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Term Definition
No Declaration Required Number

When exporters are not required to report their exports to the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA), they must provide the carrier with a No Declaration Required Number (NDR number). Appendix A of D20-1-1 contains the full listing of all 16 “No Declaration Required” numbers and scenarios. 

Non-Automated CBSA Office

A non-automated office is an office where electronic services and computer terminals are not available for the electronic transmission and exchange of cargo, release and accounting data.

Non-Exempt Break Bulk Cargo

Non-exempt break bulk cargo is break bulk cargo for which data must be transmitted at least 24 hours prior to the loading of the goods on board the vessel.

Non-Restricted Firearms

Non-restricted firearms are all controlled firearms that are not classified as either restricted or prohibited. Generally, this category includes most hunting rifles and shotguns that have not been modified to the extent that they fall under the restricted or prohibited category.

Normal Value

Normal value is the net price at which the goods in question are sold in the country of export to unrelated purchasers.

Notice of Penalty Assessment (NPA)

Once an officer has decided that a penalty is warranted, a Notice of Penalty Assessment (NPA) is issued. The NPA will include the penalty assessment date, the contravention and penalty details, correction and redress (appeal) information, and payment and interest information.

Nuclear-Related Dual-use

Goods found on the Nuclear-Related Dual-use List mean the goods may have both a nuclear and non-nuclear use.


An alert issued by the CBSA on the portal when there is an issue to be addressed in regards to the financial security status for the account.

Obsolete Goods

Obsolete or surplus goods are goods that are:

(a) found to be obsolete or surplus

(i) in the case of imported goods, by their importer or owner, or

(ii) in any other case, by their manufacturer, producer or owner;

(b) not used in Canada;

(c) destroyed in such manner as the Minister of Public Safety may direct; and

(d) not damaged before their destruction.


The amount owing for each importer account shown on the Statement of Account (SOA) is a net of the debits and credits associated with that importer’s Business Number. This calculation is known as off-setting. The fundamental principle of off-setting relies on financial management best practice where a disbursement is not issued to a recipient who has outstanding debt. Credits are applied to accounts to reduce the balance owing. In Release 2 of CARM, there will be new offsetting options as follows:

  • Account (BN15) Level Offsetting (default)
  • Intra-Program Offsetting: offsetting across an entire CBSA program even when more than one program account is involved.
  • Inter-Program Offsetting: offsetting across the entire legal entity regardless of the program type. This means that a client’s carrier account might offset with a warehouse account, or any other account within the same legal entity.
Order in Council (OIC)

An order in council is a legal instrument, made by the Governor in Council pursuant to a statutory authority or, less frequently, the royal prerogative, that serves notice of a decision taken by the executive arm of government.


Originate means to qualify under the rules of origin set out in a trade agreement.

Other Government Department (OGD)

Section 101 of the Customs Act gives the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) the authority to detain goods on behalf of Other Government Deparments (OGD). An OGD is any other government department or agency within the Canadian government.


An overage is any excess in the number of pieces transmitted in the same shipment and found by the carrier post arrival. For example, a carrier reports 100 packages in a conveyance but during the offload of the goods into the bonded warehouse discovers that the conveyance has 110 packages, 10 packages are an overage and must be declared to CBSA. 

Participating Government Agency (PGA)

A Participating Government Agency (PGA) is an Other Government Department (OGD) whose programs are compatible with the Integrated Import Declaration (IID).

Partners in Protection (PIP)

Partners in Protection (PIP) is a program that enlists the cooperation of private industry to enhance border and trade chain security, combat organized crime and terrorism, and help detect and prevent contraband smuggling.

Penalty Reinvestment Agreement (PRA)

The Penalty Reinvestment Agreement (PRA) is a mechanism by which the amount of a penalty under AMPS can be reduced. A PRA is granted through the ministerial review process, which a client may initiate by making a request for a decision of the Minister under section 129 of the Customs Act. For the purpose of this policy, the completed PRA application form submitted by the client will be considered by the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) as a request for a Minister's decision under section 129 of the Customs Act.


A "person", according to the Customs Act, means an individual, a partnership, a corporation, a trust, the estate of a deceased individual or a body that is a society, a union, a club, an association, a commission or other organization of any kind.


PKI is a public key based cryptography that encrypts (puts into a secret code) all data transmitted to and from the end-user workstation to the EICS system. It is a mechanism whereby the bureau can guarantee that only authorized users are gaining access to the system and that all of the information exchanged is secure.

Place of Exit

The place of exit means the location in Canada from which exports leave the country.

Place of Report

A place of report is the export reporting office closest to where the goods are loaded onto the conveyance for export and can be inspected before beginning their continuous movement from Canada.

Place of Safe-Keeping

A place of safe-keeping means a place designated by the Minister pursuant to Section 37 of the Customs Act for the safe-keeping of the goods.

Place of Supply Rules

The Place of Supply Rules determine whether a supply is made in Canada and whether it is made in or outside of a participating province. The tax rate of a supply is determined by the province or territory in which the supply is made. This is referred to as the place of supply.

