Acting as an Agent for the Purposes of Importing Personal Vehicles and Goods
Customs Notice 16-21

Ottawa, October 31, 2016

1. The purpose of this notice is to provide clarification to the public as to who can act as an agent for the purposes of importing goods. Specifically, the report and release of vehicles and any goods contained therein for returning Canadian residents that are transported to Canada from the United States by a commercial enterprise.

2. The Agents’ Accounting for Imported Goods and Payment of Duties Regulations and Memorandum D1-6-1, Authority to Act as an Agent outline the circumstances in which a person may transact business as agent:

Subject to 10 (2) of the Customs Act, a person may only account for goods and pay duties under section 32 of the Act as an agent of the importer or owner of the goods where the person:

3. The term “casual basis” refers to a one-time event or a non-habitual occurrence whereby a person is acting on behalf of the importer without benefit of any compensation, fee or charge. An example would be in a circumstance where an importer was unable to be present for the release of their goods and a friend or family member, with written authorization from the importer, accounted on their behalf.

4. Therefore, a business that arranges for the transportation of goods into Canada on behalf of other parties, cannot act as an agent for the release and accounting of goods unless they are a licensed customs broker, as they are receiving compensation, fees or charges for the arrangement. The carrier transporting the goods cannot act as an agent of the importer. This includes those vehicles that are either driven or transported to Canada on a car carrier/flatbed truck.

5. For further detail on agents and what information is required on a written authority, please consult CBSA Memorandum D1-6-1, Authority to Act as an Agent.

6. For information on becoming a customs broker, please consult CBSA Memorandum D1-8-1, Licensing of Customs Brokers.

7. For more information, within Canada call the Border Information Service at 1-800-461-9999. From outside Canada call 204-983-3500 or 506-636-5064. Long distance charges will apply. Agents are available Monday to Friday (08:00 – 16:00 local time / except holidays). TTY is also available within Canada: 1-866-335-3237.

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