This guide has been created to help small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) that export goods from Canada. It provides an overview of the exporting process and is intended to complement, not replace existing regulations, acts, and references.
All regulations, programs, and references in this guide are explained in detail in Memoranda Series D1 to D22.
For information on temporarily exporting goods from Canada refer to Memorandum D20-1-4, Proof of Export, Canadian Ownership, and Destruction of Commercial Goods.
Before exporting goods from Canada you must:
1. Obtain a business number from the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA)for an import-export account:
2. Identify the goods you want to export. You must have an accurate description of the goods you plan to export before proceeding.
The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) assists other government departments and agencies (OGDs) by applying their legislation relating to the exportation of various commodities. The requirements of OGDs will help determine if the goods you want to export are controlled, prohibited, or regulated and if a permit, licence or certificate to export is required.
3. Determine the country of origin of the goods. The origin of goods to be exported can affect permit requirements. For more information on origin, refer to Memoranda Series D11, General Tariff Information. For example:
For more information on export permit requirements, visit Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada, Export and Import Controls.
4. Make sure the goods can be exported. Certain goods can not be exported from Canada. For example:
5. Determine whether or not the goods you want to export are subject to restrictions or other requirements. For example:
For additional information, please refer to BSF5131, Other Government Departments and Agencies: Reference List for Exporters.
A complete listing of OGD requirements can be found in Memoranda Series D19, Acts and Regulations of Other Government Departments.
6. Ensure that the goods you are exporting are allowed entry into the receiving country.
It is in your best interests to verify that your products meet the import requirements of the receiving country. For information about the requirements of other countries, refer to:
You can also have your importer contact their local government to ensure the goods comply with their import regulations.
7. The CBSA Export Program has three main objectives:
Accurate trade information is vital to Canada's export growth; therefore it is important that you report your exports and that the information you provide is complete and precise.
8. Certain goods are not required to be reported on an export declaration. However, if at the time of exportation an officer suspects, on reasonable grounds, that the goods are being exported contrary to an Act of Parliament, the officer may request that the goods be reported in writing, by presenting form B13A, Export Declaration.
If your export matches one of the exemptions on the list, advise your carrier and indicate "No Declaration Required" (NDR) with the proper explanation or corresponding numerical code on the transport documentation (cargo control document, manifest, bill of lading, etc.).
9. Goods that are not controlled, regulated or prohibited by other government departments must be reported to the CBSA prior to export by means of an export declaration, when:
You are not required to report your exports by preparing an export declaration for goods you are exporting to the United States (including Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands). Under an agreement with the United States, the Government of Canada receives information on Canadian exports destined for consumption in the United States market directly from import data collected by the United States authorities.
However, as this agreement only covers goods destined for consumption in the United States, you must report exports that are shipped through the United States to another country.
10. All goods controlled, regulated, or prohibited by any act of Parliament must be reported to CBSA regardless of their value. All permits, licences, or certificates required by the government departments or agencies that regulate the export of these goods must accompany the goods. The permits, licences or certificates must be submitted to CBSA before the goods are exported from Canada.
11. Note: Effective April 1, 2012, the CBSA will take steps to eliminate the manual reporting process form (B13A) for exporters and implement mandatory electronic reporting. Please see CN12-001, Mandatory Electronic Reporting Policy for Exporters.
To report your exports, you must submit an export declaration by using one of the following methods:
For more information on export reporting, refer to BSF5081, Exporting Goods From Canada: A Handy Guide for Exporters.
12. Exporters are required to report their exports to the CBSA prior to export and according to specific timeframes depending on the mode of transportation used. When more than one mode of transportation is used to export goods, the timeframes for reporting in each of these modes apply concurrently.
Minimum timeframe for reporting:
13. Goods are to be reported at a designated export office located inland or at the border. Any export permit, licence or certificate must be presented before the goods are exported; the location will be specified on the permit.
If the permit, licence or certificate does not name a place of exit, the permit, licence or certificate and the export declaration (if required) must be presented to the export reporting office closest to the place of exit.
14. Once you have determined that the goods may be exported and that submitting an export declaration is required, you must classify the goods. Depending on your method of reporting, either the Statistics Canada eight-digit Canadian Export Classification number or the ten-digit Canadian Tariff Classification number is used.
If you are using the Canadian Automated Export Declaration System (CAED) to submit your declaration, you must use the eight-digit Canadian Export Classification number.
The Canadian Export Classification number is based on an international six-digit 'root' with an additional two digits for Canadian domestic purposes for a total of eight digits. To obtain the eight-digit Canadian Export Classification number:
The Canadian Tariff Classification number also provides precise statistical data for your exportation. To obtain this ten-digit number:
For more information on the methodology for classifying goods according to the Customs Tariff, refer to Memorandum D10-13-1, Classification of Goods.
15. An 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 that goods are of Canadian origin and meet the requirements of a free trade agreement. The exporter forwards a copy of the certificate of origin to the importer and retains a copy for his records.
For more information on free-trade agreements, refer to Memoranda Series D11, General Tariff Information.
Certificates of origin include:
For information on certificates of origin, refer to Memorandum D11-4-14, Certification of Origin.
16. Be aware that your shipments may be examined:
17. If you need to cancel a shipment or modify information about a shipment already reported, you must submit an amended declaration either to Statistics Canada or to the CBSA, clearly identifying the changes.
18. You must keep all records pertaining to your exportation for six years following the exportation in either electronic or paper format. For more information, refer to Memorandum D20-1-5, Maintenance of Records and Books in Canada by Exporters and Producers.
19. AMPS is a civil penalty regime that secures compliance with CBSA legislation through the application of monetary penalties. Refer to export-specific AMPS information or to Memoranda Series D22, Administrative Monetary Penalty System.
20. You can reduce or eliminate customs duty on qualifying goods through duties relief incentives. The duty deferral program enables companies to defer or be relieved of the payment of duties. The following are its three components:
You may be eligible to obtain relief of GST or HST normally paid on goods acquired or imported under the Export Distribution Center Program. For more information on this program or for help preparing your application, visit the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) Web site or contact your local CRA tax services office.
For more information on trade incentives programs, refer to Memoranda Series D7, Drawbacks.
21. BSF5054, Checklist for Exporting Commercial Goods, may be used in conjunction with this document to help you with the commercial exporting process while BSF5081, Exporting Goods From Canada: A Handy Guide for Exporters outlines the requirements that exporters must fulfill to meet their obligations to report exports under the Customs Act and the Reporting of Exported Goods Regulations.
|Type of Goods||United States Destinations (includes Puerto Rico and U.S. Virgin Islands)||All Other Destinations (includes goods moving through the United States to foreign destinations)|
|Restricted goods, i.e. controlled, regulated and prohibited goods (regardless of value).||
If you are a CAED participant and the goods you are exporting are controlled, prohibited, or regulated, you must also present a paper copy of an export declaration, together with the accompanying permit, certificate, or licence.
23. Memorandum D20-1-4, Proof of Export, Canadian Ownership, and Destruction of Commercial goods outlines and explains the options available to those who are required to prove for CBSA purposes either that goods entering the country are of Canadian origin, or that temporarily imported goods have been exported or destroyed.
24. RC4130, SERVE, Industrial Awareness Program provides information on industrial awareness and helps ensure that Canadian exporters have the information they need to comply with the law.
25. For information on other federal departments and agencies involved in the commercial exporting process, visit the Canada Site or call 1-800-O-Canada (1-800-622-6232).
26. For more information related to CBSA requirements, contact BIS.
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