Online Brokerage – We provide you with the tools you need for a seamless transaction

Online Customs Broker: Free Tools

Your Canadian Online Customs Broker

To us, simple customs clearance means providing you with the information and the tools you need to make smart and educated decisions when it comes to online brokerage. This page has been created for you. It highlights a few of the most important issues in regards to clearing goods and we have provided the answers to a number of questions we are frequently asked by our customers. If you are, however, not certain about your best option or you need assistance to ensure a smooth transition, don’t forget that our friendly service agents and skilled customs brokers are on call to provide you with solutions and advice.

What is an HS Code?

The Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System, also called Harmonized System, (HS) is an internationally standardized system of names and numbers to classify trade products. It came into effect in 1988 and is regulated by the WCO (World Customs Organization) with more than 200 member countries. It classifies trade products with the help of a 6-digit standardized number and assists customs to identify products for the application of taxes and duties.

Looking at the overwhelming options there are, it can be tricky to choose the correct code for your online brokerage needs. That’s why we have created a Quick HS code search and connected it to our LIVE Chat window. Simply start typing a product description in the window at the bottom right and you will be automatically connected to an agent who will help you properly identify your HS Codes.

Is it easier to import goods by mail instead of going through the process of online brokerage?

Any goods coming into Canada require a proper declaration. That includes items being imported by mail. When an item is mailed to Canada from abroad, the sender must complete a customs declaration form and the item requires clearance. To find out more on how to import goods by mail, you can visit CBSA’s Postal Imports page. It will provide you with information on what you can import by mail, if and what duties or taxes will apply, how to track your package and more. Depending on their value and the time frame in which you need the goods, it might however be easier and faster to use a carrier such as UPS or FedEx and to obtain the services of a customs broker to ensure a smooth transaction.

What is the Advance Commercial Information program?

Another term that is often used in relation to online brokerage in Canada is the Advance Commercial Information program or ACI. It refers to a program that provides and supports CBSA officers with electronic pre-arrival information, which helps them identify health, safety and security threats related to commercial cargo before the cargo arrives in Canada. The ACI program introduces more effective risk management processes and tools to identify possible threats. More information on this program is available on the official CBSA site.

Frequent questions asked by our customers:

Q. Why should I use Clearit.ca over another customs brokerage service?
A. That can be summed up in three words: Simple Customs Clearance. We offer great service, a friendly team to work with, we have a lot of experience with online brokerage and can provide you with expert advice. Best of all – you can take advantage of all these benefits at one low flat fee!

Q. How come, your service is so much faster?
A. Compared to traditional brokerage services, where documents are faxed or emailed to a queue of customs entries, we offer our service live, whenever you want or need it, through our online brokerage process. As our process collects all information efficiently online, and as we are able to transmit our data via EDI directly to customs, we see quick results.

Q. Can I review the shipment before it is submitted to Customs?
A. Yes, of course. Before the customs entry for your freight is sent to customs, we’ll verify your documentation with you. Following that, we’ll send you an invoice that details the applicable duties and taxes. If you have any questions or concerns about you invoice or the B3 form, just contact your Clearit agent at any time.

Q. How long does a customs clearance take?
A. This depends:Online brokerage is all about the smooth handling of the clearing process. However, the different methods of shipment will have an influence on the time frames that apply. Here are a few examples:For trucks, the customs clearance process is seamless. We use a pre-alert system with customs so that goods are cleared as the truck passes the border. We cannot process your customs request however, until transport has sent us the PARS manifest.

For Ships, we can begin to customs clear your goods as soon as the manifest arrives from your forwarder. However, please keep in mind that goods must have arrived at the port and have been unloaded from the ship and into the warehouse, for the customs clearance process to begin. That transaction usually takes between 24-48 hours.

For air cargo, the process is much quicker. Once the plane has landed and been unloaded, and you have your airway bill, we can prepare your goods for customs before they even become available for delivery.

Q. Does Clearit.ca offer other services besides customs clearance?
A. Yes, we are full service Canadian customs brokers.

Our services range from

  • Discount parcel shipping
  • Car imports
  • Delivery
  • Ocean and air freight, to
  • Non-Resident importer Program (target Canadian sales)

If it has to do with shipping and clearing – Clearit will handle it.

Q. Do you offer volume pricing?
A. Yes, please contact us for more information. We are always willing to work with you and your requirements.

Q. How do I pay for the duties, taxes or fees?
A. Clearit.ca provides you with the options to securely pay your bill online, by either credit card or debit card. (Visa, MasterCard or Interac Online)