Orbit Brokers

5 Simple Steps to Avoid Costly Mistakes When Importing into Canada

If you’ve ever imported a product into Canada, your experience may have gone one of two ways: first, you filled out the customs paperwork with no issues and your shipment cleared problem-free. Or, you filled the paperwork out with uncertainty and in turn, got fined with hefty monetary penalties as a result of the incorrect paperwork. The latter scenario is all too common, and we’ve seen it occur several times throughout our 25 years as a Canadian customs broker.

As a commercial importer, you’re subject to hefty monetary penalties if your paperwork does not satisfy the requirements of the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA). This is called the Administrative Monetary Penalty System (AMPS) and penalties are based on the type, severity and frequency of the contravention. If the correct procedures aren’t adhered to, goods may be held for inspection and ultimately refused entry. This can lead to further charges such as having to pay for storage, inspection and examination of the detained goods. The biggest lost of money could arise from the potential destruction of your shipment.

While clearing products through customs can seem like an inconsequential tick-box formality, there’s much more to the customs clearance process than meets the eye. Here’s are 5 steps to consider before importing products into Canada:

  • Confirm goods are allowed to enter Canada prior to purchasing them
  • Ensure you have the proper documentation on hand prior to the shipment arrival
  • Verify accuracy of product invoice
  • Confirm declaration of goods is correct, whether the form is completed by you or your Canadian customs broker
  • Maintain comprehensive records for six years

For further details on protecting your company from exposure, visit the CBSA website for their importing checklist.

When you trust an experienced Canadian customs broker like Orbit Brokers, your goods will clear Canada Customs promptly and correctly. We are also on hand to help with any concerns you may have about your compliance record to date – contact us today!

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