Congrats! Your sales team has notified you that a buyer in Canada wants to purchase your company’s product, but you aren’t quite sure how to ship across the border. How is it different from shipping within the United States? Who do you reach out to? What paperwork do you need? Don’t worry! Capstone is here to simplify your cross-border shipping process.

It is crucial that all required documentation is included with every cross-border shipment to ensure it isn’t delayed at the border, leading to lost time and financial consequences. Below are the documents needed.

  1. Bill of Lading (BOL). This lists the goods that are carried in the shipment. It is a legally binding document providing the driver and carrier all the details needed to process the freight shipment and invoice it correctly.
  2. Canada Customs Invoice (CCI). This is needed when shipping from the US to Canada. This required document tells Canadian customs the particulars of the shipment, including who is responsible for duties. One copy goes with the freight and the second copy is attached to the BOL.
  3. Commercial Invoice. This is needed when shipping from Canada to the US. It is the basic document where the buyer or importer pays the vendor or exporter. Shipment value must be indicated on the Commercial Invoice. One copy goes with the freight and the second copy is attached to the BOL.
  4. Proof of Delivery (POD). This lists that goods have been received as intended and includes the date and time of delivery.
  5. Certificate of Origin. This document shows that the goods were produced and is required if your goods have been qualified as NAFTA eligible. This means your goods must have been either produced or substantially manufactured in a member country.

Customs Brokers

While cross-border shipping is very complex, utilizing a customs broker will make the process much less intimidating for you. A customs broker is necessary when shipping to and from Canada and is completely responsible for making sure goods get into another country while following customs protocol correctly. You can choose from a list of licensed customs brokers here.

Additional Things to Consider

Before shipping to Canada, here are a couple things to remember to make sure your shipment does not get delayed.

  • Make sure your carrier has proper authority to deliver in and out of Canada.
  • Canadian national holidays differ from the US.
  • Canadian postal codes follow a six-digit letter, number rotation pattern A1B2C3.

To ensure smooth cross-border shipping, accurate information is critical. Whether you are shipping to Canada from the US, or to the US from Canada, Capstone is here to guide you through the cross-border shipping process. Connect with us here.