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Customs Requirements

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Last updated: 2014-11-03

IMPORTANT UPDATES
Last Updated Date
Description
Location
November 3, 2014
Updated web address for Rough Diamonds and Customs and Border Protection.
April 7, 2014
Customs Data Collection - In order to comply with new requirements from international security and trade regulators, customers are required to provide information (sender, recipient, content details and reason for export) about their shipments to some destinations outside of Canada in electronic format, prior to their items arriving at the destination country.
Throughout the document
January 13, 2014
Updated web address for Prohibited Importations.
April 1, 2013
Tax changes in British Columbia and Prince Edward Island.
January 14, 2013
Customs Documents has been updated to include the new service Tracked Packet™.

1

Customs Requirements That May Affect your International Mail Shipment

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All international mail is subject to the Customs regulations and laws of both the country of origin and the country of destination.

There are three different types of Customs requirements to be aware of:

  1. There may be fees and/or restrictions relating to items mailed into Canada.
  2. There are Canadian requirements and/or restrictions on certain products being mailed out of Canada.
  3. There are foreign customs rules and requirements relating to the country of destination.

1.1

Customs declaration requirements

1.1.1

Completing customs documents

Items shipped outside of Canada must have the proper customs documentation. The customs documentation that is required for an item shipped from Canada depends on the International service used, the content of the item and the destination. For detailed information organized by international destination, see the International Destination Listing.

Complete and legible customs and item content information will be required for all mandatory fields, for the following services: Xpresspost - USA, Expedited Parcel - USA, Xpresspost - International (excluding prepaid).

Commercial customers using any of Canada Post's Electronic Shipping Tools (EST), a third-party shipping system or a custom developed shipping system are required to input mandatory customs and item content information in order to process a shipment. Failure to do so may result in the item being returned to the sender for proper completion or could result in delays, non-delivery, voided delivery guarantees, if applicable, fines and/or customs seizure at the international destination.

For transactions at post offices, completed shipping labels for manual transactions need to be data captured electronically for Expedited Parcel-USA, Xpresspost-USA, and Xpresspost-International (excluding prepaids). For transactions using the new online Customs form available at www.canadapost.ca/customs, the print out of the barcode will need to be scanned to auto-populate the required information at the post office.

It is customer’s responsibility to ensure that all customs documentation and item content information and certificates for the goods being shipped are provided and are complete, accurate and legible. Failure to do so may result in the item being returned to sender at the customer's expense, or could result in delays, non-delivery, voided guarantee, if applicable, fines and /or customs seizure in the international destination.

Customs and item content information must be written in English or French and can be translated into the language of the destination country. In the case of Priority™ Worldwide, forms must be completed in English or with an English translation.

Shipping documentation may be transmitted to or shared with domestic or international customs and postal administrations or designated postal operators.

For more information about Canada Post's personal information practices; please go online to canadapost.ca/privacy.All items must conform to the packaging requirements of Canada Post, and must not contain dangerous or prohibited materials. Please refer to section 6 Dangerous Goods of Non-mailable Matter for additional information regarding Dangerous products. Every item must have the following:

