Clearing Freight at the US-Canada Border

Commercial freight is a very demanding job.  It requires a lot of responsibility and the schedule can be quite grueling with long hours of driving—often several at a time—but # also have to remember lots of regulations and maintain your vehicle.  Obviously, this requires a lot of paperwork and is very time (and energy) consuming.

If you are a commercial freight carrier in North America, you might also have to think about what it takes to bring your haul across an international border. That is to say, of course, if you deliver between the United States and Canada.  That in mind, here are a few basic Clearit.ca considerations.

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#1:  Get an International Carrier Bond

Before you can even start to think about delivering freight between the United States and Canada you have to an international carrier bond. This bond must be always on file with the United States Customs and Border Protection Agency (CPBA).  To get your international carrier bond you have to contact an approved Surety with the clearance to write CPBA bonds (CBP Form 301); you can find a list of approved sureties, called Circular 570, which is available at the US Treasury’s Financial Management Service’s Website.

#2:  Meet Trade Act of 2002 Requirements

The Trade Act might have been established in 2002 but the CBPA did not actually start enforcing Required Advance Electronic Presentation of Cargo Information until November of 2004.  This new regulation requires that you provide the Customs and Border Protection Agency with advanced information on the cargo you will deliver, and you must submit this electronically.  You can also have a customs broker do this for you.

#3:  Learn About the CBPA Programs for Those who Cross the Border Frequently

Because of the Free and Secure Trade program (FAST) you should be able to expedite your clearance processing through the US Customs and Border Protection agency thanks to dedicated US-Canada border crossing lanes.  All you have to do is pay what is essentially an annual fee which gives you a decal for your vehicle that allows you to use the lane at the border.

If you do choose to take advantage of this program, make sure that you have the shipper or the importer make prior arrangements with the CBP to clear the goods on the day of your transport.  Now, this is not crucial, but this will definitely help to speed up your process; and if you do not do this you may have to clear your goods of your own accord.

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