Point of Entry (POE)

A seaport, airport or land border crossing where people and merchandise can enter or leave Canada.

Postal Imports Remission Order (PIRO)

Goods that are under the Postal Imports Remission Order (PIRO) are those that are of a value not exceeding $20 CAD per item, and are not subject to the payment of duties and taxes. Goods that are not eligible under the PIRO include: alcoholic beverages, cigars, cigarettes and other tobacco products, and books, periodicals and magazines where the supplier is not a Goods and Services Tax (GST) registrant.

Pre-Approval Programs

Pre-Approval programs facilitate the movement of low-risk people and goods.

Pre-Arrival Processing System (PAPS)

In the United States, the Pre-Arrival Processing System (PAPS) is a release mechanism that utilizes Shipment Control Numbers or a PAPS Number to expedite the release of commercial shipments. With PAPS, the carrier provides the US customs broker with required release information prior to departing Canada for the US.

Pre-Arrival Review System (PARS)

The Pre-Arrival Review System (PARS) is a release option that allows importers and brokers to present release documents prior to the arrival of the goods. If all is in order, the goods will be released when they arrive in Canada at a designated port of release.

Pre-Authorized Debit (PAD)

A convenient way to pay bills and make other payments automatically. Instead of sending a payment, the funds are automatically withdrawn from your bank account with your prior authorized consent.

Precursor Chemicals

Precursor chemicals are chemicals that are essential to the production of a controlled substance. Precursor chemicals have a wide legitimate use in the production of consumer goods such as pharmaceuticals, fragrances, flavouring agents, petroleum products, fertilizers and paints. However, some drugs commonly used in cold and decongestant medicines are precursor chemicals that are used to produce methamphetamine.

Prepackaged Products

The Consumer Packaging and Labelling Act (CPLA) defines “prepackaged products” as any product that is packaged in a container in such a manner that it is ordinarily sold to, used, or purchased by the consumer without being re-packaged.

Price Paid or Payable

The price paid or payable is the total of all payments that are owed and will be made directly or indirectly by the purchaser to, or for the benefit of, the vendor.

Price per Unit

The price per unit is the price at which the greatest number of units are sold.

Primary Inspection Line (PIL)

The Primary Inspection Line (PIL) is the point at which a person or carrier entering Canada makes a report of his or her person and goods.

Prior Notice

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) must receive Prior Notice (PN) for all food imported or offered for import into the US. Advance notice allows the Food and Drug Act (FDA), aided by the US Customs Border Patrol (CBP), to target inspections more effectively and helps protect the US food supply against terrorist acts and other public health emergencies.

Privy Council

The Privy Council was established under the Constitution Act, 1867, to advise the Crown. Currently, it is the Privy Council's job to advise the Prime Minister. It also facilitates the functioning of Cabinet and the Public Service.


Process includes the adjustment, alterations, assembly, maintenance, manufacture, production, modification, overhaul, packaging, repackaging, repair or testing of the goods.

Program Account Manager (PAM)

Under CARM, the Program Account Manager (PAM) is the designated individual that has the ability to modify program registration information, grant access to employees as either Editors or Readers, and create, view and edit all the transaction information within a program.

Provisional Duty

Provisional duty is duty levied under the Special Import Measures Act when a preliminary decision is issued by the Canadian International Trade Tribunal (CITT) on the dumping or subsidizing of imported goods.

Qualified Officer

A qualified officer is the individual who meets the requirements of section 3 of the Customs Brokers Licensing Regulations governing residency, citizenship, age and character, and the knowledge and experience qualifications set out in section 4 of the Regulations, and who the license holder identifies as the qualified officer.

Quantitative Restriction

A quantitative restriction is a limit on the quantity of an item that may be imported.

Quebec Sales Tax (QST)

Under an agreement reached between the federal and Quebec governments, Revenu Québec administers the Goods and Services Tax/Quebec Sales Tax (GST/QST) in Quebec. This includes the processing of applications for registration for those carrying on commercial activities in Quebec.

Quebec Sales Tax (QST) is payable only on imported casual goods; imported commercial goods are not subject to QST. Goods subject to GST are also subject to QST.


A quota is a predetermined limit on the quantity of a good that may be imported.


Under CARM, readers are able to view all transaction information on the CARM Client Portal within an RM program account for either their employer’s or importer client RM accounts, but are unable to create or edit information.

Reason to Believe

Reason to believe occurs when the importer has specific information regarding the origin, tariff classification, value for duty, or diversion of imported goods that gives them reason to believe that a declaration is incorrect. Under section 32.2 of the Customs Act, the importer has 90 days to make a correction after the importer has reason to believe that the original declaration was incorrect. The obligation to make a correction ends four years after the goods are accounted for under subsection 32(1), (3), or (5) of the Act.

Receiver General for Canada

As the Receiver General for Canada, the Minister of Public Services and Procurement Canada is responsible for making payments and accepting payments for the Government of Canada as well as preparing public accounts.


