Canada customs invoice - All you need to know

Panna Kemenes

Exporting goods to Canada can be complicated, even though it borders the United States.

The market for exports to Canada is enormous. In 2019, it was the number one destination for American goods. Vehicles ($52 billion), machinery ($45 billion), and plastics ($13 billion) are among the top export categories.¹

If you already export to Canada or wish to start doing so, this guide will help you with the ins and outs of filing a Canada customs invoice (CCI).

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What is the Canadian customs invoice?

The Canadian commercial invoice is a document required for the majority of commercial shipments entering Canada. In it, you’ll find information about the shipment, vendor, and consignee.

A Canada invoice contains more information than a standard commercial invoice and is reviewed by the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA).

It must be filled out by one of the following parties:

  • Exporter
  • Importer
  • Associated agents

Without one, your shipment will be delayed, and the same applies if you fill out the form incorrectly.

Do I need a Canada customs invoice?

If you’re exporting goods to Canada, it’s safe to assume you’ll need to complete a Canada customs invoice.

You don’t need to fill out a Canada customs invoice under the following conditions:

  • The duty value is less than CAD$2,500
  • The value of Canadian goods being returned has increased but is still lower than CAD$2,500
  • The exported goods qualify for unconditional duty-free entry (cases where entry is dependent on end-use aren’t applicable) irrespective of the selling price.
  • The goods are eligible for classification No. 9810.00.00.00 in the schedule to the customs Tariff²

What happens if I forget to fill out the CCI?

If you forget to fill out the CCI, your shipment will be delayed. This also applies if you fill out the form incorrectly, so it’s important to check the information you enter. Any delay to shipment can of course have a financial impact on your business.

💡 If you have concerns over adhering to the Canadian rules and regulations, you’re not alone. Many exporters choose to work with experienced freight forwarders, shipping companies, or third party logisticsto minimize the inconvenience.

Canada custome and shipping

How do I complete a Canada customs invoice?

Filling out a Canada customs invoice is straightforward, but there are many steps involved. Make sure you go over all the information you enter once you’ve finished, to clear up any errors if necessary.

Here are Canada customs invoice instructions to help you complete the individual invoice fields:

CCI Form sectionExplanation
1. VendorEnter vendor company information, including a complete name. This can be for the seller or the party consigning goods.
2. Date of direct shipment to CanadaEnter the date the shipment was sent.
3. Other referencesInclude any relevant information such as purchase order (PO) number or commercial invoice number.
4. ConsigneeFill out the complete name and address of the shipment recipient in Canada
5. Purchaser’s name and addressEnter the name and address of the company or individual purchasing the goods
6. Country of transshipmentName any countries which the shipment will pass through on the way to Canada
7. Country of origin of goodsEnter the name of the country the goods were grown or manufactured in, making sure to adhere to Customs Tariff restrictions
8. TransportationWrite out the means of transport
9. Conditions of sale and terms of paymentOutline any sales conditions or payment terms that you’ve agreed with the buyer
10. Currency of settlementIndicate the currency of the transaction
11. Number of packagesIndicate how many packages you’re shipping
12. Specification of commoditiesIndicate what kind of package you’re shipping, any marks and numbers on the packaging, and provide a general description of the goods
13. QuantityIndicate the quantity for each item you’re shipping
14. Unit priceIndicate the unit price for the goods sold in the relevant currency
15. TotalProvide a total for the price paid
16. Total weightIndicate the gross and net weight of the shipment
17. Invoice totalIndicate the total sum of the invoice
18. If any of fields 1 to 17 are included on an attached commercial invoice, check this box.Only check if fields 1 to 17 are included on an attached commercial invoice
19. Exporter’s name and addressWrite out the name and address of the exporter, who is the person or organization in charge of shipping the goods
20. OriginatorIndicate the details for the company or individual that paid the invoice
21. CBSA rulingDetail any CBSA ruling numbers or dates that apply to the shipment
22. If fields 23 to 25 are not applicable, check this boxOnly check if fields 23 to 25 are not applicable
23. If included in field 17 indicate the amount:
  • Transportation charges, expenses, and insurance from the place of direct shipment to Canada
  • Costs for construction, erection, and assembly incurred after importation into Canada
  • Export packing
24. If not included in field 17 indicate the amount:
  • Transportation charges, expenses, and insurance to the place of direct shipment to Canada
  • Amounts for commissions other than buying commissions
  • Export packing
25. Check (if applicable):
  • Royalty payments or proceeds are paid or payable by the purchaser
  • The purchaser has supplied goods or services for the production of these goods

What should you include on the Canada customs invoice?

There are some mandatory fields on the Canada customs invoice that you can’t ignore.

Details you must include are:

  • Date of direct shipment
  • Country of origin
  • Currency of sale
  • Quantity
  • Value
  • Weight
  • Purchaser record

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If you have to fill out a Canada customs invoice, there’s a good chance you’re shipping goods to sell in Canada.

If you’re doing business in Canada, then the Wise Business account can be a game-changer. You can have CAD account details, even as a US citizen, and receive payments like a local.

You can also pay Canadian suppliers, shipping companies, and more at the real mid-market rate. Wise users can even save up to 19x compared to PayPal when sending money from the business account.

Sorting out Canadian customs can be stressful and expensive, but managing your business finances doesn’t have to be.

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💡 For all you need to know about invoices, don't forget to read and bookmark the ultimate guide to invoicing from Wise!
🔍 More articles you may find useful:

  1. Canada | United States Trade Representative
  2. CBSA Invoice Requirements Memorandum D1-4-1

All sources checked March 3, 2022.

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This publication is provided for general information purposes and does not constitute legal, tax or other professional advice from Wise Payments Limited or its subsidiaries and its affiliates, and it is not intended as a substitute for obtaining advice from a financial advisor or any other professional.

We make no representations, warranties or guarantees, whether expressed or implied, that the content in the publication is accurate, complete or up to date.

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