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Frequently Asked Questions


 01  What is GST (Good Service Tax) ?

The GST is a consumption tax, much like the VAT in some countries. This is a federal Tax of 5 % imposed on most goods and services across Canada.  This tax is charged at the time of importation and is calculated on the "Duty Paid" value; which means the value of goods on your CCI plus the duty on the imported goods.

We can organize  the  collection of  this tax for the CBSA / CRA.

Most Canadian Importers get the GST back in their Import Tax Credit; but Non-Resident Importers (NRIs) must pay this unless their selling terms are DDU (Delivered Duty and Tax Unpaid) ​

 02 What is the Harmonized System Tariff Classification Code?

More than 200 countries around the world use this excellent system developed by the World Customs Organization to classify the list of the products.


The HS Code is a 10-digit number required by Canada when you are importing goods. The Code also determines the rate of duty.

Here is and example of the Code and how it is broken down for Eucalyptus oil.






Please call us at +1 800-267-5754 to obtain a clear guidance on the Classification




 03  How is the Rate of Duty determined?

Canada has been one of a group of leading nations working to reduce or eliminate duties all together. Most people are familiar with the NAFTA Trade Agreement (Canada, USA and Mexico) which allows for duty-free concessions for goods made or produced in one of these countries and exported to another.

There are a large number of Free trade Agreements signed by Canada, allowing your goods to come into the country Free of Duty.  Call us at +1 800-267-5754 to obtain a list of these agreements.

For your goods to qualify for these exceptions,  you need to complete the appropriate form. This can be done separately for each shipment or as a blanket certificate for the full year. Always check first with us by phone or by email (

 04  What happens if you are not compliant?

Compliance relates to a process as well as to product integrity and accuracy, according to CBSA.

When compliance is compromised, the fines and penalties may be very severe. For more information on fines and penalties you can visit the CBSA page on Administrative Monetary Penalty Systems 

Compliance means as well making sure that:

a) You have declared an accurate description and classification of the product.

b) You have made an adequate valuation and declaration of origin.

c) The composition and percentage of the contents are well described.

d) Health and Safety Considerations have been observed and documented.

 05  What is the Advance Commercial Information (ACI) Program?

The ACI Program is a mechanism that notifies information to CBSA electronically pre arrival of cargo to prevent any threats related to safety, health and security to the country on all incoming commercial cargo prior to arrival. The programs allows efficiencies in detecting, identifying shipments with high risk before arrival, awareness of security to the global supply chain and maintaining overall customs and business relationship.

Time lines for ACI reporting to CBSA

Air carriers and Freight Forwarders to electronically transmit cargo data 4 hours prior to arrival in Canada.

Marine carriers to electronically transmit cargo data 24 hours prior to loading cargo at foreign port which includes cargo loaded in the United States.

Highway & Rail shipments to electronically transmit cargo data 2 hours prior to crossing the border.

E-Manifest Implementation

From 2011, an e-mainifest has to be electronically filed for Highway and Rail shipments.

Starting November 7th, 2016, all freight forwarders need to file e-manifest electronically compriming the house way bills, 24 hours prior to loading.


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