Frequently asked questions

Q.Does Alpha Logistiques handle personal shipments?
A. No. We only deal with commercial merchandise.

Q. I’ve never imported into Canada before. What should I do beforehand?

  • • Make sure you have a GST number-activated for imports.
  • • Ensure you have a customs broker – Alpha Logistiques at your service!
  • • Ask your supplier to send you a copy of the commercial invoice.
  • • Ask your supplier for a NAFTA (North American Free Trade) Certificate, duly completed and signed – if goods are manufactured in North America. See FORMS section for other certificates.
  • • Ask your supplier for a copy of the packing list.
  • • Verify with your broker the duties on your goods – you don’t want any surprises once the goods arrive into Canada.
  • • Speak with your customs broker about any other potential fees such as Customs Inspection fees, demurrage, storage, etc…
  • • Call Canada Border Services to ascertain if any permits are required before importation (i.e. Fish Import Licenses, Phytosanitary Certificates, etc…)

Q. How many copies of the commercial invoice should be included on the outside of the box or pallet?
A. Three

Q. When is a NAFTA Certificate applicable?
A. Only when the goods are MANUFACTURED in North America (Mexico, USA, Canada).

Q. I would like to export commercial goods. What should I do beforehand?

  • • Complete a B13-A Export Declaration, if the goods are valued over $2000.00 CAD. See CAED link in HELPFUL SITES section.
  • • Complete a commercial invoice – see FORMS section.
  • • Complete a NAFTA certificate if shipping to another country in North America only. See FORMS section.
  • • If shipping to the USA, ask the consignee for their TAX ID number. It is mandatory for US Customs.
  • • Ensure you have a customs broker – Alpha Logistiques at your service!

Q. Do I always need to complete a B13-A Export Declaration when exporting?
A. No. Only when the goods are valued over $2000.00 CAD. There is an exception though. You do not need to complete a B13-A when shipping to the USA, regardless of the value.

Q. How long does a customs release usually take?
A. Approximately one hour. Shipments that require OGD may take up to three or four hours for release.

Q. What is OGD?
A. Other Government Departments. This involves CFIA (Canadian Food Inspection), NRCAN (Natural Resources Canada), Transport Canada-Tires, Industry Canada.

Q. What is a PARS shipment?
A. PARS is an acronym for Pre Arrival Review System. Shipments coming in by TRUCK from the USA are pre-released before the truck arrives at the border. The driver affixes his PARS barcode to the commercial invoice. The driver must fax his documents to the customs broker at least two (2) hours before crossing. Otherwise the PARS will most likely fail.

Alpha logisTiques is a member of CSCB cscb