  • the proper service label affixed to the item or inserted in an adhesive plastic pouch (labelope).
NOTE:
Canada Post does not accept multiple-piece shipments with duplicate tracking numbers. Customers can only use tracking numbers assigned to them by Canada Post and must not manufacture their own.
  • complete address* including but not limited to the origin and destination, valid Postal Code, sender name and/or company name, recipient name and/or recipient company name and recipient telephone number clearly printed on the item or on the label affixed to the item
  • customs information including the reason for export and non-delivery and package content information.
  • an accurate description of the contents and quantity of items (e.g. if the item contains a cotton t-shirt, specify 100% cotton, new or used). Do not use general terms such as “GIFT” or “CLOTHES”. Distinct items should be listed separately. A proper description means customs is less likely to open the package
  • the country of origin/manufacture and Harmonized System (HS) code (if applicable)
  • the value of contents and currency
  • the insured value (when coverage is purchased) or declared value for carriage
  • the net weight
  • the signature of the sender
  • acceptable proof of payment.
*
The recipient’s address and phone number must appear on the item, otherwise any guarantee that may be applicable will be void.
NOTE 1:
Canada Post assumes no responsibility for the accuracy of information entered by the customer on the Customs Declaration or other documentation.
2:
All Contract customer’s shipping labels can be produced by Electronic Shipping Tools or a customer developed third party shipping system and /or a customer developed shipping system. Only Canada Post-approved barcoded shipping labels are acceptable for shipment. Shipping labels can be ordered by visiting the Online Business Centre at canadapost.ca/cpo/mc/business/tools/est.jsf or by calling Customer Service at 1-888-550-6333.
3:
For Priority Worldwide shipments, it is the shipper’s sole responsibility to complete the Priority Worldwide shipping label correctly including the customs declaration. Each shipment is declared as a separate entity and is uniquely identified in the declared itemized list of contents area on the shipping label. Canada Post employees are prohibited from signing the Priority Worldwide shipping label, Declaration/Commercial Invoice on behalf of the customer.
4:
The shipping label and other shipping documentation can be inserted into a plastic pouch (generic plastic pouch) for protection purposes. The generic plastic pouch is available by contacting Customer Service.
Table 1: Required customs documentation
Service
Content
Required Documentation
Priority™ Worldwide
Documents
Priority™ Worldwide shipping label (43-074-277)
Non-Documents
Commercial Invoice or Invoice Declaration (33-081-002)
Xpresspost – USA
Prepaid Envelopes for documents only
Xpresspost USA Shipping Label 43-074-281. Xpresspost USA Shipping label for Prepaid Envelopes (2 Ply) 43-074-282.
Non-documents
Xpresspost-USA shipping label 43-074-236 (includes the Customs Declaration)
Xpresspost – International
Prepaid Envelopes and Non-documents
Xpresspost-International shipping label 43-074-244 (includes the Customs Declaration) or Xpresspost-International Commercial shipping label 43-074-245 (includes the Customs Declaration)
Letter-post
(includes Letters, Postcards and Literature for the Blind)
Written correspondence or documents of no monetary value
No customs documentation required
Documents up to $500 in value
CN22 (43-074-076)
Documents over $500 in value
CN22 plus CP72 (43-074-172)
Tracked Packet – USA and Tracked Packet – International
All items
At the post office (automated only): the post offices RPS system prints an indicia and a barcoded label which is used in combination with a 43-074-253 CN22 Customs Declaration for items with a declared value of less than $500 CDN. For items with a declared value of over $500 CDN, Customs Declaration 43-074-172 must also be completed and affixed.

Online transactions: labels are produced using Electronic Shipping Tools (EST), a customer-developed / Third-Party Shipping system or Ship-in-a-click. A Customs Declaration CN22 or CN23, depending on the value of the item, must also be completed.
Small Packet
All items
Small Packet – 43-074-253 [includes the Customs Declaration (known as CN22)]. For items with a declared value of over $500 CDN, a Customs Declaration - 43-074-172 must also be completed and affixed.
 
All Light Packet items must bear a Small Packet/customs label (43-074-253) and an O/S label (43-074-266) or by using an authorized online shipping platform.
Expedited Parcel – USA
All items
Expedited Parcel-USA shipping label – 43-074-243 (includes the Customs Declaration)
International Parcel
Air or Surface
All items
International Parcel shipping label – 43-074-172 (includes the Customs Declaration)
NOTE:
Large volume mailers can print a copy of the CN22 label on envelopes. The label must be the same size and use the same wording as CN22 (43-074-076). All CN22 labels must be placed on the address side of the item and if possible, under the return address.

2

Postal Imports

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The term “postal import” applies to all merchandise that is mailed from outside Canada. In Canada, the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) administers customs regulations and other government regulations.

