Looking for a term or acronym you're not familiar with? Find it in this glossary! If there is a term we're missing, let us know at [email protected].
A (35) | B (15) | C (82) | D (24) | E (30) | F (44) | G (10) | H (7) | I (21) | K (1) | L (12) | M (11) | N (16) | O (6) | P (25) | Q (4) | R (27) | S (29) | T (19) | U (7) | V (7) | W (7) | Z (1)
Form B3

The B3, Canada Customs Coding Form is used to present accounting information to the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA). It may be presented in hard copy or the data may be sent electronically using Electronic Data Interchange (EDI). In both cases, the data is the same. In CARM Release 2, the Form B3 will no longer be used, accounting data will be submitted as a Commercial Accounting Declaration (CAD).

Form B3B

A form B3B lists multiple cargo control documents to be accounted for on a single B3.

Form BSF266

A Form BSF266 is used by an importer to apply for a Penalty Reinvestment Agreement (PRA), Form BSF266, Penalty Reduction Agreement Application Form.

Form C6

In some cases, the importer or broker may need to open a package in order to access documents that are required to prepare a release request, or they may wish to confirm that the correct goods were shipped. In order to open the package, a request for permission is made to the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) using a Form C6.

Form D120

A Form D120 is an application for a Customs Bond.

Form E14

A Form E14 is used to assess duties and taxes and keep track of importations arriving through the mail. It is affixed to the package by Canada Post upon delivery to the importer.

Form E29B

A Form E29B may be used to document goods qualifying for temporary importation into Canada.

Form E370

A Form E370 is the application used for carriers who wish to transport goods in bond.

Form E401

To apply to become an operator, one must complete a Form E401, Application for Licence to Operate a Customs Bonded Warehouse and present it to the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) office closest to the warehouse.

Form E571

A Form E571, Late Accounting Penalties Application for Waiver, Cancellation, or Extension, may be used to request a cancellation of a penalty. The letter or the form is presented at the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) office where the goods were released. The request should be submitted immediately after it appears on the daily notice (DN) and five or more business days before the monthly statement of account (SOA) is issued.

Form E646

A Form E646 is used by the importer to request Customs Self Assessment (CSA) approval - Customs Self Assessment - Importer Part I Application.

Form E647

A Form E647 is used by carriers who wish to participate in the Customs Self Assessment (CSA) program, Customs Self Assessment Program - Carrier Application Part 1.

Form E648

A Form E648 is used by Customs Self Assessment (CSA) importers to summarize and report to the Canadian Border Services Agency (CBSA) any CBSA debits and credits on a monthly basis.

Form E655

A Form E655 is used by the importer to apply for the second phase of the Customs Self Assessment (CSA) approval process, Customs Self Assessment Program - Importer Part II Application.

Form E656

A Form E656 is used by the carrier to apply for Part II of the Customs Self Assessment (CSA) approval process, Customs Self Assessment Program - Carrier Part II Application.

Form K11

A Form K11, Certificate of Damaged Goods, is submitted at, or prior to, the time of release in order for an officer to examine the goods while they are still on hand.

Form K23

A Form K23 is an invoice issued by the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) for monies owing.

Form K32A

A Form K32A must be completed to support a drawback claim when the party claiming the drawback is not the importer.

Form K32B

A Form K32B must be completed to support a drawback claim when the party claiming the drawback is not the exporter.

Form K90

A Form K90 is used to request participation in the Duties Relief Program.

Form L53

A Form L53 is used to apply for a customs brokerage licence.

Form L60

A Form L60 is to be completed by all newly appointed qualified officers, partners and directors.

Form N15

A Form N15 is used to claim a refund of excise tax and must be filed within two years after the payment of excise tax.

Form RC1

A Form RC1 is used to request a business number as well as account identifiers.

Form Y50

A Y50 is a form issued by the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) and used to indicate that a document or data has been rejected. As a response to a paper submission, it is a paper document; as a response to an Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) transmission, it is sent electronically.

Free and Secure Trade (FAST)

Free and Secure Trade (FAST) is a joint program between the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) and US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) that allows pre-approved importers, carriers, and registered drivers to move pre-approved eligible goods across the border quickly.

