Overview: Canadian Export Reporting System
The Canadian Export Reporting System (CERS) is a free, web-based, self-service portal that allows the exporting community to electronically submit export declarations, bulk data uploads and Summary Reporting Program monthly reports to the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA).
Main features of the CERS portal
- CERS is an online platform, so users do not need to download extra software
- Accessible from any computer terminal (refer to the technical requirements)
- Allows secure transmission of export declarations, bulk data upload, and summary reports to the CBSA
- The registration process and functionalities are similar to those of the eManifest portal
- A data validation prior to export declaration submission
- The capacity to store a declaration submission history of up to 499 reports Footnote 1
- Online help and reference material are easily available
CERS registration process
To register and access the CERS portal, you must complete the following steps:
- Step 1: Confirm that your business number is designated “export” or “both import and export” by contacting the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) at 1-800-959-8886
- Step 2: Apply to become a portal client by: completing form BSF831
- Step 3: Submit the completed BSF831 form by email to: email@example.com for approval
The approval process generally takes up to 5 business days, but may be longer if there is any missing or incomplete data. Once approved, the CBSA will send a shared secret to the email address indicated on the application form.
A shared secret is a temporary access code. The CBSA will provide you with a shared secret once your application to become a CERS portal client has been approved. You must use this code to create a portal business account within 90 days of the issue date of the shared secret.
Only the CBSA and the authorized representative of the company have access to this information. If necessary, a replacement shared secret can be issued by contacting the Commercial Registration Unit by email at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The business designations reflected in your CERS business account should match either:
- what was indicated on your registration form (BSF831), or
- what was reported using the Canadian Automated Export Declaration system (CAED) if your account was activated using an Activation ID
If your business was using multiple business accounts to report goods using CAED, you may be incorrectly designated as a customs service provider in the CERS portal.
If you disagree with the business designation assigned to your business in CERS, you must contact the CBSA Technical Commercial Client Unit at: email@example.com. We are working on providing users with the ability in the future to change their own designation.
Associated business accounts
For customs service providers looking to associate new clients to their business account in CERS, complete form BSF831 and submit it by email to: firstname.lastname@example.org. Once we have processed your completed form, we will add the new client to your CERS business account.
Previous CAED clients: If you notice a client that was previously associated to your CAED account is not appearing in CERS, it could be because:
- the associated business account did not submit an export report using CAED between and
- to add this client in CERS, you must complete form BSF831 as described above
- the client’s business number for import/export (BNRM) is invalid or is not designated for “export” or “both import and export” and CERS can detect this through its enhanced verification process
- contact the Canada Revenue Agency at 1-800-959-8886 to:
- verify the validity of your client’s BNRM
- change a client’s BNRM designation
- contact the Canada Revenue Agency at 1-800-959-8886 to:
Portal account options and guidance
Once you have a shared secret or authorization ID, an authorized representative of the business, called an account owner, sets up the portal business account using their GCKey or a sign-in-partner.
To sign in to the portal, employees will need their own GCKey or sign-in-partner. They may use an existing GCKey (created to access other government services such as eManifest) or create a new one. Each employee who will work in the portal must then set up a user account. GCKeys and user reference numbers are issued after initial log-in. They are unique to individual users and may not be shared between employees.
To set up a user account, the employee will need to provide basic identification including name, email address and telephone number.
There are 4 types of user accounts in the CERS portal:
- account owner (business account creator)
- proxy account owner
- account user
- account browser
To find out how an account owner and/or a proxy account owner can add a user account to their CERS portal business account, consult Adding a user to a CERS portal business account for more information.
Creating and managing export declarations and summary reports
For guidance on completing the various fields in an export declaration, consult the Electronic Commerce Client Requirements Document (ECCRD): Chapter 25—Canadian Export Reporting System (CERS) portal or the Quick reference guide to the Canadian Export Reporting System.
For guidance on the proper use of the summary report line template, consult the Electronic Commerce Client Requirements Document (ECCRD): Chapter 25—Canadian Export Reporting System (CERS) portal.
Proof of report numbers
CERS will not generate a proof of report number until after you submit the export declaration. We are aware that some exporting carriers have had challenges providing exporters with a unique carrier-assigned code without first obtaining the proof of report number.
For more information on how to comply, consult:
- Memorandum D20-1-1: Exporter Reporting, Appendix D (Proof of Report)
- Customs Notice 20-03: Clarifying Proof-of-Report Requirements for Exporters and Carriers
Historical export declarations
All export declarations submitted using CAED since , have been migrated to CERS. To access these documents, conduct a search on submitted export documents using the related proof of report number. You will not be able to access historical declarations submitted using CAED by using the submitted documents tab in the CERS portal.
Consult View submitted documents (CAED export declaration) in the quick reference guide for more information.
Templates and lists
The memorized lists (Exporter, Consignee, Service Provider, Certifier and Commodity sections) and templates in CAED were not migrated to CERS. These will need to be recreated in CERS using the lookup and template functionality. For further information on creating a lookup or template, please refer to the quick reference guide:
Make sure that your computer:
- is connected to the internet
- contains one of the following supported web browsers:
- Google Chrome
- Microsoft Edge
- Mozilla Firefox
For uninterrupted access to the CERS portal, the browser should:
- support TLS 1.2 (recommended) or TLS 1.0
- have Cookies enabled
When you are finished using the CERS portal on a shared computer, you should log out by selecting the log out link and closing the browser before leaving the computer unattended. This will prevent unauthorized access to personal and/or commercial information by others.
For CERS data transmission requirements, please refer to the Electronic Commerce Client Requirements Document (ECCRD): Chapter 25—Canadian Export Reporting System (CERS) Portal.
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