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Importers – Ring in the New Year knowing that you're ready to import

November 2018

Importers: Ring in the New Year knowing that you're ready to import

An important deadline is coming for commercial importers who import food, plants or animals into Canada.

By January 1, 2019, all customs brokers, import service providers, and anyone who declares imports to the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) must be certified to use the new Integrated Import Declaration (IID).

The IID is part of the CBSA's Single Window Initiative, which aims to make the border process more efficient. The process allows importers to transmit their electronic declaration up to 90 days in advance and reduces processing time. Rather than having to send the same import declaration to multiple parties, the IID is submitted to the CBSA for validation and the information is transmitted to all appropriate Participating Government Departments and Agencies. A single release decision is then made and shared with the party that submitted the IID and to any party that subscribes to the Release Notification System (RNS).

Here are three things customs brokers, import service providers, and anyone who declares imports electronically should do immediately:

Complete testing and certification for the new IID service option

To complete testing and certification, you will need to contact a CBSA testing officer in the Technical Commercial Client Unit. Importers who use a service provider should contact their provider to discuss the testing process and how to get involved.

Find out if you need a CFIA-issued import permit or licence

For regulated commodities, the person or business importing must obtain the appropriate permission from the CFIA and reference any applicable permission on their import declaration as required.

The IID does not change the requirement or application process to obtain a permission issued by the CFIA to import plants, animals or food.

Make sure you fully understand the requirements for the items you want to import into Canada. If you're a customs broker, help your clients understand the federal requirements for bringing items into Canada.

It's up to you, as an importer, to read the requirements and get the necessary permissions. The consequences of not obtaining an import permit could include the destruction of the items attempted to be imported or removal of the items from Canada – both at the owner's expense.

For up-to-date import requirements access the Automated Import Reference System (AIRS) on the CFIA website.

Obtain the CFIA-issued permit you need

Request a CFIA import permit online by signing up for a My CFIA account. Visit My CFIA to learn how to create an account to request services for business use. For those who require a licence when the SFCR come into force, the CFIA will only be accepting SFCR licence applications submitted through My CFIA.

Sign up today so that you can apply for your SFCR licence online when it becomes available. Ring in the New Year knowing that you're ready to import!

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