Free on Board (FOB)

Free on Board (FOB) is an international shipping term. It means the buyer of the goods assumes all costs and risks of loss once the goods have passed over the ship's rail at the named port of shipment.

Freight Forwarder

A freight forwarder is a company or person who, on behalf of one or more owners, importers, shippers or consignees of goods, causes specified goods to be transported by one or more carriers.

Freight Remaining on Board (FROB)

Freight remaining on board (FROB) is cargo on a conveyance that is not being discharged at a Canadian port. The cargo remains on board the conveyance for furtherance to ultimate destination outside of Canada.


Fungible means goods or materials that are interchangeable for commercial purposes and have essentially identical properties.

G7 Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) Export Reporting

The Group of Seven (G7) nations, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States, agreed to simplify customs processes by harmonizing the trade data used by them. Data sets and standard data electronic messages for electronic data interchange (EDI) were developed so that the export requirements of one G7 country could meet the import requirements of another G7 country.

General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT)

The General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) was an agreement signed by Canada and 22 other countries after the Second World War to liberalize trade and resolve trade differences. By the time it was replaced by the World Trade Organization in 1995, 128 countries had signed the agreement.

General Export Permit (GEP)

A General Export Permit (GEP) provides authorization to export controlled goods included in the Export Control List, to specified locations without the requirement for an individual export permit from Global Affairs Canada.

General Interpretative Rules (GIR)

The General Interpretative Rules (GIR) are the rules governing the classification of all goods in the Harmonized System.

General Preferential Tariff (GPT)

The General Preferential Tariff (GPT) entered into force in 1974. Under this tariff, Canada offered non-reciprocal tariff rates that were less than Most-Favoured-Nation tariff rates for imports from developing countries. This was done on the recommendation of the United Nations to help promote economic growth in those countries.

In 2012, the Government of Canada revisited this commitment and decided to remove 72 countries from having this benefit on January 1, 2015. The affected countries are now considered trade-competitive countries.

General Tariff (GT)

The General Tariff (GT) applies when goods come from a country or territory that is not on the List of Countries and Applicable Tariff Treatments, and do not meet the conditions of another tariff treatment. The rate of customs duty for the general tariff is 35%.

Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP)

The Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) are a framework of standards, and rules used by the accounting community to govern the way financial data is recorded and reported.

Goods and Services Tax (GST)

The Goods and Services Tax (GST) is a 5% federal tax that applies to most goods and services in Canada and to imported goods under section 212 of the Excise Tax Act.

Governor General of Canada

The Governor General of Canada represents the Queen; and is appointed by the Queen on the advice of Canada’s Prime Minister; and acts as the Head of State.

Gross Weight

The gross weight is the weight of the goods including the packaging or the container.

Hand-Carried Goods

Hand-carried goods are goods that will be released after they have been accounted for and all duties with respect to them have been paid under subsection 32(1) of the Customs Act if:

(a) the goods are or will be in the actual possession of a person arriving in Canada, or

(b) the goods form or will form part of a person's baggage and the person and the baggage arrive or will arrive in Canada on board the same conveyance.

Harmonized Sales Tax (HST)

The Harmonized Sales Tax (HST) is a combination of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) and provincial sales tax (PST) of participating provinces.

Harmonized System (HS)

The Harmonized System (HS) is an international goods classification system used to classify imported and exported goods.

Heading - HS Classification Number

The heading of a harmonized system (HS) classification number is comprised of the first 4 digits of the HS classification number.

High Value Shipments (HVS)

High value shipments (HVS) are those valued at $3,300.00 CDN or more.

Homogeneous Goods

Homogeneous goods are goods that closely resemble each other in respect of their component material and characteristics, and are intended for the same purpose.

House of Commons

The Canadian House of Commons is composed of 308 members. Each member is elected and represents a specific geographical area, known as an electoral district. Most members are affiliated with a political party. Legally, after an election, the Governor General has the duty of choosing, among the elected members, a person to be named Prime Minister, regardless of that person’s political affiliation. The individual chosen is almost always the head of the political party having elected the largest number of its members to the House of Commons. This person, the Prime Minister, then goes on to form the Cabinet.