2.1

General information

CBSA officers may open and inspect all incoming mail, except letters weighing less than 30 g, without permission from either the sender or the addressee.

Customs Mail Centres are located in Montréal, Toronto and Vancouver.

2.1.1

Dangerous and prohibited items

Dangerous and prohibited items are not allowed in the mail e.g. inert or replica munitions and lighters containing fuel. The CBSA will disallow these products from entering Canada through the mail.

For additional information regarding dangerous items, refer to Non-Mailable Matter. Questions regarding prohibited items should be directed to the CBSA. Visit the CBSA website at cbsa-asfc.gc.ca/publications/dm-md/d9-eng.html for additional information.

2.1.2

Unclaimed items

Unclaimed items or items with unpaid customs or import duties will be returned to sender after 30 days and may carry a return charge. Mail marked “ABANDON” by the sender, if undeliverable, will not be returned but will be disposed of by Canada Post.

2.2

Customs duties, taxes and exemptions

2.2.1

Customs duties and taxes

Any item mailed into Canada is potentially subject to duty and/or taxes with few exceptions. Visit the CBSA web site at cbsa-asfc.gc.ca/import/postal-postale/menu-eng.html for more information on mail imports. The CBSA collects provincial sales taxes (PST) on most taxable imports valued at over $20CDN entering Quebec, Manitoba, Saskatchewan and British Columbia. The CBSA also collects Harmonized Sales Taxes (HST) on most taxable imports entering Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick, and Ontario.

Collection of the PST and HST is done in accordance with the agreements between the CBSA and the provincial governments.

Customers with questions regarding the collection of these taxes should call the CBSA Border Information Service (BIS) line:

  • within Canada 1-800-461-9999
  • from outside Canada 1-204-983-3500 or 1-506-636-5064 (long distance charges will apply).

A handling fee of $9.95CDN per dutiable or taxable mail item is applied. This fee is in line with the government’s efforts to help recover costs from those who benefit from services, and is similar to arrangements in the United States and other countries.

Mail items containing merchandise enter Canada through CBSA screening centres, are inspected by CBSA Officers and assessed for applicable customs duties, taxes and charges. If duties and/or taxes are owed, items will be delivered along with the E14 Customs Invoice indicating the amount that the addressee must pay before the package can be released to them. Canada Post collects the fees on behalf of the CBSA and accepts the following methods of payment:

  • cash
  • certified cheque or uncertified business cheque (payable to Canada Post Corporation)
  • credit card (Visa, Master card or American Express)
  • commercial account.

Upon payment and receipt of the item, importers should retain a copy of the E14 Invoice as a receipt for their records.

2.2.2

Mail items valued at less than $20CDN

The CBSA does not assess duty or tax on mail items valued at $20CDN or less. However, this general rule does not apply to certain products including intoxicating beverages, cigars, cigarettes, manufactured tobacco, and publications where the supplier is required to register under the Excise Tax Act. Also, this may not be combined with other exemptions.

The CBSA does not consider items to be of low value in cases where a single transaction is split into smaller shipments to keep the value below $20CDN.

2.2.3

Gifts

Gifts from friends and relatives, valued at $60CDN or less, are duty and tax exempt. In cases where the gift is valued at more than $60CDN, the CBSA will assess duties and taxes on the excess amount. The gift must be sent to the recipient personally and include a card or other notice indicating that it is a gift. Items that do not qualify as gifts include:

  • tobacco
  • intoxicating beverages
  • advertising material
  • items sent by a business to a consumer in Canada and vice versa.

2.2.4

Other exemptions

Customs duty may not apply to certain products or products manufactured in certain countries. For example, there are generally no customs duties applicable to products that qualify under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). However, in most cases the Goods and Services Tax (GST) is still applied to these products.

