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Term Definition

The Cabinet is a body of high-ranking federal officials, typically consisting of the top leaders of the executive branch. They are usually called ministers.

Canada - United States-Mexico Agreement (CUSMA)

A tri-lateral agreement the came into force on July 1, 2020 to replace the former agreement, the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). CUSMA preserves the key elements of NAFTA, such as duty elimination for originating goods, and incorporates new and updated provisions that seek to address 21st-century trade issues and promote further opportunities for the parties.

Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA)

The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) is the agency responsible for providing integrated border services that support national security and public safety priorities and facilitate the free flow of persons and goods, including animals and plants that meet all requirements under the program legislation.

Canada Customs Invoice (CCI)

The Canada Customs Invoice (CCI) is a form used to provide all of the required data to the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) required to process commercial shipments.

Canada Gazette

The Canada Gazette is a periodical publication consisting of three parts: Part I contains Orders in Council and proclamations; Part II contains regulations and other statutory instruments; and Part III contains Acts of Parliament.

Canada Revenue Agency (CRA)

The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) administers tax laws for the Government of Canada and for most provinces and territories, and administers various social and economic benefit and incentive programs delivered through the tax system.

Canada-Chile Free Trade Agreement (CCFTA)

Originating goods are entitled to use the Chile Tariff treatment (CT), implemented on July 5, 1997. CCFTA covers trade in goods and services, as well as a bilateral investment relationship. The CCFTA was Canada’s first Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with a South American country. In 2015, both countries agreed to new amendments in order to modernize the existing agreement.

Canada-Columbia Free Trade Agreement (CCOFTA)

Canada and Colombia are signatories to the Canada-Colombia Free Trade Agreement (CCOFTA). Originating goods are entitled to use the Colombia Tariff treatment (COLT), implemented August 2009. Colombia is an established and growing market for Canadian exporters of wheat, pulses, barley, chemicals, paper products, and heavy equipment, and service providers in the mining, oil and gas, engineering, information and communication sectors.

Canada-Costa Rica Free Trade Agreement (CCRFTA)

Originating goods are entitled to use the Costa Rica Tariff treatment (CRT), implemented on November 1, 2002. This trade agreement focuses mainly on trade in goods.

Canada-European Free Trade Association Free Trade Agreement (CEFTA)

The Canada-European Free Trade Association Free Trade Agreement (CEFTA), implemented on July 1, 2009, aims at liberalizing and facilitating trade in goods in conformity with World Trade Organization (WTO) provisions. Most industrial goods, including fish and other marine products, benefit from duty-free access to their respective markets. For ships, boats and floating structures imported into Canada, customs duties are to be eliminated after a transitional period of up to 15 years.

CEFTA consists of a central agreement, which includes industrial products and selected processed agricultural products. Three bilateral agreements on agriculture were signed with Norway, Iceland and Switzerland. Switzerland and Liechtenstein have a customs union, and the agreement with Switzerland covers both Switzerland and Liechtenstein.

Canada-European Union: Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CEUT)

The Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) came into force on September 21, 2017. With the exception of a few agricultural goods, the CETA will essentially eliminate the customs duties on all imports from a European Union (EU) country or other CETA beneficiary, either immediately upon implementation of the agreement, or through a tariff phase-out.

Canada-Honduras Free Trade Agreement (CHFTA)

The Canada-Honduras Free Trade Agreement (CHFTA) was implemented on October 1, 2014. This agreement will benefit Canadian businesses in many sectors including agriculture, professional services, value added food processing and manufacturing, as well as commodity and resource-based industries as customs duties are eliminated on nearly all goods, with the exception of a few agricultural goods.

Canada-Israel Free Trade Agreement (CIFTA)

Countries that are entitled to use the Canada-Israel Free Agreement Tariff (CIFTA) are Israel and any other country to which the laws of Israel apply. These include the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. CIFTA Rules of Origin are used to determine if goods originate under this trade agreement.

Canada-Jordan Free Trade Agreement (CJFTA)

Canada and Jordan are signatories to the Canada-Jordan Free Trade Agreement (CJFTA), which came into force on October 1, 2012. Originating goods are entitled to use the Jordan Tariff treatment (JT). Key Canadian sectors that benefitted from immediate duty-free access include forest products, manufacturing, agriculture and agri-food.

