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CBSA Glossary

A glossary of terminology frequently found in CBSA publications and on the Web.


Abandon to the Crown
The act of relinquishing ownership of goods to the CBSA for destruction or disposal.
Account for
To provide a report of imported goods under section 32 of the Customs Act.
A mechanism for importers or owners of goods to adjust their accounting record when they become aware of an error in the information they have provided. A completed B2 form, Canada Customs – Adjustment Request must be submitted. (see also Refund)
Administrative Monetary Penalty System (AMPS)
A civil penalty regime that secures compliance with customs legislation through the application of monetary penalties.
Ad Valorem Duty
A term for a fixed percentage of value to determine rate of duty. (see also Specific Duty)
Advance Commercial Information (ACI)
This program provides CBSA officers with electronic pre-arrival cargo information so that they are equipped with the right information at the right time to identify health, safety and security threats related to commercial goods before the goods arrive in Canada.
Advance Ruling for Tariff Classification
A tariff classification advance ruling is a written statement on the tariff classification of a product, issued to a person by the CBSA under paragraph 43.1(1)( c) of the Customs Act.
Anti-dumping Duty
A duty levied under the Special Import Measures Act on goods that have been sold to importers in Canada at prices that are lower than the selling price in the country of export, or sold to Canada at unprofitable prices.
A.T.A. Carnet
An international customs document designed to simplify and streamline temporary importation procedures.
A fair redress and dispute resolution process provided to clients on tariff classification, value for duty, origin, advance rulings, marking decisions and enforcement actions.


Bonded Carrier
A carrier who has posted security with the CBSA and who is permitted to transport, under CBSA control, between points in Canada, dutiable goods upon which duty has not yet been paid.
Bonded warehouse
A facility licensed by the CBSA where non-duty paid goods may be placed for storage, essentially deferring duties (including the GST) until the goods are either exported or entered into the Canadian economy.
Border Information Service (BIS)
An automated telephone service that answers incoming calls and that provides general information on CBSA programs, services and initiatives.


Canada Customs Invoice (CCI)
A CBSA document showing all the data elements required at time of release.
Canadian International Trade Tribunal (CITT)
An independent administrative tribunal that holds hearings and issues decisions relating to appeals under section 67 of the Customs Act.
A series of CBSA programs that expedites the border clearance process for frequent, low-risk, pre-approved travellers into Canada.
Cargo Control Document (CCD)
A manifest that acts as the initial record of a shipment's arrival into Canada and enables the CBSA to control the movement of goods being imported and exported.
An individual, partnership, or corporation engaged in the business of transporting goods or persons.
Certificate of Origin
This form is required when claiming a preferential tariff treatment and must be completed by the exporter of the goods.
Classification Number
A 10-digit number, assigned to goods enumerated in the schedule to the Customs Tariff that identifies imported goods. The first six digits represent the International Harmonized System Code, the seventh and eighth digits are subdivisions for CBSA purposes, and the remaining two digits represent a statistical suffix.
Commercial Goods
Goods imported into Canada for sale or for any commercial, industrial, occupational, institutional, or other similar use.
Commercial Invoice
A bill of sale or other acceptable documentation that provides data elements required at time of import (i.e. value, quantity, vendor, etc.).
Commonwealth Caribbean Countries Tariff (CCCT)
A preferential tariff treatment extended to certain goods imported from a Commonwealth Caribbean country.
Computed Value
Value for duty based on the cost of production plus an amount for profit and general expenses as per section 52 of the Customs Act.
Countervailing Duty
A duty levied under the Special Import Measures Act on subsidized goods where it has been determined that importing such subsidized goods has caused, is causing, or is likely to cause material injury to the production in Canada of like goods.
Customs Broker
A person or company that is licensed by the CBSA and is empowered to act as an agent, on behalf of an importer/owner of goods, to transact business relating to importing or exporting goods.
Customs Duty
Duties imposed on goods at the rates specified in the List of Tariff Provisions, which forms the schedule to the Canadian Customs Tariff. (see also Excise Duty)
Customs Self Assessment (CSA) Program
A pre-approval commercial program that simplifies border requirements so that low-risk shipments can be processed more quickly and efficiently at the border.


