Canada Frequently Asked Questions
- Whom do I contact for help with shipping to Canada?
Contact our dedicated Canada Solutions Team at 1.866.393.4685 anytime between 7:00 a.m. and 8:30 p.m. EST.
- What documents are required for a shipment from the U.S. to Canada?
- Bill of Lading including
- Full description of product including lowest external packaging handling units
- Customs broker name and contact information
- Invoice for customs purposes including:
- Buyer, seller, country of origin, value of product, and a detailed description of the goods, including quantity.
NAFTA Certificate of Origin (NAFTA COO): If the shipment’s goods are “wholly obtained or produced entirely“ in the US, Mexico, or Canadathe shipment may qualify to enter the country under the reduced duty treatment. As an option for repeat shippers a blanket Certificate of Origin can be kept on file for one year through your customs broker. It is recommended that your customs broker be consulted for assistance on properly completing and filing the NAFTA Certificate of Origin.
Forms and instructions required for international shipping are available online at fedex.com.
Some commodities may require additional customs documentation. For specific questions, we recommend that you contact the customs broker that will set up the clearance on your shipment or the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) www.cbsa.gc.ca.
- What is the Pre-Arrival Review System (PARS)?
The vast majority of LTL shipments destined to Canada via FedEx Freight clear at the border under a process referred to as PARS. This process allows importers and brokers to submit release on minimum documentation (RMD) information to the CBSA for review and processing prior to goods arriving in Canada. The system also speeds up the release or referral for examination process when goods arrive in Canada.
- What is a PARS number?
A PARS number, similar to a pro or tracking number, is used during the Pre-arrival Review System (PARS) process. FedEx Freight assigns PARS numbers by using derivative of our tracking numbers proceeded by our four digit carrier code, 4713.
- What are my responsibilities as a shipper to Canada?
Your main responsibility is to comply with all CBSA rules and regulations including properly declaring the product you’ve shipped. Almost all shipments crossing into Canada are subject to the assessment of duties and taxes imposed by the Government of Canada. Duties and taxes are imposed to generate revenue, protect local industries against foreign competition or both. Customs officials assess duties and taxes based on information you provide on the invoice and other relevant documentation. It’s imperative this information is accurate and complete.
As the shipper you have the following options:
a. Provide the FedEx Freight driver all necessary paperwork at the time of pickup. As a convenience to our customers, we will forward the paperwork provided at the time of pickup for customs clearance to the appropriate customs broker listed on the Bill of Lading.
b. Fax or electronically transmit the paperwork directly to the customs broker. If the shipper elects to send the paperwork directly to the broker, FedEx Freight requests that the shipper notate that they have done so including the customs broker contact information on the Bill of Lading. We recommend you contact your customs broker for further instructions prior to starting this process.
FedEx Freight does not provide a broker inclusive service. We highly recommend for the shipper to confirm the broker name and contact information which will be submitting for clearance and list this information on the Bill of Lading. Failure to properly identify the broker may result in potential delays and storage charges.
- What situations would cause a customs entry delay?
Certain criteria must be met prior to a shipment being loaded to the border. As an LTL carrier, FedEx Freight holds freight in the USA that hasn’t been cleared or considered border ready. This avoids other shipments from being delayed while crossing into Canada. Some reasons that a shipment cannot be cleared include:
- Failure to name the customs broker on the paperwork.
- Failure to include all required documents.
- Documents that are missing pertinent information, for example, shipment values are missing, values are not extended and totaled, or the total quantities on the invoice do not match the BOL quantities.
- Improper description or the lack of correct Harmonized Schedule numbers (HS) or Schedule B numbers, or the commodity description is insufficient.
- The IOR requesting to “self clear” the shipment or specifying that the shipment travels in-bond to an inland port for clearance.
- Shipment inspection by U.S.and/or Canadacustoms. Inspections are random and the carrier does not have control over the process. If a shipment is held for inspection it may be delayed 24-48 hours.
- Can my shipment be PARS accepted and still be inspected at the border?
Yes. Even though the shipment information has been sent via PARS and accepted by CBSA, Canadacustoms agents have the right to inspect a shipment. Inspection may result in a held shipment.
- What are the requirements for next-day service to Canada?
FedEx Freight’s superior transit times allow for next-day service to Canada in some lanes. Next-day service to Canada is only possible if the customs broker makes entry the same day as pickup by the designated acceptance time for that particular lane. This requires that the documents be sent to the customs broker or FedEx Freight early that day. Utilize our Next-Day Service Request form available online at FedEx.com and follow the instructions.
