Custom Terms

A Canada Customs Invoice is a form or document, required by Canadian Customs officials to verify the value, quantity, and nature of the shipment, describing the shipment of goods and showing information such as the consignor, consignee, and value of the shipment.

The Canada Customs Invoice is required on all export shipments passing through customs en route to Canada. Commercial shipments to Canada, which are valued at more than $1,600 (Canadian funds), may be subject to duties and sales taxes and must be accompanied by a Canada Customs Invoice. The invoice can be prepared either by the exporter/importer or their agents.

Free Canada Customs Invoice forms are available on our website.

A Certificate of Origin form is a document, required by foreign governments, declaring that goods in a particular international shipment are of a certain origin. Even though the commercial invoice usually includes a statement of origin, some countries require that a separate certificate be completed. Customs offices will use the Certificate of Origin form to determine whether or not a preferential duty rate applies on the products being imported and whether a shipment may be legally imported during a specific quota period.

A Certificate of Origin is a signed statement as to the country of origin of the exported products for a particular shipment. The country of origin is NOT the country from where the product is shipped. The country of origin is the country where the product was manufactured or last underwent a substantial change or modification, for WTO members, goods can be considered originating if there is a shift of at least two chapters in the harmonized code.

For example, the country of origin for 100% cotton, knit shirts that are manufactured in China and then shipped to the U.S. and have a logo or slogan placed on them, and are then exported to Canada, would be China. However, if the cotton knit fabric was manufactured in China and then shipped to the U.S. and the fabric was transformed into shirts and are then exported to Canada, the country of origin would be considered the U.S.

Free Certificate of Origin forms are available on our website.

A commercial invoice is a form identifying the seller and buyer of goods or services, identifying numbers [invoice number] date, shipping date, mode of transport, port of entry, delivery and payment terms, and a complete listing and description of the goods or services sold including, quantities, prices, discounts.

The commercial invoice form is considered the most important document in international trade, because merchandise is not allowed to clear customs at the destination without one. That is even true if the goods are samples and have no commercial value. This document is usually the one that all the service providers first look to for information about your shipment. It is important to prepare the commercial invoice as clearly and accurately as possible to avoid problems with your shipment. The Commercial Invoice is a Customs requirement, not a transportation requirement. When someone is engaged in international trade, Customs requires a Commercial Invoice form.

You will need two copies of the Commercial Invoice. One must accompany the freight from the point of pickup to the point of customs clearance, the other should be attached to the Bill of Lading.

Free generic commercial invoice forms & templates are available on our website.

A customs broker is a person or firm licensed by an importer’s government and engaged in entering and clearing goods through customs. The responsibilities of a customs broker include preparing the entry form and filing it; advising the importer on duties to be paid; advancing duties and other costs; and arranging for delivery to the importer.

Import shipments moving into or through the United States or Canada which have not cleared Customs at the border and therefore travel under a Customs (Treasury) bond, and are identified as in-bond shipments.

A temporary import bond or TIB (“Temporary Importation under Bond”) is required when goods are brought into the United States or Canada without payment of duty, by posting a bond to guarantee that they will be exported. The amount of the bond is usually double the estimated duties. Goods imported under a temporary import bond can remain in either country without the payment of duty for up to a year. These goods must be brought back to the country of export before the expiration of the bond period to avoid the assessment of liquidated damages in the amount of the bond. If the goods are not exported, the bond is forfeited, usually in the amount of twice the value of the customs duties that would have been payable on the products. The one year period for exportation can be extended upon application to the port director.

The importer will want to enter merchandise using a temporary import bond under the following circumstances: importing samples for testing, inspection, for making a purchasing decision, or to display a sample at a trade fair or other sales show; or an importer may wish to import merchandise and to further manufacture it and then export the finished product.

Please contact your customs broker to obtain a listing of goods that may be admitted into the United States or Canada under a Temporary Import Bond / TIB.