How Long Does it Take for a Package to Clear Customs in Canada?

  • Snap Desk
  • 25-Jul-2021
Freight & Cargo

First, the Customs Broker completes the parcel’s entry for customs and transmits the data. Thereon, it takes about 20 minutes for the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) to receive it. Once the CBSA has received the entry, it is now up to an officer to review the entry and either accept or reject the package.

This step can take anywhere from just a few minutes to a few hours, depending on the number of Customs staff available and congestion at the crossing port. However, there is a possibility that before its release, the package may be held for inspection. If this is the case, then the package will be placed in a bonded warehouse and inspected by Customs officers at their earliest convenience.

Generally, Customs officers will visit multiple sites during the day and process their releases in the afternoon. The process can take anywhere from 12-48 hours and even longer during high-traffic periods.

Temporary Rejections at the Customs

Sometimes, human errors during the customs procedure can cause delays and rejections. This is why it is important to hire a customs broker. If your paperwork doesn’t match up with what the CBSA expects, they will flag your goods. For Example, A Reject Error Code W80 is a sign that your carrier’s Cargo Control Number is a problem.

This particular error can be fixed; however, it adds a delay for your parcel’s release. This type of error comes under Temporary rejections. Again, these rejections can be corrected, but they are stressful delays that could flag you for an audit. Therefore, thorough preparation is the best prevention to getting your package cleared at customs in Canada.

Permanent Rejections at the Customs

A permanent rejection at the Canadian Customs is much worse than a temporary rejection. There are several reasons why a shipment may be rejected in Canada. This includes deliberately or accidentally miss- declaring your goods. Your packages can also be permanently rejected if you grossly misclassify the wrong tariff code, undervalue your goods on paper or try to ship goods prohibited in Canada.

A Happy end for this kind of rejection is simply having your goods shipped back to the supplier. This, too, only happens if you have maintained a good relationship with them. In such a scenario, it should not be too hard to correct the errors and try again.

However, the other end of this tunnel leads to destroyed goods by the CBSA. Therefore, the best practice is to be sure that all your documents are thorough. Additionally, hiring a customs broker is especially important to clear customs smoothly in Canada invaluable shipment items.