The type of vehicle class must be identified using the options listed in the table below.
  • TC Vehicle Class: The type of vehicle class must be identified using the naming convention listed in the table below.

ECCC Vehicle Class

TC Vehicle Class

Light-Duty Vehicles

Light-Duty Vehicles

Light-Duty Trucks

Light-Duty Trucks

Medium-Duty Passenger Vehicles

Medium-Duty Passenger Vehicles

On-Road Motorcycles

On-Road Motorcycles

Heavy-Duty Class 2B Vehicles with Installed Engine

Heavy-Duty Class 2B Vehicles w/inst

Heavy-Duty Class 3B Vehicles with Installed Engine

Heavy-Duty Class 3B Vehicles w/ins

Heavy-Duty Vocational Vehicles with Installed Engine

Heavy-Duty Vocational Vehicles w/in

Heavy-Duty Tractors with Installed Engine

Heavy-Duty Tractors w/installed eng

Incomplete Vehicles

Incomplete Vehicles

 

Vessels with installed marine engine

 

Vessels without marine engines

 

Snowmobiles

 

All-terrain vehicles

 

Utility vehicles

 

Off-road motorcycles

 

Incomplete Vehicles


  • Engine Class: The type of engine class must be identified as either On Road Heavy-Duty Engine – Incomplete or On Road Heavy-Duty Engine – Loose
  • Vehicle Manufacturer: Name and address
  • Criteria Conformance: Advise that the compliance label is attached or provide a letter from the manufacturer that it is in compliance.
  • Final Stage Assembler: If different than chassis manufacturer or vehicle manufacturer: Name and address
  • TC Affirmation Statement of Compliance: This statement is made by the importer and confirms that the vehicle meets all import requirements of Transport Canada.

Please contact your Customs Broker for the specific information that needs to be listed in this statement.

  • ECCC Affirmation of Statement Compliance: This statement is made by the importer and confirms that the vehicle meets all import requirements of Environment and Climate Change Canada (additional date and form will be required by Transport Canada).

Please contact your Customs Broker for the specific information that needs to be listed in this statement.

  • Country of registration (If previously registered)
  • Mileage/Odometer Reading (if used)
  • Title Status (if used)
  • Vehicle Status (if for parts)
  • Vehicle Condition: Normal Damage or Severe Damage (Not Roadworthy)

Using the information provided above for Natural Health Products, and applying the example of a Ford F150 Truck, the Customs Invoice will require the the additional data highlighted in this example.

Single Window Initiative - Vehicles

These examples highlight some of the data elements that were not necessarily included on your invoice prior to the Single Window Initiative, but will be mandatory starting April 2019.

You will need to provide all of the required data elements for your Customs Broker to be able to process your shipment release request. Additional charges may be applied to your Customs brokerage services if this information is not provided on the documentation.

When Should I Start Including The Required Data On My IID?

You should begin incorporating this information into your invoices now, then your shipments are not delayed at the border once IIDs become mandatory.

Need help understanding what Participating Government Agency regulates your commodity? You can contact us and speak with an expert Trade Advisor today.

How will you be affected by the Single Window Initiative? Tell us in the comments below.

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