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Release of your shipment

Release on minimum documentation (RMD)

RMD allows importers to obtain release of their goods by presenting data for interim accounting. Full accounting data and payment are not required at the time of release but they are required within certain time frames. More information on accounting and payment can be found in Memorandum D17-1-5, Importing Commercial Goods.

The goal of the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) is to process complete and accurate release requests that do not require its officers to examine the goods or to review the permits, within the following times:

Fiscal year , to

Release on minimum documentation (RMD): Electronic data interchange (EDI)

Service description: Importers and customs brokers must obtain a release decision of commercial goods from the CBSA by presenting a properly completed accounting document or submitting an interim accounting Release on Minimum Documentation (RMD). This service facilitates the release of legitimate commercial goods through minimal intervention within established service standards.

Service standard: Post-arrival EDI-RMDs will provide a release decision within 45 minutes.

Performance target: 70%

Performance result: The CBSA processed 156,690 requests and met the service standard 68.69% of the time.

For more information on all service standards and performance results for previous years, consult the CBSA service standards.

FAQ – Release Time Frames

The CBSA will be moving to a cargo-based arrival processing model which will alter the timeframes for release of commercial goods. With these system changes, shipments will be eligible for release only after all related cargo documents attain “arrived” status.

Posting security

Importers and licensed customs brokers who ask for release of their goods before payment and for uncertified cheque privileges must post security representing 100% of their average monthly amount of outstanding duties and taxes (less the goods and services tax in the case of resident importers) during the previous 12-month period, up to a maximum of $10 million.

Importers and customs brokers may file security at either a local CBSA office or at CBSA Headquarters with the Brokers Licensing and Account Security Programs. If security is filed with the appropriate local CBSA office, an importer or broker can obtain release of goods before paying duties at that office only. If security is filed at CBSA Headquarters, an importer or broker can obtain release of goods before paying duties at all CBSA offices in Canada.

The minimum amount of security required for importers is $250 for a single CBSA office and $5,000 for national privileges. The minimum amount of security required for licensed customs brokers is $5,000 to transact business at a single CBSA office and $25,000 for national privileges.

This security can be in any of the following forms:

For more information about account security, please see the links listed below:

Transaction number

The CBSA identifies each shipment with a unique 14-digit transaction number. This transaction number is used to identify shipments at various times throughout the customs process. If you use the cash option, a transaction number is assigned to the documents in the accounting package that you present to obtain release of your goods.

If you have RMD privileges, the CBSA will assign you a unique five-digit account security number. This number will always appear as the first five digits of your transaction number. After you receive your account security number, you have to affix the transaction number in bar-coded format to your release and accounting documents for all later shipments.

Other service options

The CBSA offers other service options to expedite the processing and release of goods.

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