2.2.5

Appealing duty and tax assessments

If you believe an error has been made with respect to the amount of duties and taxes indicated on the E14 Invoice, the CBSA provides two options:

  1. Both commercial and individuals may request a reassessment before paying the amount indicated on the E14 Invoice. In this case the return to customs box on the E14 Invoice must be checked and a telephone number provided. The item is returned to the CBSA for a review of the duties and taxes indicated on the E14 Invoice. The CBSA will contact the addressee to discuss the reasons for the review.
  2. You may pay the amount and then submit a request for an adjustment. Commercial importers must file a Form B2 and individuals may file for a refund by following the instructions on the reverse side of the E14 Invoice.

It should be noted that if option 1 above is used, the item will not be released for delivery until the CBSA has completed its review. Therefore, you may wish to consider option 2 because you will receive the item while the appeal is processed. Visit the CBSA website at http://cbsa-asfc.gc.ca/publications/dm-md/d5/d5-1-1-eng.pdf for additional information regarding appeals/adjustments.

2.3

Specific requirements for controlled items

2.3.1

Import permits and other documentation

Unlike prohibited items, controlled products may enter Canada but are subject to special requirements which often include the requirement for an import permit. If these requirements are not met, the product may not be allowed to enter Canada. Controlled products include tobacco, prescription drugs, certain foods, plants, seeds, animal parts, currency and goods listed in the Import Control List.

Before you import goods into Canada by mail, you should check to make sure they're not prohibited or controlled. It is the customers’ responsibility to be aware of any specific requirements or documentation required. Customers requiring specific information on products can contact the relevant department directly:

  • Canadian Food Inspection Agency: 1-613-225-2342 / 1-800-442-2342
  • Health Canada at: 1-866-999-7612
  • Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada 1-613-996-2387

Customers may also contact the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) at 1-800-461-9999.

2.3.2

Tobacco and tobacco products

The importation of tobacco products must meet the requirements of the following:

NOTE:
Labelling and stamping requirements of the Tobacco Regulations do not apply when an individual imports five or less units of packaged tobacco. A unit is defined as: 200 cigarettes; 50 cigars; 200 tobacco sticks; or 200 g of manufactured tobacco.

Tobacco importations are not eligible for the $20CDN duty and tax exemption or as gifts. The CBSA will assess duties and taxes on tobacco products.

Questions pertaining to the importation of tobacco should be addressed to:

TOBACCO ENFORCEMENT UNIT
2301 MIDLAND AVE
SCARBOROUGH ON  M1P 4R7
1-866-318-1116

2.3.3

Intoxicating beverages

For information regarding the importing or mailing of intoxicating beverages, refer to the federal Importation of Intoxicating Liquors Act and contact the provincial liquor board. The Importation of Intoxicating Liquors Act can be found on the Department of Justice website. Importers can also refer to the CBSA website at www.cbsa-asfc.gc.ca/publications/dm-md/d3/d3-1-3-eng.pdf for information on importing intoxicating beverages through the mail.

Intoxicating beverages can only be imported into Canada by mail when:

  • they are imported by or mailed to a licensed distiller or body authorized by the board, commission, officer or other governmental agency in the province of destination, and
  • the alcohol content is no greater than 24% alcohol by volume (e.g. 48 proof).

2.3.4

Currency and monetary instruments

All Canadian or foreign currency and monetary instruments ($10,000CDN or more) entering or exiting Canada through the mail must be reported to the CBSA. These monetary instruments include:

  • securities, including stocks, bonds, debentures and treasury bills; and
  • negotiable instruments, including bank drafts, cheques, promissory notes, travellers’ cheques and money orders, other than warehouse receipts or bills of lading, and negotiable instruments that bear a restrictive endorsement or stamp for the purpose of clearing, or that are made payable to a named person and have not been endorsed.

Foreign currency and monetary instruments with a value of $10,000CDN or more mailed into Canada must include form E667 (Cross-Border Currency or Monetary Instruments Report-General) and have a Customs Declaration CN23 affixed to the item.