Import Control List (ICL)

The Import Control List is a list of goods whose import has been deemed necessary to control. Goods on this list generally require an import permit in order for them to be imported. However, in some cases, the goods will be allowed entry into Canada without an import permit but at a duty rate that is very high.

Import Permit

An import permit is a permit issued by Global Affairs Canada (GAC) when goods that are subject to import control do not qualify under the terms of a General Import Permit.


Imported goods are goods that have entered Canada but are not authorized to be removed from a customs office, sufferance warehouse, bonded warehouse or duty free shop.


An individual or business that imports commercial goods into Canada. The importer is responsible for the payment of all duties and taxes to the CBSA; the accuracy of the information presented to the CBSA; payment of any fines or penalties resulting from missing or inaccurate information; and for providing any necessary import permits and special certificates required.

Importer Self Assessment (ISA)

Importer Self Assessment (ISA) is a voluntary approach to trade compliance in the US. The program provides the opportunity for importers who have made a commitment of resources to assume responsibility for monitoring their own compliance in exchange for benefits.

In Bond

In bond means that the carrier reports their arrival at the PIL but the release of goods takes place elsewhere, usually a warehouse.


In-transit is the movement of goods from a point in the United States to another point in the United States through Canada, as well as the movement of goods from a point in Canada to another point in Canada through the United States in rail and highway modes.

Indictable Offence

An indictable offence is a serious offence. If one is convicted of an indictable offence, they can be exposed to severe penalties.

Individual Export Permit (IEP)

An Individual Export Permit (IEP) allows the export of goods and technology to specified consignees in a single country.

Individual Import Permit (IIP)

An Individual Import Permit (IIP) is required for any item on the Import Control List (ICL). The ICL includes many products such as firearms, weapons, Chemical Weapons Convention items, certain carbon steel products, specialty steel products, textiles and apparel items and a wide range of agricultural products.


Injury can be reduced prices, lost sales, lost market share, decreased profits, or other such difficulties.

Input Tax Credit

An Input Tax Credit (ITC) is a credit that Goods and Services Tax/Harmonized Sales Tax (GST/HST) registrants may claim to recover the GST/HST they paid for goods or services they acquired, imported into Canada, or brought into a participating province for use, consumption, or supply in the course of their commercial activities.

Integrated Import Declaration (IID)

A service option (IID_SO911) used to transmit data electronically under the Single Window Initiative.  This streamlines the sharing of commercial import data between the Government of Canada and the import community.  Along with the CBSA, there are nine participating government departments and agencies representing 38 government programs.

Inter Alia

The term "inter alia" means among other things, and that the classification is not restricted to what is listed.

Interactive Advance Passenger Information (IAPI) Initiative

The Interactive Advance Passenger Information (IAPI) initiative supports the perimeter security initiatives under the Canada-United States declaration entitled Beyond the Border: A Shared Vision for Perimeter Security and Economic Competitiveness (Action Plan). The Action Plan aims to, amongst other things, address threats earlier in the travel continuum, to enhance Canada's security and to facilitate the flow of legitimate goods and people into Canada.

Interim Accounting

Interim accounting is a method of accounting for goods that includes the release of goods. Subsection 32(2) of the Customs Act makes it possible to grant the release of goods before the final accounting. Release is granted on condition that certain requirements are met, that a final accounting will be presented and that duties and taxes will be paid. Security must be posted in order to utilize the interim accounting process. Duties and taxes must be paid no later than the last working day of the month of the final accounting.


An intermediary is a third party that offers services, or a link, between two parties.

Internal Revenue Service (IRS)

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is the bureau of the Department of the Treasury in the US and is the US government agency responsible for tax collection and tax law enforcement.

International Federation of Customs Brokers Associations (IFCBA)

The International Federation of Customs Brokers Associations (IFCBA) was established in 1990 as a permanent international forum for customs brokers and an international business network where the industry could discuss common challenges and interests. It also works to bring about improved customs policies and practices world wide.