A refund of duty is the return of duty, or a portion of duty, paid at the time of importation. For example, a refund can be filed for duty paid on goods that were not entered under the correct tariff treatment or tariff classification, or for duty paid on goods that were shipped to Canada and later exported if they were not the goods ordered.

Regional Value Content

Regional value content requires that a certain percentage of the good’s value originates.

Registrar of Imported Vehicles (RIV)

The Registrar of Imported Vehicles (RIV) is the company that is contracted by Transport Canada to establish and operate a national program of vehicle inspection and certification.

Regular Goods

Regular goods are goods that are not controlled, prohibited or regulated.


Regulations are laws made by persons or bodies that have been granted law-making authority. They are a form of law and are often referred to as delegated or subordinate legislation. Regulations are legally binding and usually state rules that apply in general, rather than to specific persons or situations.


Goods are released once they have been authorized to be removed from a customs office, sufferance warehouse, bonded warehouse or duty free shop for use in Canada.

Release Notification System (RNS)

The release notification system (RNS) is an electronic Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) system that provides the user with an automatic notification when goods have been released. It also allows the user to query the status of a particular transaction.

Release of Goods

For non-CSA transactions, goods are released when the carrier has reported the goods and the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) allows the goods to move from the place of reporting to a delivery address. For Customs Self Assessment (CSA) clearances, release takes place when the goods have been delivered to the importer, owner, or consignee.

Release Prior to Payment (RPP) Privilege

The Release Prior to Payment (RPP) Privilege is a privilege that entitles importers and licensed customs brokers who have posted financial security and obtained an account security number to:

(a) obtain the release of goods from the CBSA before paying duties and taxes;

(b) defer accounting for goods; and,

(c) defer payment of duties and taxes.


Relief of duty refers to the non-payment of duty that is ordinarily payable on imported goods. Duty relief most often occurs in chapter 99 of the Customs Tariff where goods are imported for specific use in manufacturing. The terms "relief" and "remission" are often used interchangeably.


For customs purposes, remission means to be released from an obligation. In this case, an importer is released from the obligation to pay a portion of the duties. The terms “relief” and “remission” are often used interchangeably.


Remit means to transmit or send money to a person or place, usually for payment.


A repair is defined as a corrective maintenance such as restoration, renovation, cleaning or replacing pieces with new, or reconditioned parts. It includes adjustments made to a good to restore it to its original operating condition, and any minor physical alterations necessary to complete such restoration. Modifications that alter the original character, purpose, or function of a good, are not considered repairs. Included under the term repair are repairs, adjustments and modifications made to a product under a foreign manufacturer's warranty, providing all conditions are satisfied.

Repair or Alteration

Repairs or alteration can include restoration, change, addition, renovation, cleaning, or other treatment that does not destroy the identity of the goods exported or has resulted in a new or different good.

Report Goods

To report goods means that the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) has been advised of their arrival. Although Customs Self Assessment (CSA) goods are not released at the time they enter Canada, they must still be reported to the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA).

Residual Method of Valuation (Section 53 of the Customs Act)

If all the previous methods of valuation have been examined and been found to be inapplicable to the circumstances surrounding the transaction involving the goods being appraised, the residual method of valuation is to be applied. Under section 53 of the Customs Act, a value for duty is derived from a flexible application of one of the previous methods of valuation set out in sections 48 to 52 of the Act.

Retention Period

The retention period is the length of time a penalty stays on the importer’s compliance record.

Revenue Neutral

Where there is neither a payment nor a refund, the self-adjustment is called revenue neutral.

Revenue Summary Form (RSF)

Customs Self Assessment (CSA) importers self-assess duties and taxes and are responsible for reporting related revenues to the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA). A daily notice/statement of account (DN/SOA) is not issued. Instead, the importer submits a monthly Revenue Summary Form (RSF) to CBSA.


Periodically, the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) will audit or review documentation that has been submitted to them.

Revised Statutes of Canada (R.S.C.)

The Revised Statutes of Canada (R.S.C.) are a consolidation of all of the Statutes of Canada. The Revised Statutes of 1985 includes all legislation that received Royal Assent up to December 31, 1984. The process of compiling these revisions is lengthy and the most recent compilation was completed in 1985, this was the sixth revision.

Rough diamonds

Rough diamonds, sometimes called conflict or “blood” diamonds, are diamonds that are unsorted, unworked or simply sawn, cleaved (split) or bruted (being shaped by another diamond or diamond chip). Diamonds that are cut, polished and ready to be mounted, set or fitted do not fall under the provisions of the Export and Import of Rough Diamonds Act and do not require a Kimberley Process certificate.

Rules of Origin

Rules of origin are the criteria needed to determine the national source of a product. Their importance is derived from the fact that duties and restrictions in several cases depend upon the source of imports.

When goods are not entirely produced in one country, there are specific rules included in trade agreements that are used to determine their origin for tariff treatments purposes.


A ruling is a decision made by the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) regarding the origin, value, or tariff classification of a specific item.


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.

Tariff item - HS Classification Number

The tariff item of the harmonized system (HS) classification number is the first 8 digits of the HS classification number.