Visit cbsa-asfc.gc.ca/security-securite/cbcr-dmte/how-comment-eng.html for more information.

2.3.5

Prescription drugs

The importation of drugs is strictly regulated. Narcotics, controlled and restricted drugs may only be imported or exported by a pharmaceutical manufacturer or distributor or other person licensed by the Minister of National Health and Welfare. The importer/owner or exporter must possess a valid permit, issued by the Health Canada, for the shipment concerned.

Further enquiries regarding the importation of drugs should be directed to:

HEALTH CANADA
Health Products and Food Branch Inspectorate - Border Integrity Unit
Tel: 1-613-957-9994
Fax: 1-613.960-2156
E-mail : BIU-UIF@hc-sc.gc.ca

2.3.6

Food

Many food products require an import permit and/or other documentation in order to enter Canada. To determine if there are special requirements for specific foods, consult http://inspection.gc.ca/english/fssa/impe.shtml or contact the CBSA at 1-800-461-9999.

2.3.7

Plants, seeds and other agricultural products

The importation of plants, seeds, agricultural inputs and agricultural products is regulated and is subject to a number of Canadian laws including:

  • Wild Animal and Plant Protection and Regulation of International and Interprovincial Trade Act
  • Plant Protection Act
  • Seeds Act
  • Canada Agricultural Products Act.

The documentation required to import these products depends upon the specific product and the country or State that it is arriving from. In most cases a permit of some type is required. For specific information, please visit http://cbsa-asfc.gc.ca/publications/dm-md/d19/d19-1-1-eng.pdf or http://inspection.gc.ca/english/imp/airse.shtml or contact the CBSA. There are also requirements to comply with policies regarding wood packaging materials. Most wood packaging material must be accompanied by a Phytosanitary Certificate. However, wood packaging material from China is no longer allowed into Canada unless an IPPC mark is clearly denoted to indicate treatment certification. For more information on requirements with regards to wood packaging material, please visit http://inspection.gc.ca/english/plaveg/protect/dir/d-98-08e.shtml.

The CBSA Border Information Service (BIS) line responds to public enquiries related to food, plant and animal import requirements. You can access BIS free of charge throughout Canada by calling 1-800-461-9999. If you are calling from outside Canada, you can access BIS by calling 1-204-983-3500 or 1-506-636-5064 (long-distance charges will apply).

2.3.8

Rough diamonds

Rough diamond imports must be accompanied by a Kimberley Process Certificate validated by the government of the country of export. The certificate must also accompany rough diamonds in transit across Canada to another country. Each shipment requires a distinct certificate. A shipment may consist of several containers. Importers must present the Kimberley Process Certificate to a CBSA Officer at the point of entry in Canada. For more information, visit http://www.nrcan.gc.ca/mining-materials/kimberley-process/8222?destination=node/4146 or contact the:

KIMBERLEY PROCESS OFFICE
MINERALS AND METALS SECTOR
NATURAL RESOURCES CANADA
9TH FLOOR
580 BOOTH STREET
OTTAWA ON  K1A 0E4
1-886-539-0766

2.3.9

Animals, insects and medical/biological materials

Live animals are not permitted in international mail.

Live insects and pests may be imported provided that they are properly packaged, identified and have an import permit if required. For additional information contact:

CANADIAN FOOD INSPECTION AGENCY
59 CAMELOT DR
OTTAWA ON K1A 0Y9

1-613-225-2342 / 1-800-442-2342
http://inspection.gc.ca/

Certain medical/biological materials are permitted provided that they are properly packaged, identified and are not infectious, poisonous or otherwise prohibited under the Transportation of Dangerous Goods Act, Food and Drugs Act or any other applicable law.

3

Postal Exports

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3.1

General information

A “postal export” is merchandise that is mailed to another country. Merchandise mailed from Canada to the U.S.A. or abroad is subject to customs export rules.

