Project Description

Common Customs Documents

What You Need to Import

Every commercial customs entry into Canada or the United States requires a Customs Invoice. Referred to as a Canada Customs Invoice in Canada and a Customs Proforma in the United States, the form includes all the required details for GHY to prepare and file your customs brokerage entry with the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) or Customs Border Protection (CBP). As an importer, you can prepare the Customs Invoice yourself or have your supplier prepare it.

Often referred to as your B/L or BOL, a Bill of Lading is a document issued by your carrier or transportation partner to outline your shipment details. The carrier defines the mode, path, and details of your shipment in this document. The BOL ultimately acts as the contract for the movement of your cargo across the border. It is essential to provide the Bill of Lading to GHY to facilitate a successful customs brokerage release.

If you think of your customs document package as a book, the PARS or PAPS coversheet would be the cover. They are labels used to identify a shipment. A PARS is used for shipments into Canada, while a PAPS is used for shipments into the United States.

  • PARS = Pre-Arrival Review System (used for truck shipments into Canada)
  • PAPS = Pre-Arrival Processing System (used for truck shipments into the United States)

When your carrier picks up your goods, they will generate a Bill of Lading and affix a PARS /PAPS label to the GHY coversheet. Your PARS/PAPS number comprises the carrier code and a unique shipment number often referred to as the Cargo Control Number (CCN). The carrier will return this document to GHY so the customs entry process can begin. The document includes the port of crossing, estimated date and time of arrival at the border, and the carrier’s contact information to ensure your trade chain partners work seamlessly together.

GHY will prepare and submit your customs entry before the carrier reaches the border so that when CBSA or CBP scan your shipment’s PARS or PAPS, a decision on the release or review of the goods will have already been determined.

Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) are used to eliminate duty on eligible imports. We recommend that you review and understand the eligibility of your products within the following FTAs.

USMCA / CUSMA / T-MEC (Canada – US – Mexico Agreement)

The Canada, US and Mexico Free Trade Agreement is one of the most common agreements. There are 3 separate acronyms for the same agreement because each of the participating countries named it themselves.

  • CUSMA = Canada
  • USMCA = United States
  • T-MEC = Mexico

The new agreement replaced the well-known NAFTA (North America Free Trade Agreement) on July 1, 2020. A Certificate of Origin is only applicable on goods originating from one of the three participating countries and valued at over 3,300 CAD. The document is used to request zero-rated duty on shipments for eligible commercial goods entering Canada, the United States or Mexico. Although not a mandatory document for shipping, it is common for Canadian and US Importers to provide it.

The supplier/ manufacturer is responsible for completing and signing off on a Free Trade Agreement. We recommend seeking assistance from GHY to review your Free Trade Agreement and ensure compliance and eligibility.

Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP)

This trade agreement is for eligible goods imported into Canada from 10 countries in the Asia Pacific region of the world. Countries benefiting from free trade include Australia, Brunei, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, and Vietnam. Like the CUSMA agreement, the document is used to request zero-rated duty on shipments for eligible commercial goods.

The supplier/ manufacturer is responsible for completing and signing off on a Free Trade Agreement. We recommend seeking assistance from GHY to review your Free Trade Agreement and ensure compliance and eligibility.

Get in Touch

We’re here to guide you every step of the way. If you have any questions or concerns, please reach out to us.

Call Us: 1-833-GHY-CARM