Detailed Adjustment Statement (DAS)
A statement of adjustment issued in response to a request made by an importer/agent or as a result of the CBSA's review of an accounting document.
D Memoranda
Also known as directives series or D-Memos, outline the legislation, regulations, policies, and procedures the CBSA uses to administer its programs.
Duty Drawback Program
This program refunds duties paid under certain conditions when imported goods are subsequently exported or are considered surplus and destroyed in Canada under CBSA supervision.
Duties Relief Program
This program relieves the payment of duties on imported goods that will eventually be exported either in the same condition or after being consumed, expended or used in the processing of other goods.
Duty Deferral Program
This program is the grouping of three options that can defer or relieve the payment of duties on imported goods.  These programs are the Duties Relief Program, the Drawback Program and the Bonded Warehouse Program.
Duty-free Shops
These shops are located at Canada's land border crossings and airports. They sell goods free of certain duty and taxes that are normally levied on goods sold in Canada.


Electronic Data Interchange (EDI)
This system allows clients to electronically transmit their import or export data and their accounting documents to the CBSA.
eManifest is the third phase of the ACI program. This initiative when fully implemented will require carriers, freight forwarders and importers in all modes of transportation to electronically provide the CBSA with advance trade data before goods arrive in Canada.
Emergency Repairs
Repairs resulting from an unforeseen contingency that occurred outside Canada and were necessary to enable the safe return of the conveyance to Canada.
End Use Program
 This program allows for a reduction of the duty rate on goods imported for a specific use.
The inspection of goods, conveyances and persons entering Canada.
Excise Duty
A duty levied on spirits, wine, beer and tobacco products under the authority of the Excise Act and the Excise Act, 2001. (see also Customs Duty)
Excise Tax
A tax levied on certain petroleum products, heavy automobiles and air conditioners designed for automobiles.
Export and Import Permits Act (EIPA)
Legislation controlling the import and export of certain goods and the export of goods to certain countries.
Export Permit
A permit issued by the Export and Import Controls Bureau of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada for goods that are subject to export controls. (see also General Export Permit and Individual Export Permit)


Free and Secure Trade (FAST)
A joint Canada-United States initiative that allows pre-approved importers, carriers, and registered drivers to move pre-approved eligible goods across the border quickly.
Free Trade Agreements
Agreements that allow for the duty-free importation of certain goods imported from specific countries.


General Export Permit (GEP)
Authorization to export controlled goods included in the Export Control List, to specified locations without the requirement for an individual export permit from Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada. (see also Individual Export Permit)
General Import Permit (GIP)
Authorization to import, controlled goods that are included in the Import Control List, without the requirement for an individual import permit from Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada.
General Interpretative Rules (GIR)
The rules governing the classification of all goods in the Harmonized System.
General Preferential Tariff (GPT)
A special tariff provision where qualifying goods may be subject to reduced rates of duty.
Goods and Services Tax (GST)
A 5% federal tax that applies to most goods and services in Canada and to imported goods under section 212 of the Excise Tax Act.


Harmonized Sales Tax (HST)
A combination of the GST and provincial sales tax of participating provinces.
Harmonized System (HS)
An international goods classification system used to classify imported and exported goods.


Import Permit
A permit issued by Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada when goods that are subject to import control do not qualify under the terms of a General Import Permit.
Individual Export Permit (IEP)
This permit allows the export of goods and technology to specified consignees in a single country. (see also General Export Permit)


Least Developed Country Tariff (LDCT)
A tariff treatment accorded to countries identified by the United Nations as requiring special attention due to their economic status.
Low Value Shipment (LVS) Program
This program streamlines the reporting, release and accounting procedures of certain goods imported by courier.


A manifest acts as the initial record of a shipment's arrival into Canada and enables the CBSA to control the movement of goods being imported and exported. (see also Cargo Control Document)
Marking (of imported goods)
Certain goods, identified under section 19 of the Canadian Customs Tariff, must be marked indicating country of origin. Marking refers to country of origin and should not be confused with labelling that refers to consumer packaging and labelling.
Mexico Tariff (MT)
The preferential tariff treatment extended to goods originating in Mexico and that satisfy the NAFTA origin requirements.
Mexico-United States Tariff (MUST)
The NAFTA preferential tariff treatment extended to commercial goods produced jointly in Mexico and the United States.
Monetary instruments
Securities and negotiable instruments in bearer form where ownership is conveyed by physical possession. It can include stocks, bonds, debentures, treasury bills, banker's drafts, cheques and money orders, other than warehouse receipts and bills of lading. It does not include securities or negotiable instruments that bear restrictive endorsements or a stamp for the purposes of clearing or are made payable to a named person and have not been endorsed.
Most-Favoured-Nation Tariff (MFN)
The tariff treatment extended to all countries that have trade agreements with Canada.


National Customs Ruling (NCR)
A written statement by the CBSA to an importer or its agent outlining how provisions of existing CBSA legislation will be applied to an importation of a specific commodity.
A program designed to expedite the border clearance process for low-risk, pre-approved travellers into Canada and the United States.
North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA)
A trilateral agreement signed by Canada, the United States, and Mexico that facilitates free trade.


