Incomplete paperwork and missing documentation top the list of reasons why shipments are delayed at the U.S./Canadian border. And according to the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA), which imposes fines for certain customs violations, leading examples of “non-compliance” include:
- Failure to pay duties;
- Failure to provide required information to CBSA;
- Unauthorized removal of goods from a warehouse;
- Direct delivery of goods prior to release from CBSA control; and
- Failure to report goods to the CBSA.
Thus it would seem that clearing goods through customs is not for the feint of heart.
In fact though, the process can be a highly efficient and painless undertaking IF a business understands how it works, and takes advantage of multiple opportunities to facilitate the process. Important to note though, is that since most businesses do not have the time or manpower to dedicate to the clearance process, an experienced logistics provider will usually manage the process on the business’s behalf.
An experienced logistics provider will have insight into all CBP and CBSA processes intended to make the clearance process more streamlined and “trade friendly.”
For example, CBSA offers U.S. businesses the option to register as a “Non-Resident Importer (NRI).” As a NRI, a U.S. business can charge its Canadian customers sales tax at the time of purchase, and act as “importer or record,” in overseeing the customs process. Without NRI status, a U.S. business would be severely disadvantaged. Its Canadian customers would be slapped at delivery time with an unexpected invoice for unpaid taxes, and could have to travel to a CBSA office to retrieve its shipment.
Beware though – not every logistics provider that claims to have Canadian expertise has an in-depth understanding of the customs process. Not every provider will know about the NRI program, for example. So a business needs to do its homework and be certain that its logistics provider truly is up to the task of helping to facilitate the clearance process.
A new white paper from Purolator International, “Avoiding Delays and Unexpected Costs: Facilitating the U.S.-Canada Border Clearance Process,” provides an overview of opportunities that can help ensure a delay-free, hassle-free border clearance.
Click here to download a complimentary copy of the new white paper.