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Security is an amount of money or bond posted to ensure the payment of duties and taxes owing on imported goods.


Goods that are of a seditious character are goods that contain depictions that advocate the use of force, without the authority of law, as a means of accomplishing governmental change within Canada.


To seize means to take possession of the goods.


A seizure occurs when the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) physically takes possession of the goods, and sometimes the conveyance, when the importer or carrier is deemed to have contravened the Customs Act.


A self-adjustment is a way to make an amendment to an accounting document.

Self-adjustments can be submitted to correct errors made to:

  • origin,
  • tariff classification,
  • value for duty, or
  • diversion, either of the end-use or end-user, of the imported goods.

In cases where money is owing to the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) or the end result is revenue neutral, self-adjustments are called a correction.


If an importer is Goods and Services Tax (GST) registered, the tax is payable when the goods are brought into a participating province. This amount is included on the importer’s Goods and Services Tax/Harmonized Sales Tax (GST/HST) return. The importer may be entitled to claim an Input Tax Credit (ITC) for the tax self-assessed on the goods depending on the percentage of used in their commercial activities.

If one is not registered for the GST/HST but has to self-assess the provincial portion of the Harmonized Sales Tax (HST), they must submit a Form GST489, Return for Self-Assessment of the Provincial Part of the HST.

Ships’ Stores

Ships’ stores are goods used on board ships and aircraft in international service. Duties and taxes on these goods are not collected.

Short Pay

In special circumstances, the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) will permit a client/broker to short pay, for example: in the case of a glaring clerical error where the error can cause financial hardship and the client/broker can justify the delay in requesting the correction.


A shortage occurs when the number of pieces found, by the carrier, is less than the number of pieces reported to the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) pre-arrival and upon arrival.

Single Program Verification (SPV)

A Single Program Verification (SPV) is:

  • traditionally referred to as New Verification Process (NVP),
  • driven through priorities assigned through Head Quarters (HQ) from other program lines and regionally generated cases,
  • primarily done through desk verification (refers to not being on-site at the client’s premises), and
  • performed on-site, if deemed necessary.

SPVs look at a single issue within a sample of transactions.

Single Trip Bond

A single trip bond is a one-time security bond presented by a carrier used to allow a non-bonded carrier to proceed to an inland warehouse with un-released commercial goods.

Single Window Initiative (SWI)

The Single Window Initiative (SWI) streamlines the sharing of commercial data between the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) and other government departments. The nine government departments and agencies that are SWI participants are called PGAs, or Participating Government Agencies.


Smuggling is the conveying goods or persons, without permission, across the border of a country or other political entity.

Special Import Measures Act (SIMA)

The Special Import Measures Act (SIMA) is legislation to help protect Canadian producers from harm or injury caused when foreign exporters dump goods into Canada or when foreign governments subsidize exported goods.

Specific Duty

Specific duty is a term for a specific dollar amount per unit, to determine the rate of duty, such as cents per kilogram.

Specified Rate of Interest

The specified rate of interest is the rate of interest, expressed as a percentage per year, equal to 6% per year plus the prescribed rate.

The prescribed rate of interest is the rate applied when calculating interest on payments to the federal government and is based on the average yield of Government of Canada Treasury Bills sold in the first month of the preceding fiscal quarter.


A split-shipment occurs when portions of a shipment covered by one cargo control document enter the country at different times.

Statement of Account (SOA)

The Statement of Account (SOA) is an electronic statement for importers (excluding those under the Customs Self-Assessment Program) and licensed customs brokers that is issued on a monthly basis. The SOA displays account balances for a billing period, and includes a daily summary of accounting transactions made during the billing period that are due on the SOA payment due date, other accounting transactions that are due on their respective payment due dates and accounting transactions under review along with their respective payment due dates.

Statistical Suffix

The statistical suffix is the last two digits of a classification number, the ninth and tenth, are the statistical suffix. The statistical suffix consists of two digits that are specifically Canadian and provide a more detailed product description that is required by Statistics Canada.

Status Verification Interface (SVI)

To assist Customs Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (CTPAT) participants in securing their supply chain, CBP developed an electronic mechanism called the Status Verification Interface (SVI). SVI is a tool used to verify membership in CTPAT. The SVI allows consenting certified CTPAT partners to verify the participation status of other consenting certified CTPAT partners. Each party must have consented to the release of their company name to other CTPAT partners. A CTPAT "Consent to Use Company Name" waiver must be completed to permit the release of one's CTPAT status to other consenting CTPAT partners.

For security and confidentiality purposes, CBP does not share any information regarding CTPAT application or partnership status with anyone outside the company’s authorized officials.


A statute is another word for an Act of Parliament or other legislature. Statutes tend to state broad principles whereas regulations elaborate on the minute details that explain the broader principles in the enacting statute.

Statutes of Canada (S.C.)

The Statutes of Canada (S.C.) are a compilation of all Canadian federal laws that have been passed by Parliament since 1867.


A sub-agent is a licensed customs broker. The sub-agent is appointed by one customs broker to act on their behalf at a port where they do not have an office.

The sub-agent is the customs broker that presents “sworn-to” documents, that is, they are sworn to do work on behalf of another customs broker. The sub-agent customs broker may perform some or all of the following services for the distant customs broker:

  • receive documents from a carrier;
  • advise the distant customs broker of a shipment’s arrival at a certain port;
  • submit a release package to customs upon receipt of instructions from the distant customs broker; and
  • present the final accounting document to customs.

However, with more and more customs brokers using EDI (Electronic Data Interchange) to send data to customs, there are fewer and fewer transactions requiring a sub-agent.

Subheading - HS Classification Number

The subheading of a harmonized system (HS) classification number is the first 6 digits of the HS classification number.


Subsidizing occurs when goods imported into Canada benefit from foreign government financial assistance. The amount of subsidizing on imported goods may be offset by the application of "countervailing" duty. Examples of subsidies are loans at preferential rates, grants, and tax incentives.

Sufferance Warehouse

A sufferance warehouse is a privately owned and operated facility licensed by the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) for the control, short-term storage, and examination of in-bond goods until they are released by CBSA or exported from Canada.

Supplementary Cargo Report

A supplementary cargo report is a set of data elements transmitted by a carrier or freight forwarder client to complete an Advance Commercial Information (ACI) cargo report. Data elements include detailed cargo information that is not available on the original cargo report.


Surety is defined as security against loss or fulfillment of an obligation, for example, a bond.


A surtax is an additional duty imposed as an emergency measure of a temporary nature, usually on imported goods causing or threatening serious injury to Canadian producers of like or directly competitive products.