The CBSA offers a variety of electronic data interchange (EDI) services that tailor to different clients.
Step 1: Before applying
Before applying to become an EDI client, you must know what type of data you want to send and/or receive. For instance, the needs of a customs broker will differ from that of a warehouse, importer, or marine carrier. To better understand the applications available and the data involved, review the Electronic Commerce Client Requirements Document (ECCRD)
Step 2: Application and Testing Process
In order for the EDI process to work effectively, certain conditions must be met:
- both ends of the link (i.e. both trading partners) need to be computerized; and
- telecommunication capability, translator software and back-up provisions are required.
To ensure that the electronic communication between the trade chain partner (or the service provider) and the CBSA is fully functional, the CBSA has created a testing process.
Clients and their service provider must complete and submit a formal application. The application form provides the CBSA with basic information on the client, a description of their automated system, and their anticipated volumes. A senior representative of the client's firm must sign the formal application. The application may be submitted by the client's agent with a letter of authorization on the client's letterhead signed by an officer/senior representative with legal signing authority.
During the application process, the Technical Commercial Client Unit (TCCU) can provide assistance on matters such as interpretation of the message standards and code sets.
Completed application forms can be sent to the TCCU by email, fax or mail.
Once the application has been processed, a client profile will be created and, if necessary, the testing process can begin.
Client Acceptance Testing
If required, clients or their service providers involved in the EDI process will undergo acceptance testing. As part of the testing process, the CBSA will provide clients or their service providers with a test package to complete.
During testing, clients (or their service providers) must satisfy production requirements by successfully completing a series of progressively complex tests that will verify whether:
- Various types and volumes of data submissions are capable of being transmitted.
- The quality of the data is acceptable, i.e. data transmitted are accepted by the system.
- The accurate reception of error messages, acknowledgements and other feedback transmissions from the EDI system is taking place.
- If volume testing is required, transmissions are error free a minimum of 95% of the time.
For more information on the EDI testing procedures or to request a test package, contact the TCCU via email.
- Date modified: