The rise of e-commerce has ushered an increase in products that enter Canada from various United States-based retailers. Amazon, Walmart, Target, Home Depot, are few of the online and offline American establishments that have had their consumer goods reach more than 30 million Canadian residents.
Similarly, retailers in Canada have increased their online sales in 2017 at a rate that is almost double to that of U.S. online retailers. Statistics Canada revealed that online retailers’ sales increased to 30.6%, regardless of where buyers were located. Meanwhile, the U.S. Commerce Department reported that online American retailers earned more than $400 billion in sales from online retail purchases alone.
Therefore, the 5,500-mile border between Canada and the U.S. has witnessed countless goods move from one country to the other. Knowing the details, processes, terms used, and documents required when shipping goods from Canada to the U.S. via cross-border freight trucking would provide the necessary information for smooth and problem-free cross-border shipping.
Determine the specific documents required by the Canadian Customs if you’re crossing the border from Canada to the U.S. Check all the shipping documents you have at hand and be aware of special instructions advised by the shipper. Avoid any hassles and ensure that the entire process of getting through customs only takes thirty minutes. How? Your customs broker must receive your paperwork two hours prior to your arrival at customs.
Plus, use the right lane when entering the United States. As your vehicle exits the tunnel or bridge to cross the border, prepare to go through the inspection plaza. Expect to undergo “Primary Inspection” and present the required paperwork. If all documents are in order, you will be released and this will be the only point of contact you will go through. But if your paperwork seems lacking or if you are selected to be further examined, you will need to pass through “Secondary Inspection” or proceed to a customs broker.
An ACE eManifest is required of imports coming into the US. It provides detailed information on shipments entering the country prior to its arrival at the border. The system used by the U.S. CBP or Customs Border Patrol is ACE or Automated Commercial Environment. Commercial drivers need to submit an ACE eManifest before they arrive at the primary lane.
Canada, the United States, and Mexico all agreed to use this form as a certification that goods are qualified to receive preferential tariff treatment provided by NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement).
Exporters are required to present an Export Declaration for goods leaving Canada.
This document is used to verify the nature, value, and quantity of the shipment. Canadian Customs requires that this form displays information on the shipment’s consignee, and consignor.
In lieu of a commercial invoice (a document used to appraise and classify goods for the purpose of admissibility and duties), a proforma invoice is used instead. The proforma must provide the information necessary to examine a particular merchandise’s duties.
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The first and, if you’re ‘lucky’, the only step your shipment needs to go through in order to clear it from customs is “Primary Inspection”. In order to get “lucky”, you need to have all the required paperwork prior to arriving at the border. All the needed documents must be on-hand and ready to be presented to customs authorities. Doing so saves you time as your shipment will be immediately processed and, if all is in order, released. The following are initial and critical steps you must do during primary inspection.
In instances where there are problems with the presented paperwork, shipments will be turned over to “Secondary Inspection”. Drivers need to first proceed to immigration to complete the I-94 form prior to giving paperwork for the Second Inspection customs clearance. Approximately 20% of those who go through primary inspection are referred to secondary inspection in order to resolve issues in paperwork. You need to visit a customs broker to clear the problems you have with paperwork. If you are chosen to go through the examination, expect to go through X-ray, the secondary counter, or the examination dock.
In order to avoid delays with your shipment when crossing the border from Canada to the U.S., it is best to give customs the information they need before you even arrive at the border. This includes the proof of your vehicle’s most current annual inspection. The PAPS or Pre-Arrival Processing System makes this possible.
PAPS is a system managed by CBP with the aim to facilitate the smooth flow of shipments through United States customs while also offering border protection. PAPS gives CBP the necessary information on shipped goods prior to their arrival at the border. The following PAPS’ procedures facilitate problem-free customs clearance on shipments that enter overland ports of the U.S. along the Canadian and U.S. border.
Additional important details to consider when engaged in cross-border freight trucking from Canada to the U.S.:
It is critical that you possess general knowledge, in-depth information, as well as awareness of minor nuances about moving goods from Canada to the U.S. via cross-border freight trucking. Having these details at hand saves you from costly shipment delays.
Inexperienced shippers can be easily overwhelmed with the volume of instructions or documents that needs to be remembered. The best way to avoid any unnecessary pitfalls is by keeping the process simple. Ensure all the paperwork required is complete and available. Ensure that your driver is aware of the goods being hauled and that all documents are neatly in order before getting to the border. Being proactive in your approach by reviewing everything resolves any issues before they even occur.
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