Regulatory News & Information

Single Window Initiative (SWI)

Single Window Initiative (SWI)








What is the Single Window Initiative?

The Single Window Initiative (SWI) is a Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA)-led program that modernizes and aligns Canadian and U.S. import processing procedures under the Beyond the Border Action Plan. Through the SWI Initiative, traders are able to provide all required import information – including information required by Participating Government Agencies (PGAs) electronically to the CBSA. In turn, the CBSA transmits any applicable data elements directly to the participating PGA(s) for their review. The applicable PGA(s) review the transmitted information and provide release, or hold, instructions back to the CBSA. The CBSA then transmits this information back to the applicable filer.

This single integrated solution provides the trade community with the option to satisfy the regulatory import requirements of multiple government agencies via a single electronic transmission of shipment information through the Integrated Import Declaration (IID). This streamlines the importing process, eliminates redundancies, and ideally reduces clearance times for shipments requiring formal entries.

What do importers need to do?

To fully benefit from the SWI and guarantee that an IID can be submitted for the release of PGA-regulated goods, importers must ensure that all required licenses and/or permits are provided with the shipment documentation. To get the most up-to-date information, please visit the CBSA’s SWI website.

To avoid any potential clearance delays/issues, we strongly recommend that importers provide us with all the required data elements and/or additional paperwork (licenses and/or permits) for their PGA-regulated goods as soon as possible. This information can be emailed directly to the FedEx Clearance Help Line at

Participating Government Agencies

  • Canadian Food Inspection Agency 
  • Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission 
  • Environment and Climate Change Canada 
  • Fisheries and Oceans Canada 
  • Global Affairs Canada 
  • Health Canada 
  • Natural Resources Canada 
  • Public Health Agency of Canada 
  • Transport Canada

Frequently Asked Questions

A single electronic transmission called the Integrated Import Declaration (IID) will replace the current multi-step process for releasing goods regulated and controlled by PGAs. If an IID is not used, shipment clearance may be delayed. Please be advised that it is the entry filer (e.g., customs broker) who is responsible for submitting the IID and not the importer.

On April 1, 2019, the CBSA began the decommissioning process for the existing Pre-Arrival Review System (PARS) and Release on Minimum Documentation (RMD) electronic release options for PGA-regulated goods. As a result, both the CBSA and the PGAs have been gradually reducing their service hours available to the trade community to support these legacy options. The deadline to fully decommission these legacy release options was April 1, 2020 but this has been postponed indefinitely due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Once the legacy release options have been decommissioned, the use of an IID to obtain electronic release will become mandatory. 

If the required information/paperwork is not provided for a shipment carrying PGA-regulated goods into Canada, the entry filer will be unable to submit an IID for the shipment. If an IID is not used, customs clearance may be delayed. Therefore, we strongly recommend that you provide FedEx with all the required data elements and/or additional paperwork (licenses and/or permits) for your PGA-regulated goods as soon as possible.

It is the responsibility of the entry filer to onboard and meet the system requirements for SWI. No system changes are required for importers who do not submit their own customs entries.

SWI makes no distinction between regular or occasional importers. All importers must determine if their goods are PGA-regulated and provide the required data elements and/or additional paperwork (licenses and/or permits) with their shipment documentation. In addition, they must keep apprised of the latest information and updates via the CBSA’s SWI website.


Additional Information

Data Element Matching Criteria Tables (use these tables to determine if, and under which PGA, specific commodities are regulated).

For further clarification/assistance, please contact the FedEx Clearance Help Line at or call 1.800.561.0268.