There are two things that need consideration when mailing items to another country:

  1. Canada has laws restricting the export of certain items.
  2. The items will be subject to customs rules in the country of destination. See International Destination Listing for specific information. In all cases, a fully completed Customs Declaration form must be attached to the postal item.

If the product generally has restrictions or special requirements such as permits when importing it into Canada, it may also have a requirement for an export permit to mail the items out of Canada.

The vast majority of products do not require export permits.

3.1.1

Customs declaration

All mail containing merchandise must have a Customs Declaration form completed when sending the item to the U.S.A. or an international destination (see Section 1.1 Customs declaration requirements). The Customs Declaration forms part of the Canada Post shipping label and also includes the addressee and sender names and addresses.

It is customer’s responsibility to ensure that all customs documentation and item content information and certificates for the goods being shipped are provided and are complete, accurate and legible. Failure to do so may result in the item being returned to sender at the customer's expense, or could result in delays, non-delivery, voided guarantee, if applicable, fines and /or customs seizure in the international destination.

3.1.2

Export permits and other documentation

Export permits are required for certain items and the government department responsible for the issuance of the permit depends on the type of product.

If in doubt as to whether an item requires an export permit, contact the appropriate government department listed in Section 2.3.1 Import permits and other documentation. For products on the Export Control List, please refer to http://laws.justice.gc.ca/en/showtdm/cr/SOR-89-202 to determine if an export permit is required.

Certain products may also require a permit or other documentation in order to be imported into the country of destination. See International Destination Listing for specific information.

3.1.3

Dangerous and prohibited products

Certain dangerous products are prohibited from the mail whether being imported, destined to other countries or sent domestically. Please refer to section 6 Dangerous Goods of Non-mailable Matter for additional information regarding dangerous products. Also, some items may be prohibited from entering the country of destination. See International Destination Listing for specific information by country.

3.1.4

Valuable items

To determine if the valuable items are acceptable in the destination country, see International Destination Listing.

Valuable items include:

  • bank or currency notes
  • coins
  • traveller’s cheques
  • securities of any kind payable to bearer
  • platinum, gold or silver (manufactured or not)
  • jewels and precious stones
  • other valuable articles as determined by customs in the destination country.

3.2

Specific Canadian requirements for exports

3.2.1

Export documentation

An Export Declaration Form B13A is required for the following goods when shipped to another country excluding the U.S.A.:

  • all goods (including gifts, donations and repairs) valued at $2,000CDN and more
  • all goods that are controlled, prohibited or regulated regardless of value.

Form B13A is not required for goods that are exported for consumption in the U.S.A.

An Export Declaration B13A should not be confused with the Customs Declaration form referred to in Section 1.1 Customs declaration requirements. A Customs Declaration form must be completed for any mail containing merchandise that is sent to a destination outside Canada.

In addition, some products may require an export permit such as goods listed on the Export Control List (See also Section 3.4 Mailing items abroad).

3.2.2

Currency and monetary instruments

All Canadian or foreign currency and monetary instruments ($10,000CDN or more) entering or exiting Canada through the mail must be reported to the CBSA. These monetary instruments include:

  • securities, including stocks, bonds, debentures and treasury bills; and
  • negotiable instruments, including bank drafts, cheques, promissory notes, travellers’ cheques and money orders, other than warehouse receipts or bills of lading, and negotiable instruments that bear a restrictive endorsement or stamp for the purpose of clearing, or that are made payable to a named person and have not been endorsed.

Foreign currency and monetary instruments with a value of $10,000CDN or more mailed out of the country must include form E667 (Cross-Border Currency or Monetary Instruments Report-General). The customer must submit or forward a copy of form E667 to the nearest Canada Border Services Agency office, at the same time as or in advance of mailing the item.

Visit http://cbsa-asfc.gc.ca/security-securite/cbcr-dmte/how-comment-eng.html to access the online CBSA Customs form.

