Canada Frequently Asked Questions

ShowShipping to Canada
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 must include customs broker name and contact number
  • Invoice: Commercial Invoice or CanadaCustoms Invoice
    • Value less than $1600 CAD (one of the following options)
      • Commercial Invoice; or
      • CanadaCustoms Invoice
    • Value $1600 CAD or more (one of the following options)
      • a CanadaCustoms Invoice (CCI); or
      • a Commercial Invoice containing the same information as a CCI; or
      • a Commercial Invoice which indicates the buyer, seller, country of origin, price paid or payable, and a detailed description of the goods, including quantity, and a CCI that provides the remaining information.

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 Freight provides documentation requirement information as a convenience. 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)

What is the Pre-Arrival Review System (PARS)?

The vast majority of LTL shipments to Canadaclear at the border under a process referred to as PARS. PARS allows for customs brokers to set up review with the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) in advance of the freight’s arrival. The PARS process allows for speedier customs clearance and alleviates border congestion.

What is a PARS number?

The PARS number is the common reference when setting up PARS clearance. FedEx Freight uses a derivative of our tracking numbers to assign the PARS number. The PARS number for all shipments will be the tracking number proceeded by our four digit carrier code, 4713.

What are my responsibilities as a shipper to Canada?

You must work with the importer to ensure the shipment clears Canadacustoms (Canada Border Services Agency - CBSA). This involves 1) providing the proper customs paperwork with completed required fields and 2) identifying the customs broker on the BOL.

  1. Shipper Provides Shipment Paperwork: The importer in Canadawill need customs paperwork in order to clear the freight. (Also refer to What documents are required for a shipment from the Canada?)
    As a shipper to Canada you have the following options.
    a. Provide the FedEx Freight driver paperwork at the time of pickup. As a convenience to our customers, we will forward the paperwork provided at the time of pickup to the appropriate customs broker listed on the bill of lading.
    b. Fax or electronically transmit the paperwork directly to the broker. If the shipper elects to send the paperwork directly to the broker, FedEx Freight requests that the shipper note this and the broker contact information on the bill of lading. If documents are sent directly to the broker by the shipper, the broker will need the PARS number to set up clearance.
    c. Next-day delivery in Canadais available for certain lanes and requires a special process. (Also refer to What are the requirements for next day service to Canada?)
  2. Shipper Provides the Name and Contact Number of the Customs Broker: FedEx Freight will coordinate clearance with the Canadacustoms broker listed on the bill of lading. The shipper should provide the broker name and contact number. Shippers and consignees should communicate in advance of freight pickup to determine the customs broker for a shipment. Be cautious in assuming an importer will use the same broker utilized in a previous move. If in question, confirm the broker contact information with the importer. Failure to properly identify the broker may result in delays and storage charges.

What situations would cause a shipment to fail to be released at the border?

Although the majority of shipments crossing the border clear via PARS, some shipments do not meet PARS specifications and cannot be cleared. 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.
  • Over, Short & Damage issues (OS&D) at a gateway, resulting in the shipment being held at the gateway for up to 48 hours prior to crossing.
  • 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 bonded or 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 Canadain some lanes. Next-day service to Canadais only possible if the customs broker makes entry the same day as pickup. This requires that the documents must be sent to the broker or FedEx Freight early that day. Print a copy of the Canada Next-Day Service Request available within our online forms and follow the instructions.

ShowImporting into Canada
What is an Importer of Record (IOR)?

All shipments going into Canadamust clear Canadacustoms. The Importer of Record (IOR) is the party responsible for clearing the goods through customs. The IOR is negotiated as part of the terms of sale between the buyer and the shipper. The terms of sale should be established before the consignment is shipped. The Importer of Record can be the shipper, the consignee, or a third party.

What is a Non-Resident Importer (NRI)?

The Importer of Record (IOR) can either be an entity inside or outside of Canada. Importers of Record outside of Canadaare referred to as a Non-Resident Importer (NRI). Your customs broker is a good source for helping you establish NRI status. Additional information on the FedEx Trade Networks NRI program can be found at

What is a customs broker?

Most importers prefer to use the expertise of a licensed customs broker as their agent to assist them in clearing goods entering Canada. It is highly recommended that the Importer of Record (IOR) engage the services of a licensed Canadian customs broker. There are many reputable customs brokers in Canada, including our sister company FedEx Trade Networks.

Most brokers require separate paperwork such as a credit application and a power of attorney in order to establish an account. Application process times can vary, thus it is critically important that the Importer of Record (IOR) have an established customs broker in advance of shipping. Without a designated customs broker, many times shipments will be delayed at the border for several days and are subject to storage charges.

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. It is generally the responsibility of the shipper to provide FedEx Freight the name and contact number of the customs broker on the bill of lading. 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 1.866.463.8682 or online at

How does the customs broker get the paperwork?

As a service to our customers and to help in the coordination of the customs clearance at the border, FedEx Freight will forward customs paperwork to the appropriate customs broker. At the time of freight pickup, we rely on the shipper to provide us with the customs broker’s name and contact number on the bill of lading. The supporting customs paperwork should be attached to the bill of lading. If a customer elects to send their paperwork directly to the broker, they should make a notation on the bill of lading as to the direct transfer. (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 or call 1.866.463.8682 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.

ShowAdditional Information
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 or from FedEx Trade Networks at

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

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