Canada-Korea Free Trade Agreement (CKFTA)

On January 1, 2015, the Canada-Korea Free Trade Agreement (CKFTA) came into force. This agreement provides Canadian exporters with preferential access to the world’s 15th-largest economy and the fourth largest in Asia. Since the agreement entered into force, roughly 90% of Canada’s exports entered Korea duty free, and upon full implementation in 2032, virtually all bilateral trade will be duty-free.

Canada-Panama Free Trade Agreement (CPAFTA)

Canada and Panama are signatories to the Canada-Panama Free Trade Agreement (CPAFTA), which came into force on April 1, 2013. Elements covered by the CPAFTA include market access for goods, cross-border trade in services, telecommunications, investment, financial services and government procurement.

Canada-Peru Free Trade Agreement (CPFTA)

Canada and Peru are signatories to the Canada-Peru Free Trade Agreement (CPFTA). Originating goods are entitled to use the Peru Tariff treatment (PT), implemented on August 1, 2009.

Canada-Ukraine Free Trade Agreement (CUFTA)

On August 1, 2017, the Canada-Ukraine Free Trade Agreement (CUFTA) came into force. With the exception of a few agricultural goods, the CUFTA will essentially eliminate the customs duties on all imports from Ukraine, either immediately upon implementation of the agreement, or through a tariff phase-out for passenger automobiles.

Canada-United Kingdom Trade Continuity Agreement (CUKTCA)

On April 1, 2021, the Canada-United Kingdom Trade Continuity Agreement (CUKTCA) came into force.  This agreement was required after the United Kingdom left the European Union and were no longer entitled to the preferential rates afforded by CEUTA. This agreement allows preferential trade to continue between Canada and the UK without disruption.

Canada/Chinese Taipei Carnet

The Canada/Chinese Taipei Carnet is used for the temporary importation of goods from Chinese Taipei or the temporary exportation of Canadian goods to Chinese Taipei. In Canada, carnets are issued by the Canadian Chamber of Commerce.

Canadian Export Reporting System (CERS)

A web-based, self-service portal that allows for the electronic submission of export declarations, bulk data uploads and Summary Reporting Program monthly reports to the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA).  This is the most widely used export reporting system.

Canadian Goods Abroad

Canadian goods abroad refers to the practice of exporting goods from Canada in order that they be repaired or modified, or have parts added to them, while outside of Canada.

Canadian Goods Returned

The expression "Canadian goods returned" may be interpreted as meaning "all goods grown, produced or fabricated in Canada, exported from Canada and subsequently returned".

Canadian International Trade Tribunal (CITT)

The Canadian International Trade Tribunal (CITT) is an independent, quasi-judicial body composed of seven full-time permanent members. The CITT is located in Ottawa and its members come from various backgrounds and areas of Canada. It is the CITT’s responsibility to determine whether dumped or subsidized imports have caused injury, or are threatening to cause material injury, to Canadian producers of like goods.

Canadian Waters

Canadian waters are the internal waters of Canada and the territorial sea of Canada.

Canadian Wildlife Service (CWS)

The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) is overseen by the Canadian Wildlife Service (CWS). CWS collaborates with the provinces, territories and other government agencies and departments.

Cargo Container

A cargo container is a re-usable and identifiable container especially designed to facilitate the carriage of goods by one or more modes of transportation but does not include either a vehicle or conventional packing.

Cargo Control Document (CCD)

A Cargo Control Document (CCD) is a manifest (document) that acts as the record of a shipment entering or exiting Canada.

Cargo Control Number (CCN)

The Cargo Control Number (CCN) is a number assigned to a transport document. It uniquely identifies cargo detailed on a cargo submission. The Cargo Control Number consists of the 4 character carrier code issued by CBSA, followed by a unique reference number assigned by the carrier and cannot contain spaces.

Cargo Data

Cargo data is prescribed information about the goods that the carrier is carrying.