3.2.3

Rough diamonds

Exporters must present a Canadian Kimberley Process Certificate at the time of export. Each shipment of rough diamonds requires a distinct Canadian Kimberley Process Certificate. A shipment may consist of several containers. The CBSA will stamp an Export Declaration attached to the certificate. Exporters must then forward the declaration to the Kimberley Process Office within seven days of the date of export, at the following address:

KIMBERLEY PROCESS OFFICE
MINERALS AND METALS SECTOR
NATURAL RESOURCES CANADA
9TH FLOOR
580 BOOTH STREET
OTTAWA ON CANADA  K1A 0E4

Visit http://www.nrcan.gc.ca/node/8224 for more information.

3.3

Exports of controlled items to the United States

Some of the items that have special requirements or which cannot be shipped to the U.S.A are listed below. For more detailed information regarding which items are prohibited or restricted into the U.S.A., refer to http://www.cbsa-asfc.gc.ca/publications/dm-md/d9-eng.html on the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) website.

3.3.1

Commercially-prepared food

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requires Prior Notice of all shipments to the U.S.A. that contain commercially-prepared food. This includes, but is not limited to, items that contain food for human or animal consumption, vitamins, dietary supplements, herbal remedies and food additives or colour. Food items that have been prepared by an individual in his or her own residence and sent to another individual as a non-commercial gift are exempt from the requirement for a Prior Notice. The sender must request the Prior Notice number electronically through the FDA Prior Notice System Interface www.access.fda.gov and include the number on the Customs documentation prior to shipping.

The FDA and U.S. Customs Border and Protection will use their own discretion and may consider not taking any regulatory action when there is a Prior Notice violation and the commercially-prepared food is being sent from one individual to another individual for non-commercial purposes. Customers are cautioned to ship these types of items at their own risk.

Notwithstanding any product specification regarding liability coverage to the contrary, Canada Post shall have no liability whatsoever for loss, delay or damage of cross-border shipments containing food. Likewise, notwithstanding any provision in the Postal Guide to the contrary, no liability coverage may be purchased from Canada Post for cross-border shipments containing food.

Customers can visit http://www.fda.gov/food/guidanceregulation/guidancedocumentsregulatoryinformation/
fooddefense/ucm267673.htm
for more information.

NOTE:
All food shipments are prohibited using Priority™ Worldwide service.

3.3.2

Alcohol, tobacco and tobacco products

The mailing of alcohol or intoxicating beverages into the U.S.A. is prohibited by mail and when discovered by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) will be seized. The USPS will no longer accept packages with cigarettes; roll-your-own tobacco and smokeless tobacco in any quantity. Non-mailable cigarettes and smokeless tobacco are subject to seizure and forfeiture, and senders of non-mailable cigarettes or smokeless tobacco are subject to criminal penalties.

For additional information, please contact the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) at
1-202-927-5000 or 1-202-927-8100 (long distance charges will apply).

3.3.3

Prescription drugs to the U.S.A.

Senders and recipients must be aware it is completely at the discretion of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) whether or not to allow entry of drugs into the U.S.A. For this reason, Canada Post shall have no liability for loss, delay or damage of cross-border shipments containing prescription drugs or any other U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), controlled or regulated products (i.e. cosmetics). Customers can visit http://www.fda.gov/ForIndustry/ImportProgram/default.htm for more information.

The position of CBP is that in virtually all instances, individual citizens are prohibited from importing prescription drugs into the United States. When personal shipments of drugs and devices that appear violative are brought to the FDA’s attention by CBP, FDA personnel will use their discretion to decide on a case by case basis whether to detain, refuse, or allow entry of the product. FDA may allow an individual entering the United States to import a three-month supply of an unopened drug if all of the following conditions are met:

  1. The intended use (of the drug) is unapproved and for a serious condition for which effective treatment may not be available domestically either through commercial or clinical means.
  2. There is no known commercialization or promotion to persons residing in the U.S. by those involved in the distribution of the product at issue.
  3. The product is considered not to represent an unreasonable risk.
  4. The individual seeking to import the product affirms in writing that it is for the patient’s own use (generally not more than a three-month supply) and provides the name and address of the doctor licensed in the U.S. responsible for his or her treatment with the product or provides evidence that the product is for the continuation of a treatment begun in a foreign country (outside the U.S.A.).
NOTE:
The bolded portion of item number 4 may apply to Canadian citizens visiting the U.S. Thus, while not the only documentation, either a U.S. or foreign prescription, along with an affirmation of personal use, and proof of Canadian citizenship should be supplied as evidence that this factor exists.

Notwithstanding any product specification regarding liability coverage to the contrary, Canada Post shall have no liability whatsoever for loss, delay or damage of cross-border shipments containing drugs. Likewise, notwithstanding any provision in the Postal Guide to the contrary, no liability coverage may be purchased from Canada Post for cross-border shipments containing drugs.

Customers can visit www.fda.gov/ora/import/pipinfo.htm or http://www.cbp.gov/travel/international-visitors/know-before-you-go.

3.3.4

Wood packaging material

The United States, among many countries, have begun the enforcement of the international phytosanitary standard for regulated wood packaging material (WPM) (e.g. crates, boxes, and pieces of wood used as supports or bracing). Most WPM must be either heat treated or fumigated with methyl bromide in accordance with the Guidelines and stamped with an approved international mark certifying that treatment. Visit the International Standards for Phytosanitary Measures website at http://www.ispm15.com/start.htm for complete details.

3.3.5

Certificates of disinfection

Parcels containing used wearing apparel (e.g. used clothing, footwear, linen, etc.) may be required to enclose a certificate of disinfection issued by recognized disinfection establishments or in their absence, by private concerns including dry cleaning firms. The wrapper must be endorsed “CERTIFICATE OF DISINFECTION ENCLOSED”.

Parcels that arrive at their destination without the required certificate are returned to origin at the expense of the mailer. International Destination Listing provides information on which countries require these certificates.

3.4

Mailing items abroad

Customers can request information on tariffs, taxes, requirements for Certificates of origin and other import charges on mail sent to the United States and international destinations. Requests should be addressed to the:

FOREIGN AFFAIRS AND INTERNATIONAL TRADE CANADA
125 SUSSEX DR
OTTAWA ON  K1A 0G2

Customers can also call 1-613-944-4000. Mailers living outside the Ottawa area can call toll-free
1-800-267-8376.

All postal items entering foreign countries are subject to customs inspection. In some cases the items may be exempt from customs duties (e.g. gifts up to a certain value). See International Destination Listing for specific information respecting the country of destination. It should be noted that if customs duties or fees are applicable in the country of destination, the addressee will be responsible for the payment of any duties or fees.

Regardless of value, all items on the Export Control List or items sent to countries on the Area Control List require export permits.

Copies of both lists, as well as General Export Permits, can be obtained from the following authority:

FOREIGN AFFAIRS AND INTERNATIONAL TRADE CANADA
EXPORT AND IMPORT CONTROLS
125 SUSSEX DR
OTTAWA ON  K1A 0G2

Export Permit application forms are available from:

In some cases Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada has authorized the use of general export permits. Exporters should ensure that they are entitled to use the specific general export permit prior to mailing the item. Exporters qualifying for individual permit exemptions must mark each parcel or package with the following:

“EXPORTED UNDER THE AUTHORITY OF GENERAL EXPORT PERMIT No. (applicable permit number)”.

NOTE:
An Export Declaration Form B13A referred to in Section 3.2.1 Export documentation should not be confused with an export permit.

The Export and Import Permits Act and Regulations are administered by the:

FOREIGN AFFAIRS AND INTERNATIONAL TRADE CANADA
EXPORT AND IMPORT CONTROLS
125 SUSSEX DR
OTTAWA ON  K1A 0G2

1-613-996-2387




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