Item 5400

Item 5400 states, "All goods that originate in the United States, unless they are included elsewhere in this List, whether in bond or cleared by Canada Border Services Agency, other than goods that have been further processed or manufactured outside the United States so as to result in a substantial change in value, form or use of the goods or in the production of new goods (all destinations other than the United States)." This means the exports of goods and technology that are destined for any country on Canada's Area Control List (Cuba, North Korea, Iran and Syria) require an individual export permit issued by Global Affairs Canada. For the exports of goods and technology, with a final destination other than a country on Canada's Area Control List, General Export Permit 12 can be utilized.

Item 5504

Item 5504 covers “strategic goods and technology” and includes certain global navigation satellite systems, propulsion and space-related equipment, payloads, ground control stations, chemiluminescent compounds, radiation-hardened micro-electronic circuits, nuclear weapons test design and equipment, as well as related software and technology. An individual export permit is required on all of these types of goods that fall under this item depending on their destination as stated in the legislation.

Kimberley Process Certification Scheme

The aim of the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme was to stop military groups from using the trade of rough diamonds to finance their military supplies. The Kimberley Process encourages participating countries to exchange diamonds only with other Kimberley Process nations. When diamonds arrive at the border of a Kimberley Process nation, government officials are better able to approve or reject the shipments based on the use of well-sealed containers accompanied by Kimberley Process Certificates (KPC).

Last In, First Out (LIFO) - Fungible Goods

The  Last In, First Out (LIFO) method means that the origin of fungible materials last received in inventory is considered to be the origin of fungible materials first withdrawn from inventory. In other words, the origin of the goods that are placed last in inventory is the origin for the goods that are removed first from inventory.


A “law” can refer to the following:

  • a rule of conduct or procedure established by custom, agreement, or authority;
  • a legal system;
  • a set of rules or principles dealing with a specific area of a legal system; and
  • any written or positive rule or collection of rules prescribed under the authority of the state or nation.
Lead Sheet

A lead sheet is a form used to indicate the exception for filing a paper entry instead of filing an electronic entry to the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA).

Least Developed Country Tariff (LDCT)

The Least Developed Country Tariff (LDCT) is a tariff treatment accorded to countries identified by the United Nations as requiring special attention due to their economic status.


Legislation are written laws (Acts) made by Parliament, provincial legislatures, or by a person or body that has law-making authority.

Legislative Reference

Legislative reference refers to the legal authority that allows the correction to be made, for example: 32.2(6) of the Customs Act.

Lesser of Two Duties

To determine the amount of customs duties subject to claim under the Drawback Program or to determine the amount of customs duties deferrable under the Duties Relief Program, companies must establish two duty amounts:

  • (a) the amount of customs duties paid or owed on imported goods entering Canada;
  • (b) the amount of customs duties paid on the goods entering the other Canada US Mexico Agreement (CUSMA)  country.
  • Note: The duties paid on the goods entering the other CUSMA country must be determined from that country's customs documentation and be converted to Canadian dollars (refer to section, "Satisfactory Evidence"). Examples of the calculations required for drawbacks and duties relief are contained in Appendix A of D7-4-3.
Letter of Authorization

Request to change the importer name or business number must be accompanied by a letter of authorization from the importer/broker explaining the reason for the change. When the broker presents the letter, it must indicate that the incorrect importer has been advised of the change.

Letter of Credit

A letter of credit is a guarantee of payment. It is a commitment by a financial institution to pay an agreed amount to a vendor under precise terms and conditions.

Licensed Customs Broker (LCB)

A licensed customs broker is an individual, partnership, or corporation, licensed by the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) in accordance with the Customs Broker Licensing Regulations, who acts as agent to transact business with the CBSA on behalf of the importer or owner. While in most cases, any authorized agent can transact business with the CBSA, only a licensed customs broker can account for goods and pay duties and taxes subject to section 32 of the Customs Act, as agent for the importer or owner, unless the person does so on a casual basis without compensation, charge or fee.


Liquidation occurs when US Customs Border Patrol’s (CBP) assessment of the rate and amount of duty is complete.  The estimated duties are either confirmed as correct, or not.