Cargo Transmission

A cargo transmission is the package of cargo information or data that is transmitted to the CBSA. It is comprised of a Cargo Control Number (CCN) for each shipment on the conveyance along with the corresponding cargo data, and the Conveyance Reference Number (CRN) corresponding to the conveyance the cargo is being transported on.

CARM Client Portal (CCP)

The CARM Client Portal (CCP) is the central feature of the CARM project which, once fully functional, will become the main communications interface between the CBSA and trade chain partners.  Through the portal, users will have online self-service access to manage their customs transactions, including electronic submission of corrections and adjustments, applying for classification rulings, accounting and payment of any applicable duties, taxes and fees on their imported goods, as well as access to a duty and tax calculator and HS classification tool.

Carnet Holder

The carnet holder is the person or company for whom the carnet was issued and who is identified on the front cover. It also means whoever is presenting the carnet to the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) (e.g., an agent, employee, or authorized representative).


A carrier is the owner or person in charge of a conveyance that is engaged in international commercial transportation of specified goods.

Carrier Code

A carrier code is a four-character unique identifier that is assigned by the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) to identify a carrier. Only one carrier code is issued to each legal entity (corporation, partnership or sole proprietorship) per mode of transport (highway, marine, air or rail). For air carriers, this is a three digit alphanumeric code followed by a hyphen.

Casual Goods

Casual goods are goods other than goods imported for sale or for an industrial, occupational, commercial, institutional, or other like use.

Casual Refund Centre (CRC)

Casual Refund Centre (CRC) is the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) office responsible for the receipt, review and processing of the Form B2G casual refund requests.

CBSA Assessment and Revenue Management (CARM)

The CARM project is a multi-year initiative to transform the collection of duties and taxes for goods imported into Canada.  CARM targets the revenue and cash management systems currently in place, and replaces them with a simplified process, including electronic payment options.  Release 1 of CARM has been implemented and Release 2 is scheduled to be released on a future date.

Certificate of Origin

The Certificate of Origin is a form that is required when claiming a preferential tariff treatment and must be completed by the exporter of the goods.

Certification of Origin

In specific trade agreements the process to claim that goods are eligible for a preferential tariff treatment may be made without utilizing a specific certificate.  Specific information is required, however the presentation of that information is not mandated.

Certified Customs Specialist (CCS)

A Certified Customs Specialist (CCS) is an individual who has gained knowledge of the processes involved in the importation and exportation of goods, and has demonstrated a level of proficiency by successfully completing a comprehensive examination. The CCS designation is granted by the Canadian Society of Customs Brokers (CSCB) and is the standard in the customs marketplace - recognized and demanded by those who use brokerage services throughout the country.

Classification Number

The classification number is a 10-digit number, assigned to goods enumerated in the schedule to the Customs Tariff Act that identifies imported goods. The first six digits represent the International Harmonized System Code, the seventh and eighth digits are subdivisions for Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) purposes, and the remaining two digits represent a statistical suffix.

Commercial Accounting Declaration (CAD)

The CAD is a digital document which is scheduled for implementation and will replace the existing B3 Declaration and B2 Adjustment documents.  The CAD will provide a single document to submit accounting information to the CBSA which will use version management to allow for changes while maintaining the history of the document and eliminating the requirement to account for changes on separate documents types and create a single accounting declaration of record.

Commercial Driver Registration Program (CDRP)

The Commercial Driver Registration Program (CDRP) is designed to streamline the customs clearance process for commercial freight transporters into Canada from the United States. If not Free and Secure Trade (FAST) approved, participation in the CDRP will allow a driver to transport goods for a Customs Self Assessment Program (CSA) importer.

Commercial Goods

"Commercial goods" means goods that are imported into Canada for sale or for any commercial, industrial, occupational, institutional or other like use.

Commercial Invoice

A commercial invoice is a bill of sale or other acceptable documentation that provides data elements required at time of import (i.e. value, quantity, vendor, etc.).

Commercial Samples

Commercial samples are any goods that are representative of a particular category of goods produced outside Canada and that are imported solely for the purpose of being exhibited or demonstrated to solicit orders for similar goods to be supplied from outside Canada. Commercial samples also includes any films, charts, projectors and scale models, and similar items, imported solely for the purpose of illustrating a particular category of goods produced outside Canada to solicit orders for similar goods to be supplied from outside Canada.

