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Customs Notices

Bulletins

Bulletin 37 – Monthly Statement of Account Payments to be Made Centrally Effective August 24, 2017

Interim and monthly Statement of Account (SOA) commercial payments are to be made electronically or sent to the Canada Border Services Agency’s (CBSA) National Payment Processing Centre in Ottawa. Effective August 24, 2017, interim and monthly SOA payments will not be accepted at ports of entry (POE).

Context

The CBSA has completed the transition to a centralized process for monthly interim and SOA payments.

Action Required

Effective August 24, 2017, customs brokers and importers who make monthly account payments, i.e. those securing goods either directly or under the Importer Direct Security Option with a customs broker, or those under the Goods and Services Tax Direct Payment Option with a customs broker, are required to remit their interim and monthly payments centrally or electronically. Monthly payments will no longer be accepted at the POEs*.

*Exceptions – the following client types can continue to pay at a POE:

  • (i) Customs brokers or importers remitting payment over $25 million who have previously been pre-approved while implementing Electronic Data Interchange (EDI); and
  • (ii) Importers or customs brokers paying by debit card, and
  • (iii) Credit card payments under the $5,000 limit.

K23, K9 and Administrative Monetary Penalties payment processes remain unchanged.

Importers’ Cash B3 payments, B2 adjustment payments and non-commercial payments will continue to be accepted at all POEs with no change to the current process

Payment can be made electronically, through EDI, Online Banking (for importers), or by cheque/money order/bank draft, payable to the Receiver General for Canada, delivered to:

Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA)
MAILROOM
Attention:  Accounts Receivable Management Unit
333 North River Road, Place Vanier, Tower A
Ground Floor, Room 1018
Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0L8
Telephone: 343-291-5265 (for courier reference)

For the exceptions listed above, these payment types are to be accepted at the POE or ARL Payment Processing site. Payment will be processed to the account level and all relevant documents will be sent to the National Payment Processing Centre for allocation

Electronic Payment

Electronic payment to the CBSA is currently available with:

  • Scotiabank
  • Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC) - online banking only
  • Toronto-Dominion Canada Trust Bank (TD)
  • Bank of Montreal (BMO)
  • Royal Bank of Canada (RBC)
  • Citibank
  • Tangerine
  • Bank of America
  • The National Bank

(i) EDI: Clients should contact their Financial Institution (FI) client relationship manager to inquire about setting up and testing the CBSA EDI payment capability.

(ii) Online Banking (for importers only. If applicable, it is suggested that you verify with your customs broker amounts owing directly to the CBSA): Importers are to visit their FI’s web bill payment portal and select one of the following payee names:

  • CBSA Duties Taxes Fees, or
  • CBSA Duties, Taxes and Fees, or
  • Canada Border Services Agency, or
  • Agence des Services Frontaliers du Canada, or
  • CBSA Customers/ASFC Douanes.

Each financial institution has its own standard to name a payee. Importers are to use their business number (BN15, e.g. 123456789RM0001) as the account number (not the Canada Revenue Agency RT account number). To access the phone option, importers are to contact their FI for initial set-up.

Revised Bulletin 16 - Correcting B3s Posted to the Wrong BN15

Under Accounts Receivable Ledger (ARL), statements of account (SOA) are issued by importer BN15s rather than the customs broker's Account Security (ASEC), as was the former process.  As a result, B3s posted to the wrong BN15 must be corrected to ensure the accuracy of importer accounts.

Trade Chain Partners (TCPs) are reminded of their responsibility under the Customs Act to provide accurate information to the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA).  Failure to do so may result in delays in releasing shipments, in addition to any applicable penalties and administrative fees.

TCPs should verify their daily notices (DNs) to ensure the information is accurate. The Agency encourages TCPs to submit their correction requests as early as possible in order to allow sufficient time for the CBSA to process them.  The Agency offers this process as a service to importers/customs brokers in order to facilitate the correction of B3s posted to the wrong BN15.  While the CBSA will strive to complete these corrections before the deadline, it cannot assure that this will be possible in all cases.