List of Countries and Applicable Tariff Treatments

The List of Countries and Applicable Tariff Treatments contains an alphabetical list of countries and territories that are beneficiaries of the Most-Favoured-Nation tariff treatment (MFN) as well as any other tariff treatments.


Mail is a letter or parcel transported through the services of the Canada Post Corporation.


A manifest acts as the initial record of a shipment's arrival into Canada and enables the Canada Customs Border Services Agency (CBSA) to control the movement of goods being imported and exported.

Margin of Dumping

The margin of dumping is the amount by which the normal value exceeds the exporter’s export price for the goods. The anti-dumping duty assessed is equal to the margin of dumping.

Marking (of Imported Goods)

The marking of certain goods, identified under section 19 of the Customs Tariff, must be marked indicating country of origin. Marking refers to country of origin and should not be confused with labelling that refers to consumer packaging and labelling.

Measures in Force

Measures in Force is a list of the Anti-dumping and Countervailing Measures in force at the beginning of each month. This list is extremely important as it contains all the information necessary to calculate duty under the Special Import Measures Act.

Memorandum of Understanding (MOU)

A memorandum of understanding is a written description of what two or more parties agree to do as part of an administrative arrangement. A memorandum of understanding is not legally binding.

Mexico Tariff (MT)

The Mexico Tariff (MT) is a preferential tariff treatment extended to goods originating in Mexico and that satisfy the Canada US Mexico Agreement (CUSMA) origin requirements.

Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer

The 1987 Montreal Protocol on Substances That Deplete the Ozone Layer is an international treaty designed to protect the ozone layer by phasing out the production of substances responsible for ozone depletion.

Most-Favoured-Nation Tariff (MFN)

Countries that are entitled to use the Most Favoured Nation (MFN) Tariff treatment are those that are signatories to the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT).

Multi-Program Verification (MPV)

A Multi-Program Verification (MPV) is:

  • traditionally referred to as Compliance Assessment Review (CAR), and
  • involves the on-site, multiple program verification of a client’s compliance.

MPVs assess an importer’s overall level of compliance of imported goods over an extended period of time.

Mutatis Mutandis

"Mutatis mutandis" means all things being equal, and that respective differences must be considered.

National Customs Ruling (NCR)

A National Customs Ruling (NCR) is a written statement by the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) to an importer or its agent outlining how provisions of existing CBSA legislation will be applied to an importation of a specific commodity.

National Import Service Centre (NISC)

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA), in cooperation with the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA), operates the National Import Service Centre (NISC). For goods that require specific documentation, such as an import permit, a CFIA officer at the National Import Service Centre will review the documentation before advising CBSA if the goods may be released.

National Targeting Center (NTC)

The National Targeting Center (NTC) was established as a stand-alone entity in the Office of Field Operations with greater responsibility for US Customs Border Patrol (CBP) passenger and cargo targeting operations at the port of entry. The NTC is a 24/7 operation that makes extensive use of intelligence materials and law enforcement data, allowing analysts and targeting officers to make tactical decisions at all points along the travel continuum.

National Treatment

National Treatment is the principle that addresses the issue of international discrimination between foreigners and domestic interests once the border has been crossed. It ensures that once goods have entered, they will be treated no less favourably than goods of domestic origin. It does not imply that one must treat incoming goods the same way they are treated in the exporting country.

Net Cost Method

Under the net cost method, one must begin with all the costs of producing the goods, and then subtract any costs that are specifically excluded. Excluded costs are sales promotion and marketing, royalties, shipping and packing costs, after-sales service, and non-allowable interest costs.

Net Weight

Net weight is the weight of the goods excluding the packaging or the container.

New Zealand Trade Agreement (NZT)

Goods originate in New Zealand if not less than 50 per cent of the cost of production of the goods is incurred by the industry of New Zealand or Canada or both and the goods were finished in New Zealand in the form in which they are imported into Canada.

Goods are entitled to the New Zealand Tariff (NZ) only if the goods are shipped directly to Canada, with or without transhipment, from New Zealand.


NEXUS is a joint customs and immigration program for frequent travellers, implemented by both the Canadian and US governments. The NEXUS program is designed to simplify border crossings for pre-approved, low-risk travellers.