- What is an Importer of Record (IOR)?
The Importer of Record (IOR) is responsible for all accounting related to the importation including, but not limited to, any duties/and/or taxes payable to the Government of Canada as well as the maintenance of all records pertaining to each importation.
An IOR may appoint a customs broker to act as their agent and transact business with the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) on their behalf. The CBSA requires agents to have written authority from the IOR such as an Agency Agreement or Power of Attorney. Note: The IOR is ultimately responsible for all matters regardless if an agent was appointed.
- What is a Non-Resident Importer (NRI)?
A Non-Resident Importer (NRI) is a company or individual who does not reside in Canada, but elects to act as the Importer of Record (IOR) for a shipment, or shipments, imported into Canada.
The benefits of being a Non-Resident Importer include consistent clearance processing and potentially faster delivery times, pre-determination of landed costs and enhanced ecommerce sales. .
- What is a customs broker?
Importers who do not wish to transact business with the CBSA directly may authorize an agent or customs broker to transact business on their behalf. The CBSA requires agents to have written authority from the IOR such as an Agency Agreement or Power of Attorney. Customs brokers services include but are not limited to:
- Preparing release documentation
- Preparing final accounting documentation
- Remitting payment of duties and taxes to the Government of Canada
Although importers may use a customs broker, the importer is ultimately responsible for the accounting documentation, payment of duties and taxes, and subsequent corrections such as re-determination of classification, origin and valuation. The importer remains liable for all duties owing until either the importer or the agent pays them.
- Is FedEx Freight a customs broker?
No. FedEx Freight is a carrier, not a broker. Our customers use many different brokers to assist with their customs clearance needs. The Importer of Record’s customs broker should be established before tendering a shipment. The customs broker will be invoicing the customer separately for their services. If a customer needs the services of a customs broker, we recommend FedEx Trade Networks at 1.800.249.2953 or online at www.ftn.fedex.com.
- How does the customs broker get the paperwork?
As a service to our customers, FedEx Freight will forward all documents provided to the appropriate customs broker. If the shipper elects to send the paperwork directly to the broker, FedEx Freight requests that the shipper notate that they have done so including the customs broker contact information on the Bill of Lading. (Also refer to What are my responsibilities as a shipper to Canada?)
- Can FedEx Trade Networks be my customs broker?
Yes! FedEx Trade Networks is one of the largest and most reputable customs brokers in Canada. To utilize the services of FedEx Trade Networks, please reference www.ftn.fedex.com or call 1.800.249.2953 for assistance. All charges by FedEx Trade Networks and other customs brokers are invoiced separately.
- If I have credit with FedEx Freight, will I need to also establish credit with FedEx Trade Networks?
Each FedEx operating company is responsible for determining the creditworthiness of each customer as it relates to the business relationship between the specific customer and the operating company. If FedEx Trade Networks is selected as your customs broker and is paying duties and taxes on your behalf, they require a separate credit application to be completed.
- Can I use another customs broker other than FedEx Trade networks?
Yes. We provide the name of FedEx Trade Networks simply as a convenience for our customers. We will work with the customs broker of your choice.
- What is Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (C-TPAT)?
Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (C-TPAT) is a joint initiative between U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and business to build cooperative relationships that strengthen overall supply chain and border security.
FedEx Freight is C-TPAT certified, providing assurance of our guidelines and practices to customs as well as our suppliers and customers.
Learn more from the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) at www.cbp.gov or from FedEx Trade Networks at www.fedex.com/us/services/ftn/C-TPAT.html.
- What is Partners in Protection (PIP)?
Partners in Protection (PIP) helps enhance border and supply chain security; combats organized crime and terrorism; and detects and prevents contraband smuggling through enhanced physical, infrastructure and procedural security.
FedEx Freight Canada is PIP certified, providing assurance of our guidelines and practices to customs as well as our suppliers and customers. Learn more from the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) at www.cbsa.gc.ca.
- What is Automated Commercial Environment (ACE)?
Automated Commercial Environment (ACE) is the commercial trade processing system developed by U.S. Customs Border and Protection (CBP) to facilitate trade and strengthen border security for shipments destined to the U.S. FedEx Freight Canadais ACE compliant.
Learn more from the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) at www.cpb.gov.
- What is the Pre-Arrival Processing System (PAPS)?
Pre-Arrival Processing System is the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) version of PARS. It is the system by which U.S.customs can review documentation to determine clearance prior to the shipment crossing the U.S./Canada border.
Learn more from the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) at www.cpb.gov.