As of June 30, 2020, Canadian exporters will no longer be able to file paper copies of the  B13A Export Declaration Form or use the CAED system to report exports of commercial goods. Canada’s export reporting will be paperless.

Exporters and customs service providers must be prepared and ready as of June 30, 2020 to report exports of commercial goods using one of two electronic methods:

1) Canadian Export Reporting System (CERS) – which is a new, free, web-based self-service portal; or

2) G7 Export Reporting Electronic Data Interchange.

CERS replaces the CAED reporting system.

Canadian companies will not be given a choice of filing paper copies.  The Canada Border Services Agency (“CBSA”) is offering training sessions – please go to the CBSA website for more information about how to sign up for a training session and when they will be offered.

Canadian companies must complete an export declaration for any export of goods and/or technology to any country (except the United States and Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands) valued at $CDN 2000 or more (subject to regulated exceptions).  Even small-sized packages can be valued over $2000 (most shipping containers exceed the threshold).

The filing of information about exports allows the CBSA to review the information and conduct a risk assessment and enables Statistics Canada to compile export trade data. The reporting requirement is found in section 95 of the Customs Act and the Reporting of Exported Goods RegulationsThe CBSA conducts a risk assessment as to whether the goods should have an export permit, or are destined for a sanctioned country or person.  If the package/shipment does not include an export declaration, the CBSA may detain the goods and, thereby, delay the transportation of the goods to its destination.

The general rule is that all goods valued at or over $CDN 2000 must be reported.  That being said, certain goods are not required to be reported on an export declaration. The exempt goods are listed in sections 6 and 7 of the Reporting of Exported Goods Regulations and are further explained in CBSA D-Memorandum D20-1-1, Export Reporting. Provided that the following goods are not prohibited goods or restricted goods (that require an export permit), the following limited classes of goods may be exported without being reported by the exporter:

  • personal and household effects, other than those of an emigrant, that are not for resale or commercial use;
  • conveyances that would, if they were imported, be classified at the time of importation under tariff item No. 9801.10.00, 9801.20.00 or 9801.30.00 in the List of Tariff Provisions set out in the schedule to the Customs Tariff;
  • cargo containers that would, if they were imported, be classified at the time of importation under tariff item No. 980l.10.00 in the List of Tariff Provisions set out in the schedule to the Customs Tariff;
  • reusable skids, drums, pallets, straps and similar goods used by a carrier in the international commercial transportation of goods;
  • goods exported by a diplomatic embassy or mission personnel for their personal or official use;
  • personal gifts and donations of goods, excluding conveyances;
  • goods that were imported into Canada and are exported from Canada after being transported in transit through Canada on route to a non-Canadian destination;
  • goods that were manufactured or produced in Canada and that are exported from Canada for the purpose of being transshipped through another country to another Canadian destination;
  • goods exported for repair or warranty repair that will be returned to Canada;
  • goods for use as ships’ stores by a Canadian carrier;
  • goods manufactured or produced outside Canada and removed for export from a bonded warehouse or sufferance warehouse;
  • goods, other than goods exported for further processing, that will be returned to Canada within 12 months after the date of exportation; and
  • goods that are described in or come within the scope of a written arrangement made between the Government of Canada and the government of another country.

The reporting MUST take place before the goods are shipped (the attempt to export).  The minimum time frames for reporting exports to the CBSA are as follows:

  • For goods exported by mail: not less than two hours before the goods are delivered to the post office in Canada that accepts mail for export;
  • For goods exported by marine vessel: not less than 48 hours before the goods are loaded onto the vessel;
  • For goods exported by aircraft: not less than two hours before the goods are loaded onboard the aircraft;
  • For goods exported by rail: not less than two hours before the railcar on which the goods have been loaded is assembled to form part of a train to be exported. Railcars are loaded at different places and then moved to a rail yard where the cars are assembled into a train to begin its journey from Canada;
  • For goods exported by any other mode of transportation: immediately before the exportation of the goods. In the case of goods being exported by highway or any other mode not previously mentioned, they must be reported immediately before being exported, which means before the conveyance that is transporting the goods crosses the border or leaves Canada.

If the CBSA randomly detains your goods (or is informed about the export by a competitor, or disgruntled employee, or another person, and selects the goods for inspection), you will be asked to provide information about the goods.  This could delay the export for weeks, months, or years.  It is possible that the detained goods will be seized as forfeit and destroyed.

For more information, contact Cyndee Todgham Cherniak at 416-307-4168 or at