Canadian Export Reporting System (CERS)

Canadian Export Reporting System (CERS)
Trade Talk Blog • August 24, 2021


he demand for improving Canada’s export controls and ensuring the compliance of businesses has grown. That is why CERS was developed as a user-friendly system that helps both CBSA and exporters ensure accurate reporting and better compliance. Here is everything you need to know about the new Canadian Export Reporting System (CERS).

What is the Canadian Export Reporting System (CERS)?

The Canadian Export Reporting System (CERS) is a secure data transmission option developed by the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA). The CERS Portal is your entry point to a single, straightforward reporting system. A fully electronic system, CERS provides you with the tools to easily prepare your electronic export declaration and securely transmit it to CBSA. With the implementation of CERS, there will no longer be a paper trail.

CERS replaced the Canadian Automated Export Declaration System (CAED) – also known as the B13A Export Declaration Form – as of September 30, 2020. As a result, the B13A Export Declaration Form is no longer accepted, and exporters (or their customs service provider) must declare all exports electronically through CERS.

What are the advantages of CERS?

CERS allows the export community to submit electronic export declarations to the CBSA. With the implementation of CERS, exporters will now experience a faster, more streamlined export reporting system. Additional advantages of CERS include:

  • Securely transmitting your export declarations and summary reports to CBSA.
  • Validating your data before declaring your exports.
  • Accessing your declaration submission history.
  • Getting online help and reference materials

How will CERS benefit my business?

The new CERS systems is seen as a significant leap in the export reporting process by customs and logistics experts.

“Your company wants to focus on product development, sales and logistics — not on administration and export documentation,” says Alan Dewar, vice president of client services at GHY International.

“That is why CERS is a such a game-changer. It does not matter whether you outsource your declarations to brokers or forwarders or do it yourself in-house. Either way, CERS gives you a secure online tool for submitting and validating the information that CBSA requires.”

Are there cases where I do not need to file CERS?

Not every export transaction will need to be reported to CBSA. You will not require CERS if:

  • If you are exporting goods from Canada to the US; or
  • If your goods are worth less than $2,000.

What is the timeframe for submitting CERS documentation?

Before exporting your goods from Canada, CERS export declarations and related permits, certificates or licenses need to be submitted at an Export Reporting Office within the following timeframes:

  • Air Exports: not less than 2 hours before the goods are loaded onto the aircraft.
  • Marine Exports: not less than 48 hours before the goods are loaded onto the vessel.
  • Rail Exports: not less than 2 hours before the goods are loaded onto the railcar that is assembled to the train.
  • Mail Exports: not less than 2 hours before the goods are delivered to the post office.
  • Highway Exports: immediately before leaving the country.

Who is responsible for reporting goods for export?

As an exporter, you are responsible for completing and submitting export declaration forms and documents. You can delegate this process to a third party, such as a customs service provider, but will remain liable for the accuracy of the information provided.

The exporter of commercial goods from Canada must also provide all certificates, licences, permits or other documents relating to any regulations made under any other Act of Parliament or restrictions that prohibit, control, or regulate the exportation of goods.

For more details on export controls and requirements, certificates and permits, excise taxes, sanctions and prohibited goods, CBSA provides a comprehensive guide to exporting commercial goods from Canada.


With CERS, there will no longer be a paper trail. You will be able to export your goods more straightforwardly, with no reporting inconsistencies or delays because of paperwork (such as errors on customs declaration forms). If you have more questions about CERS or need help filing it, our Global Trade Services team will be happy to assist you.


Brent Boulter  | GHY’s Free Trade Agreement Administrator

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