Many first time shippers are a little overwhelmed when they have to deal with customs and clearance for the first time. It is a good idea to employ a customs broker right away and they can help alleviate some of the stress of shipping. It really doesn’t have to be a source of stress and hopefully we can help make the process smoother for you as well.
The first thing is to find out the value of your shipment if you aren’t already aware of that. When importing or exporting there is a process for Low Value shipping that you can follow. If your shipment is worth less than $2500 CAD you will qualify to go this route and not require a broker.
With this, all you need is an invoice with all the pertinent information on it in regards to your load. This includes information on where your items originated from, any serial numbers and a value associated with your full shipment. You will also need a copy of the BOL (bill of lading) for the carrier to produce at customs. If your load is more than $2500 CAD then you will have to clear it with a customs broker. They do not have to be pricey and there are several good brokers you can choose from starting as low as $30 USD. They will help you gather all the paperwork necessary to clear your load at the border.
- Canada/US Customs Invoice, or a Commercial Invoice also called a PROFORMA
- BOL (Bill of Lading)
- Certificate of origin