In this section, LCS Customs Brokers, Inc. answers some Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs).
What is a Customs Broker?
Importers who do not wish to transact with Canada Border Services (CBSA) directly may appoint a customs broker to do so on their behalf. A Customs Broker primarily assist in the release and accounting of goods imported to Canada as well as ensures accuracy and compliance with CBSA regulations. In Short, a Customs Broker will save you time and money.
Do I need an Importer number to clear customs?
While it is not mandatory to have an importer number to clear customs, it is highly recommended. As a commercial importer (importing for a business), you should have a GST number to collect and remit taxes. With this number, we can activate your Importer number for a minimal fee. For personal imports, an importer number is not required.
Are there any benefits to importing commercially over personally?
Absolutely. As a personal importer, you are subject to both Federal and Provincial tax and have no recourse to claim said taxes. As a commercial importer, you are only subject to Federal Tax, and may reclaim it through input tax credits.
I own a company that ships frequently to Canada, Can I handle the imports for my Canadian clients?
Yes, you would be a perfect candidate for the Non-Resident Importer (NRI) program. LCS Customs Brokers can assist you in penetrating the Canadian market by allowing you to offer your product landed duty paid and remove the need for your client to handle the import effectively leveling the playing field with Canadian suppliers.
What type of customs clearances services do you offer?
LCS Customs Brokers is a full-service customs broker offering customs clearances at every port across Canada. We clear truck, ocean, and Air shipments as well as courier (FedEx, UPS, DHL, etc.) at a discounted price.
Do you offer any other Services?
LCS Customs Brokers is supported by its parent company Logistics & Customs Servicers Inc, which provides total logistics services that include:
- LTL and FTL truck freight
- Ocean & Air freight
- Rail freight
Why should I use LCS Customs Brokers over another customs brokerage service?
With LCS Customs Brokers Inc, you get experienced and first-class professional service when you need it most. Our prices are very competitive, and we make the process easy!
Can I review the shipment before it is submitted to Customs?
Yes, but you must ask your agent beforehand. If you would like to review your entries before submitted to customs, simply inform your agent of this and copies of your B3 and invoice will be forwarded to you prior to release.
If I spot an error, can it be corrected?
Absolutely, if you see an error on your B3 or invoice or would like to have your goods processed under a different HS code, an amendment can be made instantly within the first 72 hours of submitting your entry. After 72 hours, we will have to file a claim on your behalf.
How Long does a customs clearance take?
For truck shipments, 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 ocean shipments, we can begin to customs clear your goods as soon as the manifest arrives from your forwarder, however, goods must arrive at the port, be de-stuffed & on the warehouse floor before customs clearance is complete
For air shipments, the process is quite quick. With the airway bill, we can process your goods for customs before they even become available for delivery.
How do I pay for the duties, taxes or fees?
With LCS Customs Brokers you can pay your bill by either Visa, MasterCard or Electronic Mail Transfer. We also accept cheque payments via monthly invoicing which is subject to credit check terms and conditions. Ask your agent for payment details.
Do you offer volume pricing?
Yes, contact us for more information. We are always willing to work with client needs.
Is a bigger firm better than a smaller Customs Broker?
Large does not necessarily mean better. Large firms tend to become inflexible, regimented and less responsive to their client’s needs. We at LCS Customs Brokers, take pride in providing personalized service individually tailored to our clients. Coupled with experience and the latest in computer technology there’s nothing we can’t handle.
My courier says they will give me free customs brokerage if I ship my goods with them. Why not use them?
The old adage, “You get what you pay for”, is wise council. Often the brokerage fee is hidden in the freight charges. Remember, nothing is free.
What is AMPS?
AMPS (Administrative Monetary Penalty System) is a penalty regime imposed by Canada Customs for a wide range of infractions, errors, and omissions. Now, more than ever it is important to have a professional Customs Broker on your side.
Is it faster to use a local broker at the port where my goods arrive?
We are electronically linked with Canada Customs and can obtain the release of goods across Canada. In today’s electronic age we can monitor, trace and release goods quickly anywhere. We also maintain agents at every border crossing and inland customs office to further ensure the release of your goods.
What documents do I need to get my goods through Canada Customs?
Usually a properly completed invoice is required showing the shipper, purchaser, a detailed description of the goods, quantity, country of origin and currency of settlement. A Canada Customs Invoice can also be used (see Resources), For goods of U.S. or Mexican origin a NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement – see Resources) Certificate of Origin will be required to claim duty relief. Certain products such as meat products, seafood and dairy require special documentation. Please contact us for details.
Does LCS serve private customers?
Yes. While we primarily serve businesses, we also open our services to private customers needing quality logistics and customs brokerage services.
How many years have you been in service?
Established in 1996, we have provided our clients with quality logistics and customs brokerage services for over 2 decades (20+ years).
How much do your services cost?
Costs vary from shipment to shipment. There are different factors to be considered, such as weight, size, type of cargo, destination, etc.
What do I need to do if my goods are damaged or lost?
your local LCS freight representative who will guide you through the claims process and help you gather all of the required information.