Procedures for BN15 correction only:

Incorrect BN15 correction request presented before the deadline (i.e., three business days prior to the payment due date):

  • All correction requests must be made at the client's centralized accounting office (i.e. the local office for B3 transactions based on the ASEC holder's record).
  • Requests can be made up to the deadline (i.e., three business days prior to the payment due date).
  • The importer/customs broker must present the following documentation as part of their accounting override request for a correction to the BN15:
    • A copy of the DN;
    • An explanation of the error, including the appropriate letter of authorization as per Memorandum D17-2-3;
    • A corrected Form B3 with the same transaction number as the incorrect B3; and,
    • A copy of the accounting package, including the invoice.

Note: In the case of B3s transmitted electronically, a hard copy of the accounting package including the Form B3 and invoice must be presented when requesting a correction.

  • Upon approval of the request, ARL will be updated, and the B3 will be associated with the correct BN15.

After the accounting override is processed, the B3 will be moved to the correct account in the following way and the changes will be shown on the clients' DN and SOA:
DN:

  • The incorrect account will show a B3 credit with the same transaction number as the original B3, and the credit will show on the DN the day after the accounting override is processed. The correct account will show the original B3 with the same transaction number as a new debit, and this will show on the DN the day after the accounting override is processed.

SOA:

  • The correction will be reflected on the SOA if the accounting override is processed before the SOA is generated.
  • The SOA for the incorrect account will have the correct transactions total in the header as the debit and credit amounts will balance to zero. This assumes that the correction was made prior to the SOA being generated.  
  • The SOA for the correct account will have the correct transactions total in the header as the corrected B3 will be included.  This assumes that the correction was made prior to the SOA being generated.
  • If correction is made after the SOA but before the accounting override deadline, the SOAs will be incorrect and payment should be made based on the corrected amounts populated in the Reconciliation Exception Sheet (RES) to indicate the variation between the payment remitted and the SOA total payable.

Incorrect BN15 correction request presented after the deadline (i.e., after three business days prior to the payment due date):

  • The B3 must be fully paid.
  • Corrections must be done through the submission of a B2 adjustment request with a letter of explanation for the change at the CBSA Regional Trade Office.
  • The legislative authority that clients should indicate on their B2 for a BN change is: 7.1 of the Customs Act - Obligation to provide accurate information.
  • The rest of the B2 must be completed as follows:
    • Show the true importer's name/account number or business number and address in Field No. 1;
    • Show the CBSA office code number used on the original accounting document in Field No. 5;
    • Show the original accounting transaction number in Field No. 6;
    • Show the date of final accounting or the duty paid date of the original accounting transaction in Field No. 7;
    • Show the appropriate page number in Field No. 4; and,
    • Show the statement "importer name/account number or business number change" in the explanation field.
  • These changes may not be displayed on the clients' DN or SOA.

If the broker that filed the B3 using the incorrect BN15 does not have an agency agreement with the correct importer, the B3 must be cancelled by filing a B2 and a new B3 filed by the correct broker, using the following process.

The broker that made the error must:

  • Communicate with the correct customs broker/correct importer for the transaction in question so that the correct customs broker can prepare a V-type B3 with the correct customs broker's bar code in replacement of the incorrect entry;
  • Prepare a B2 under section 74(1)(d) of the Customs Act to cancel the original transaction;
  • Prepare a letter explaining the nature of the error and identifying the parties involved; and,  
  • The Broker who made the error must present the entire package (i.e., the B2 requesting the cancelation of the transaction, the explanatory letter and the V-type B3) to the CBSA at the same time to the appropriate CBSA Regional Trade Office. If a complete package is not presented, the request will be rejected.

The CBSA will process the B2 adjustment request only after the replacement V-type B3 has been accepted. The new debit B3 will be on the BN15 that is specified on the B3.  The entire correction process is required in accordance with subsection 67(a) of the Financial Administration Act, which states that a crown debt is not assignable.

As a result of the B2 that cancels the original B3, the incorrect account will show a credit B2 in the amount of the incorrect B3 (excluding GST).  The correct account will now have the new V-type debit B3.

The next SOA for the incorrect account will have the correct transactions total in the header as a debit and credit amounts will balance to zero.

