How Long Does the Canadian Customs Clearance Take?

If you are new with the customs clearance process and are of the idea that the process is done almost instantly, then you might be mistaken. If you can consult any experienced importer, you will get to know about the actual wait one needs to go through to get their shipments cleared. This is the most frustrating part of the process. You can be vetting your suppliers constantly but that will not expedite the process. But the good news is you won’t need to wait any longer blindly if you can predict the time it is going to take you.

How long does it take for a shipment to clear the customs?

The process looks fairly simple from the outside. There are certain steps which are involved in this like:

  • The CBSA receives the international incoming goods
  • CBSA then performs a thorough check and visual inspection on the paperwork
  • If the packages are legal and duty-free, they are released and sent ahead. If any good requires further inspection, they are then held back or levied with duty charges.
  • Either duty is applied on it or the shipment gets rejected

Seeing the above steps, one would not feel that the process will take any longer than 20 minutes. When the goods will be reaching the borders, the customs broker will be completing the B3 form on your behalf and the customs data will be transferred electronically. 

But there are multiple cases when your package might be pulled out for separate investigation or you might be caught up behind the line of other exporters. These processes might take time from anything around 12-48 hours. This might soar even higher during the high traffic times. If you are importing commercial goods during the time of holidays, you will witness the longest waiting times.

When does clearance usually gets delayed most of the times?

If you are smart with the clearance procedures, you can expect a quick clearance. But releases are not always guaranteed. You can be held up in cases of temporary rejections due to human errors or discrepancy in paperwork match. It can also get stuck forever as permanent rejections. This mostly happens if the tariff code is wrong or the goods are undervalued. This can also happen if you are shipping prohibited goods.

If you have a professional help and you are following all the protocols, customs clearance in Canada becomes easier.