Commonwealth Caribbean Countries Tariff (CCCT)

The Commonwealth Caribbean Countries Tariff (CCCT) is a unilateral trade agreement enacted by Section 41 of the Customs Tariff. This tariff treatment is also known as CCCT or Caribcan. Originating goods are entitled to use the CCCT tariff treatment, implemented on December 29, 1997. Countries entitled to utilize this trade agreement with Canada are listed in Schedule III of the Customs Tariff, the List of Countries and Applicable Tariff Treatments.

Computed Method of Valuation (Section 52 of the Customs Act)

Under the computed method of valuation, determination of value for duty begins with the cost of production of the goods being appraised. To this, amounts are added to account for profit earned and general expenses incurred on sales for export to Canada. The total amount would form the basis for calculating the value for duty of the goods being appraised.


The consignee is the party and place where the goods are shipped. It may or may not be the importer.


Consigning indicates that the goods are not sold at the time of export.

Consist Sheet

The consist sheet is a reporting method for CLVS approved couriers that summarizes for the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) what is included in a particular conveyance. The consist sheet must be presented to CBSA by the courier prior to, or immediately upon, the courier’s arrival in Canada. Unlike a Release on Minimum Documentation (RMD) or Pre-Arrival Review System (PARS) release request, there is no transaction number assigned to the consist sheet.


A consolidation is a number of separate shipments grouped together by a consolidator or freight forwarder and shipped to an agent or a freight forwarder as one shipment under one bill of lading and reported to Customs on one cargo control document.

Consumption Entry

A consumption entry is one type of US Customs order Patrol (CBP) entry. It is used when goods are imported for use into the United States for commercial, business or personal purposes and going directly into the commerce of the US without restrictions placed on them.

Container Bank

An inventory of containers or similar containers that is based on the maximum quantity or value of each type of a company's container actually in Canada during a period of time mutually agreed upon between the company and the regional CBSA officials where, unless exempted under the Excise Tax Act, the GST payable on the containers pursuant to that Act has been paid and where the containers: have been accounted for under the Customs Act, or originated in Canada.

In order to operate a container bank, a company must apply to the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) for authorization.

Continuous Journey

Continuous journey refers to a journey that is direct and uninterrupted and broken only for reasons of transhipment.

Controlled Substances

Controlled substances are drugs that the government have categorized as having a higher-than-average potential for abuse or addiction and are divided into categories based on their potential for abuse or addiction. Controlled substances range from illegal street drugs to prescription medications.

Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Flora and Fauna (CITES)

The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Specied of Wild Flora and Fauna (CITES) is an international agreement between governments whose aim is to ensure that international trade in specimens of wild animals and plants does not threaten their survival. Because trade in wild animals and plants crosses borders, the effort to regulate it requires international cooperation to safeguard certain species from over-exploitation. CITES offers varying degrees of protection to more than 30,000 species of animals and plants, whether they are traded as live specimens, fur coats or dried herbs.


Conveyance means any vehicle, aircraft or water-borne craft or any other contrivance that is used to move persons or goods.

Conveyance Arrival Certification Message (CACM)

Under Section 12 of the Customs Act, all goods that are imported, moving in transit through Canada, or freight remaining on board (FROB), must be reported to Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) at the first port of arrival in Canada, even if they are exempt from providing Advance Commercial Information (ACI). Reporting takes place when the conveyance arrives in Canada and a report is made to CBSA by way of a Conveyance Arrival Certification Message (CACM).

Conveyance Data

Conveyance data is information about the truck, ship, plane or train that is carrying the goods.

Conveyance Reference Number (CRN)

The Conveyance Reference Number (CRN) is a unique reference number assigned by the carrier to identify a particular voyage for a particular conveyance.

Countervailing Duty

Countervailing duty is a duty levied under the Special Import Measures Act on subsidized goods where it has been determined that importing such subsidized goods has caused, is causing, or is likely to cause material injury to the production in Canada of like goods.


