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CBSA Introduces Temporary COVID-19 Electronic Procedures in GTA Pilot

Posted December 21, 2020

The Canada Border Services Agency issued Customs Notice 20-37 last week, providing information about the procedures for electronic submission of certain Trade Program documents now being piloted in the Greater Toronto Region to address administrative difficulties caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
CBSA-GTA Region Seal on Background w/ E-mails, Toronto Skyline
Acknowledging that mailing or delivering documents in-person to a CBSA regional office may be challenging for some companies owing to ongoing public health restrictions, the CBSA has, effective December 16, adopted electronic measures to accommodate this need.

More specifically, CBSA will temporarily allow for the electronic submission of Duties Relief Program applications, Drawback claims, Single and Blanket B2 Adjustments, and Voluntary Disclosure requests. 


GTA Only — For Now

The electronic option for submitting documents is currently available only in the GTA. CBSA says the regional pilot will be re-evaluated “at a later date,” possibly even “in the coming weeks.”

Until advised otherwise, however, companies in regions other than the GTA are instructed to continue making their submissions by regular mail to one of the CBSA’s GTA offices. 


Terms & Conditions


Prior to submitting documents electronically, CBSA requires that the Agreement to Receive and Submit Information to the CBSA by E-mail (Appendix A of CN 20-37) be signed, scanned, and submitted to the agency here. Requests/applications will not be processed without the completed and signed Agreement.

Filers are reminded that they are also required to retain a hard copy of all electronically submitted documents and associated supporting documentation, which must be made available to the CBSA upon request (including access to books and records).


Submission Procedures

Electronic submissions are to be sent to the CBSA at the appropriate email addresses, in accordance with the instructions relating to the specific program areas. 

Files cannot exceed 10 Mb in size, though multiple emails for the same file are permitted.

Electronic DRP applications and Drawback claim(s) submissions should be sent here. B2s are to be submitted as follows, according to where the goods were released: GTA and Pacific Region; Prairie Region; and Southern Ontario Region

The subject line of the initial DRP application/Drawback claim submission email should use the following format: K32/K90-Name of Company-Date YYYY/MM/DD. Supplemental information should be indicated by adding “Sup T#” to the end of the subject line (T=Toronto Region).

For B2s, the subject line should reference the adjustment number (e.g., B2# 12345-789XXXXX-YYYY/MM/DD) or, if not applicable, the importer's name (e.g., B2-Importer name-YYYY/MM/DD). In the case of multiple B2s for the same importer regarding the same issue, “X of X” (e.g., 2 of 10) should be included prior to the importer name. 


Time Limits

CBSA advises that the date it receives the email is will constitute the filing date for time limits provided all required supporting documentation is provided at that time. The importer or their customs broker will receive an automated message indicating that the B2 has been received. 


Need More Information?

Should you have any questions about these temporary procedures in the GTA, don’t hesitate to contact one of our knowledgeable trade experts.

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