Once a company has grown a significant amount, there comes a time to start spreading business outside the national border. There’s a huge trade going on between the U.S. and Canada with businesses big and small transferring goods from one nation to the customer base in the other.
As a business owner, it’s in your best interest to look into a Canada-U.S. cross-border trucking company to bring your business to the attention of more potential customers. But there’s quite a bit of red tape to navigate in the process.
And even if you’re just moving your personal belongings across the border, there are a few things to know beforehand.
The Documents You’ll Need
Have all your paperwork prepared before arriving at the security checkpoint to save time and hassle. While special documents might be required in some cases (contact the border port beforehand if you have any questions), the 4 basic documents you’ll need are:
• Customs Invoice – a description of the shipped goods and their values listed
• Bill of Lading – a list of goods being shipped, the pickup address, size and weight specifications, and contact information
• Proof of Delivery – essentially a receipt with the date and time of delivery
• Certificate of Origin – as its name suggests, a document specifying where the shipment is coming from for the sake of calculating the import tax
On top of the paperwork, you will have to go through several government programs during the Canada-U.S. cross-border transportation process. Some programs commonly seen by shipping companies include:
• U.S. Customs-Trade Partnership against Terrorism
• Free and Secure Trade (FAST)
• Customs Self-Assessment (CSA)
And that’s just scratching the surface. Businesses sometimes employ professional brokers to navigate the complexities of border programs. We suggest doing the same for a streamlined experience.
Of course, the law puts regulations on what can be shipped over. Exact rules can change subtly with time, so check your government’s website for the details. In general, however:
• Fruits, vegetables, meats, and live animals must be revealed and inspected at the checkpoint
• Food products, in general, will be confiscated if the label is missing or not readable
• Firearms are strictly regulated
• Soil and firewood generally prohibited
• Jewelry and valuables are not recommended, as they can be heavily taxed and easy to misplace
If your shipping trucks might contain a questionable item, contact the checkpoint directly beforehand to ask about laws regarding it.
The Customs Process
Customs for Canada-U.S. cross-border transportation is mostly about determining which goods are taxable. Once your truck arrives, customs officers may ask which items are considered taxable imports and which are merely personal items that won’t be taxed.
In general, payment at the checkpoint is done via check or cash. A credit card is possible, but call and ask first and have an alternate method of payment available just in case.
• Bring proof of purchase documents like sales receipts for any personal items to help avoid the tax.
• Delays at the border are common and can last for hours. Plan ahead.
• Be careful with importing vehicles if your business focuses on them. The fines are notoriously high for inaccurately declared vehicles.
• Never lie about your declarations. Governments do keep permanent records of previous infractions.
Want to Outsource the Work? Contact York Trans Today
One way to reduce shipping overhead is to hire a third-party service to handle FTL or LTL Canada-U.S. cross-border transportation of your goods. This way, you reduce the workload of your own business and ensure a hassle-free shipment to your new customers.
York Trans just might be the company for you if you’re looking to bring your business’s success across the U.S.-Canada border. Call us now if your business may benefit from any assistance in transportation or warehousing.
• Canada-U.S. cross-border transportation is incredibly common for businesses to sell products to a larger consumer base.
• When shipping products by truck across the border, you will have to work through some paperwork, regulations, and tax declarations.
• Sometimes, the best option is to outsource the work of transporting goods. York Trans is a great option for businesses wanting to take their sales across the border.