Courier means all common commercial carriers, regardless of mode of transport, including freight forwarders and deconsolidators.

Courier Imports Remission Order (CIRO)

The Courier Imports Remission Order (CIRO) applies to both casual goods and commercial goods. If the value of the goods shipped by courier does not exceed $20.00 CAD, the goods are exempt from the payment of duties and tax. Under the Canada US Mexico Trade Agreement (CUSMA) the value permitted is $40.00 CAD for this remission.  


A credit is an amount owing to an importer from the Canada Border Servies Agency (CBSA) and recorded to the importer’s account.


The Crown is the Government of Canada.

Cultural Property Export and Import Act

The Cultural Property Export and Import Act ensures the preservation of Canadian heritage by establishing export restrictions for objects of historical, scientific and cultural significance. The export of cultural property is governed by the Canadian Cultural Property Export Control List.

Customs Act

The Customs Act governs the importation and exportation of goods into and out of Canada.

Customs Action Plan (CAP)

The Customs Action Plan (CAP) was created in order to improve and streamline the way business is done at the border and to redesign and modernize customs processes. Under the CAP, the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) announced plans to use a risk-management system, supported by an expanded use of technology.

Customs Automated Data Exchange (CADEX)

The Customs Automated Data Exchange (CADEX) system provides importers and brokers with the ability to electronically transmit their accounting documents to the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) for already-released goods. This arrangement removes the need to present hard-copy versions of documents. Clients can also query certain CBSA files, and receive K84 accounting data, release notifications, file updates and listings or releases when acquittal is overdue.

Customs Bonded Warehouse

A customs bonded warehouse is a building or place that is licensed and controlled by Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) but operated privately. Goods can be stored duty and tax free, generally for up to four years, until they are exported or are consumed domestically.

Customs Broker

A customs broker is a person or company that is licensed by the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) and is empowered to act as an agent, on behalf of an importer/owner of goods, to transact business relating to importing or exporting goods.

Customs Broker Summary Statement (CBSS)

With the implementation of CARM, the Customs Broker Summary Statement will replace the Customs Broker Statement of Account (SOA) and include accounting summaries for all importers (by BN15) for which the Customs Broker has submitted import declarations.  The summary statement will provide a summarized view (count and amount) of import declarations and payment transactions per importer BN15 made in the billing period.

Customs Duty

Customs duty is a duty imposed on goods at the rates specified in the List of Tariff Provisions found in the Customs Tariff. Rates of Duty are established by the Department of Finance Canada and can vary significantly from one trade agreement to another.

Customs International Mail Processing System

The Customs International Mail Processing System allows Canada Post to deliver and collect duties and taxes for goods sent by mail.

Customs Notices

A Customs Notice is a way to get information from the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) to interested parties quickly and the information contained in a Customs Notice will be subsequently published in the relevant Departmental Memorandum.

Customs Self Assessment (CSA) Program

The CSA Program is a CBSA program designed to streamline the import process for authorized low-risk importers who have the systems capability to self-assess the accounting for imported goods to the CBSA, including revenue reporting and the payment of duties and taxes.

Customs Self Assessment Program (CSA) Eligible Goods

Customs Self Assessment (CSA) eligible goods include commercial goods that are shipped directly from the United States or Mexico and delivered to an authorized importer, owner or consignee. In both cases, the goods must not require, under any act of Parliament or of the legislature of a province, a permit, licence or other similar document to be provided to the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) before the goods are released.

Customs Self-Assessment (CSA) Importers

Customs Self-Assessment (CSA) Importers are importers authorized under the CSA program to use the CSA accounting and payment processes for all commercial goods they import, regardless of the clearance process used to report the goods to the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA).

Customs Tariff Act

The Customs Tariff Act, generally just called the Customs Tariff, includes 9 parts and is comprised of 214 sections that either impose or provide relief of customs duties and excise duties.

Customs Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (CTPAT)

The Customs Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (CTPAT) program recognizes a high level of supply chain and border security can only come from a close relationship between government and members of the supply chain such as importers, carriers, brokers, warehouse operators and manufacturers. This program asks businesses to have a high standard of security practices and communicate their security guidelines to their business partners in the supply chain.