Order in Council (OIC)
A legal instrument made by the Governor in Council pursuant to a statutory authority or, less frequently, the royal prerogative.


Partners in Protection (PIP)
This program enlists the cooperation of private industry to enhance border and trade chain security, combat organized crime and terrorism, and help detect and prevent contraband smuggling.
Price Paid or Payable
The aggregate of all payments made or to be made, directly or indirectly, in respect of the goods by the purchaser to or for the benefit of the vendor.
Prohibited Importations
Goods that cannot be imported into Canada.
Provisional Duty
Duty levied under the Special Import Measures Act when a preliminary decision is issued by the Canadian International Trade Tribunal (CITT) on the dumping or subsidizing of imported goods.


An importer may request a refund of duties and taxes on commercial goods including SIMA duties, GST or HST. A completed B2 form, Canada Customs - Adjustment Request must be submitted. (see also Adjustment)
Registrar of Imported Vehicles (RIV)
The company contracted by Transport Canada to establish and operate a national program of vehicle inspection and certification.
Authorization to remove goods from a CBSA office, a sufferance warehouse, a bonded warehouse, or a duty free shop for use within Canada.
Relief of all or a portion of duties under specified conditions under section 115 of the Customs Tariff or section 23 of the Financial Administration Act.


An amount of money or bond posted to ensure the payment of duties and taxes owing on imported goods.
Specific Duty
A term for a specific amount per unit, to determine the rate of duty, such as cents per kilogram. (see also Ad Valorem Duty)
Special Import Measures Act (SIMA)
Legislation to help protect Canadian producers from harm or injury caused when foreign exporters dump goods into Canada or when foreign governments subsidize exported goods.
Sufferance Warehouse
A privately owned and operated facility licensed by the CBSA for the control, short-term storage, and examination of in-bond goods until they are released by CBSA or exported from Canada.
An additional duty imposed as an emergency measure of a temporary nature, usually on imported goods causing or threatening serious injury to Canadian producers of like or directly competitive products.


Tariff Item
The classification of goods under the Harmonized System. The tariff item determines the rate of duty.
Tariff Rate Quota (TRQ)
An import quota that allows a limited quantity of specific goods into a country for consumption at a lower duty rate during a specified period. 
Tariff Treatment
The tariff or trade arrangement under which goods are entered into Canada.
  • Australia Tariff (AUT)
  • Canada-Israel Agreement Tariff (CIAT)
  • Chile Tariff (CT)
  • Colombia Tariff (COLT)
  • Commonwealth Caribbean Countries Tariff (CCCT)
  • Costa Rica Tariff (CRT)
  • General Preferential Tariff (GPT)
  • Honduras Tariff (HNT)
  • Iceland Tariff (IT)
  • Jordan Tariff (JT)
  • Korea Tariff (KRT)
  • Least Developed Country Tariff (LDCT)
  • Mexico Tariff (MT)
  • Mexico-United States Tariff (MUST)
  • Most-Favoured-Nation Tariff (MFN)
  • New Zealand Tariff (NZT)
  • Norway Tariff (NT)
  • Panama Tariff (PAT)
  • Peru Tariff (PT)
  • Switzerland Liechtenstein Tariff (SLT)
  • United States Tariff (UST)
Temporary Importation
Goods imported under authorization by the CBSA for a limited period of time and specified use.
Through Bill of Lading
A bill of lading drawn up to cover a shipment to be handled by more than one carrier en route to its destination.
Transaction Number
A unique 14-digit number in bar-code format that is a mandatory data element on all paper release documents.
Transaction Value
The price paid or payable for goods sold to a purchaser in Canada, for export to Canada.
Movement of goods through one country to their ultimate destination.


A contravention of section 32 of the Customs Act where goods are declared at a false value to the CBSA to evade lawfully payable duties.
United States Tariff (UST)
Is a preferential tariff treatment extended to goods that originate in the United States and that satisfy the NAFTA rules of origin


The process and methods used to determine the value of imported goods in order to assess duties and taxes.
Value for Duty (VFD)
The value in Canadian funds upon which duty is assessed in accordance with the valuation provisions of the Customs Act.
Value for Tax
The value in Canadian funds plus any applicable duties, SIMA assessments and excise tax. If applicable to the goods, GST and PST or HST are payable on this amount.


World Customs Organization (WCO)
An organization whose primary purpose is to facilitate the development of international trade through the improvement and harmonization of customs procedures.
World Trade Organization (WTO)
The WTO is a global international organization dealing with the rules of trade between nations.
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