Bulletin 36 – Payment Options for Non-Resident Importers

A number of Non-resident importers (NRIs) operating under the Importer Direct Security Option currently make indirect payment to the Canada Borders Services Agency (CBSA) through their customs brokers.  Given the recent clarification of the liability of debt for Importer Direct Security Option clients (refer to Bulletin ARL-2017-33), this bulletin clarifies the payment options for all NRIs.

1) NRIs who are part of the CBSA's Customs Self-Assessment Program:

These NRIs will continue to make their payments as per the terms of CBSA departmental memos D23-3-1 Customs Self-Assessment for Importers and D17-1-8 Release Prior to Payment.

2) NRIs who are not on the Importer Direct Security Option with their customs broker:

These importers should continue to make their payments to their customs brokers.  If paying the CBSA directly, see payment Options below.

3) NRIs who are on the Importer Direct Security Option with their customs broker:

The purpose of the Importer Direct Security Option is to provide customs brokers a means to reduce the amount of account security they are required to post with the CBSA by ensuring that importers participating in this option remit payment directly to the CBSA.  There are three options available to NRIs to remit these payments.

Options

  • Through Electronic Data Interchange or online banking with a financial institution certified by the CBSA for payment remittance.
  • Sending a cheque, money order or bank draft payable to the Receiver General for Canada (with the importer Business RM Number clearly indicated), in Canadian funds, to the CBSA as follows:

    Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA)
    MAILROOM
    Attention:  Accounts Receivable Management Unit
    333 North River Road, Place Vanier, Tower A
    Ground Floor, Room 1018
    Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0L8

    Telephone: 343-291-5265 (for courier reference purposes only)

    Alternatively, the cheque, money order or bank draft payable to the Receiver General for Canada could be sent to the customs broker to remit to the CBSA on the NRI's behalf.
  • In person at a local CBSA office by debit card or credit card.  Credit card payments are accepted for amounts less than $5,000.

NRIs on the Importer Direct Security Option with their customs brokers who fail to remit payment directly to the CBSA remain liable for their payments and any associated late payment and interest charges.

In accordance with D17-1-8, Release Prior to Payment Privilege, NRIs may not participate in the Goods and Services Tax Direct Payment Option.

For more information on the Importer Direct Security Option, please consult D17-1-8, Release Prior to Payment Privilege.

Bulletin 34 – Proof of Payment when Appealing a Commercial Adjustment

Proof of payment is required when a commercial adjustment is appealed.

Payment for a commercial adjustment that is intended to be appealed must be made in person or by mail at an ARL payment processing enabled office.

The following processes are required to ensure a commercial adjustment that is intended to be appealed is identified as paid.

If paid in person at an ARL Payment Processing Site (PPS)

  • To receive a stamped Detailed Adjustment Statement (DAS) or B2 as paid, full payment must be made in person at an assigned Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) ARL PPS (see link below for a list of ARL PPS).

If paid by mail to an ARL PPS

  • Include clear instructions that identifies the specific DAS or B2 to be paid.
  • Keep copies of the cheque and documentation for reference purposes, as well as the office location where the payment was mailed.
  • A receipt will not be issued and the DAS or B2 will not be stamped; however, a K21 Cash Receipt will be created in the ARL system, and if a decision to appeal the DAS or B2 is made, the CBSA will be able to confirm payment.
  • A copy of the K21 Cash Receipt can be obtained by visiting an ARL office.  The office where the payment was mailed to and the 15 digit business number associated with the DAS or B2 will be required.
  • The K21 Cash Receipt can be printed and submitted to the CBSA's Recourse Unit as proof of payment.

Offices supporting the Accounts Receivable Ledger

Bulletin 33 – Reporting of the Goods and Service Tax and Importer Direct Security Options Indicator on Form B3

Liability of debt for Goods and Services Tax (GST) Direct Payment Options and Importer Direct Security Option clients.

The purpose of the GST Direct Payment Option and the Importer Direct Security Option is to provide customs brokers a means to reduce the amount of account security they are required to post with the Canada Borders Services Agency (CBSA), by ensuring that importers participating in these options remit payment directly to the CBSA.

Under the Importer Direct Security Option, customs brokers may arrange for their clients to obtain their own release prior to payment privilege (i.e., account security number) by posting security with the CBSA.  This allows customs brokers to reduce their level of security by the importer's average monthly duties and taxes, provided the importer completes a direct security letter, authorizing the disclosure of information pertaining to their Account Security Profile.  In addition, importers agree to pay the full amount of duties and taxes directly to the CBSA by the payment due date.

Customs brokers may also place resident importers on the GST Direct Payment Option, thus allowing for a reduction in security equivalent to the importer's average monthly GST owing, provided that the importer completes the required GST letter.  The importer must agree to provide payment directly to the CBSA for the full amount of GST for all transactions processed during a billing period by the payment due date.
An importer cannot be on the Importer Direct Security Option and the GST Direct Payment Option at the same time.

If the importer is not a GST Direct Payment Option or Importer Direct Security Option participant, the liability is secured by the customs broker's bond.  In this case, the customs broker is responsible for the payment of associated duties and taxes, including the GST, owing to the CBSA.  Recovery of these amounts by a customs broker is a business to business matter between the customs broker and their client (importer) and should be handled directly with the importer.

Please ensure that all transactions entered on the B3 Canada Custom Coding Form are coded correctly upon submission.  This will prevent the amount from appearing on the customs broker's Statement of Account and triggering the liability for the payment to the customs broker.

  • If an importer is on the GST Direct Payment Option, field 6 on the B3 must indicate a "G".
  • If an importer is on the Importer Direct Security Option, field 6 on the B3 must indicate an "I".

Failure to accurately report the "G" or "I" indicator on the Form B3 may result in the liability deferral not being applied, thereby resulting in the liability remaining with the customs broker.

For more information on the GST Direct Payment Option and the Importer Direct Security Options, please consult Departmental Memo D17-1-8, Release Prior to Payment Privilege.

Bulletin 32 – Restricted Use of Canada Border Services Agency Administrative Business Numbers

The Canada Border Services Agency's (CBSA) Administrative Business Numbers (Admin BN) should not be used by customs brokers or importers unless authorized by the CBSA.

  • CBSA policy states that all commercial importers must register for a BN with an RM extension (BN15). Please refer to D-Memo, D17-1-5 for specific details.
  • All commercial importers who do not have a valid BN15 must contact the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) to obtain one, or use the services of a customs broker to attain one. The CRA's Business Registration Online is available 21 hours per day or the importer can call the CRA's Business Enquiries line at 1-800-959-5525 (E) or 1-800-959-7775 (F).
  • CBSA offices will be alerted any time a CBSA Admin BN is used on release documentation. The release documentation may be rejected and a valid BN15 requested.
  • If a BN needs to be validated, please contact the CRA.

Bulletin 31 – Importer Account Balance Overview Report

With the introduction of ARL in January 2016, the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) has moved to an account based structure for the tracking and reconciliation of duties and taxes payable (outstanding balance) and payments received.

To allow visibility into account status for importers who do not directly receive a monthly statements of account (SOA) through electronic data interchange (EDI), the CBSA will provide an Importer Account Balance Overview Report. This report details the accounting activity, including open and cleared receivables from January 2016 to the date of request.

Details pertaining to open and/or cleared receivables are subject to change, based on account activity.

To ensure confidentiality, this report can be requested by importers only.

To obtain an Importer Account Balance Overview Report, submit your request through an email, at the legal entity level (i.e. Business Number 9 digits), to the CBSA through the CARM generic mailbox. The subject line of the email must read "Importer Account Balance Overview Report Request/<Importer BN9> (the BN of the importer requesting the report).

Upon receipt of a request, the importer will receive a consent form to be completed, signed and returned to the CBSA, and will be subsequently contacted by phone to verify company information. The following information will be required on the consent form:

  • Name of the Importer
  • Business number at the nine digit level
  • RM account(s) number(s) for this BN9
  • Importer's complete business address
  • Name and contact information, including the business email and phone number, of the individual authorized to receive such information (for example, an owner, partner of a partnership, corporate director, corporate officer, or an individual with delegated authority)

An encrypted report will be sent to the importer by email. The importer will be contacted by phone to be provided a password to unlock the encrypted file.

If there are any issues receiving the report due to file size or with opening the encrypted file, the importer should contact the CARM generic mailbox using the original ticket number issued at the time of the initial request in the Subject field.

Bulletin 30 - Managing Business Number and Import Export Accounts

Providing guidance on making changes to your business number and import/export accounts.

All registration activities for the Business Number and import/export (RM) accounts, including making changes to or closing your account(s), can be done by contacting the Canada Revenue Agency's (CRA) Business Window at 1-800-959-5525.

Changes can be made by the business owner or by an authorized representative.

For business owners, information on making changes to your business can be found on the CRA website.

For authorized representatives, the CRA requires a business owner's consent to communicate with a representative for anything related to their business number (BN) and program accounts. Authorization can be given online using My Business Account or by mail by submitting written authorization using Form RC59, Business Consent.

An authorized representative can be an employee or a person that does not work for your business, such as a:

  • lawyer
  • accountant
  • customs broker
  • bookkeeper

You can authorize a representative to have access to all your business accounts or you can restrict access to specific accounts. With written authorization, the representative can:

  • register your business
  • access your accounts
  • make account enquiries
  • update account information

Detailed information on authorizing a representative can be found on the CRA website.

Bulletin 29 - Daily Notices and Statements of Account for Non-Account Security Importers

Non-Account Security (non-ASEC) importers are now able to receive Daily Notices (DN) and monthly Statement of Accounts (SOA) through electronic data interchange (EDI) formats XML, CADEX and EDIFACT.

Currently, DNs and SOAs are only transmitted via EDI to commercial clients who have ASEC and have registered to receive these electronically.

Effective May 1, 2017, non-ASEC importers will be able to submit a request to the
Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) to receive DNs and SOAs by EDI. Note, if demand is high, there may be a delay in your request being processed.

DNs and SOAs can be received via EDI in the following manner:

  • An importer who is EDI enabled through their own connection; or
  • Through an EDI enabled customs broker; or
  • Through an EDI enabled third party service provider.

Non-ASEC importers must request and complete an application form by:

  • Downloading the application form from the CBSA web site (at the bottom of the page under the section Most Frequently requested EDI application forms); or
  • Contacting the CBSA's Technical Commercial Client Unit (TCCU) by phone at 1-888-957-7224; or
  • By the TCCU mailbox.

Bulletin 28 - Unused Payments Will Appear on the Statement of Account Effective May 2017

The Accounts Receivable Ledger (ARL) System is currently not displaying unused payments (open payment credits) on statements of account (SOA).

Currently, unused payments from past periods, made to the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA), are being applied to debt, but not displayed as part of the opening balance on the SOA.  

Reasons why unused payments may exist:

  • Overpayment of the final K84 statement account in February 2016.
  • Payments were misallocated due to inconsistencies with the Reconciliation Exception Sheet or Payment Allocation Sheet.

Effective May 2017, unused payments that exist on accounts will be included in the 'Opening Balance' field on SOAs.

A credit clean-up is underway, which will reconcile unused payments on importer accounts.

Pay the importers' 'Total Payable' as indicated for each importer's balance on the SOA.

If an importer's 'Total Payable' shows as a credit amount, a payment is not required. The credit will be carried forward to the next period.

Bulletin 27 - Changes to Customs Brokers Daily Notices - Transactions Requiring BN Corrections

The purpose of the bulletin is to inform customs brokers of changes to their daily notices (DN).

Occasionally, B3 and B2 transactions are submitted to the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) with invalid importer business numbers (BN15). 

As the CBSA is unable to process these transactions to a valid importer account, they are placed in a suspense account to await correction.

The CBSA is now completing verification of account numbers on release documentation, and if found to be invalid, the documentation may be rejected.

Effective April 27, 2017, transactions in the suspense account will be displayed on the customs broker's DN with the following messaging: "CBSA account for internal use only.  Please correct before SOA issuance."

If you see this message as your importer name on your DN, correction is required of the importer BN 15 before the 25th day of the month to ensure an accurate SOA.

For instructions on how to make this correction, consult ARL Bulletin #16 - Amended – Correcting B3s Posted to the Wrong BN15, dated December 9, 2016.

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