The University’s Purchasing Services is responsible for the overall efficiency and effectiveness of the University’s customs and transportation function and has direct accountability for the process compliance of the University’s customs and transportation program. Our Customs and Transportation Team is dedicated to the day to day coordination and management of the University’s customs and transportation activities in support of the University’s various operational and administrative programs.
Customs and Transportation Officer
Tel: 519-824-4120 extension 52541
Assistant Manager, Purchasing Services
Tel: 519-824-4120 extension 52139
For the following customs and transportation related inquiries, ensure email@example.com
The University has partnered with Thompson Ahern International for customs brokerage services, Freight Forwarding and related professional services since March 2016. Thompson, Ahern & Co. Ltd. (TACO) is the Unviersity's designated customs broker who handles the customs clearance for all University's import shipments in Canada. Tahoco Logistics, a division of Thompson Ahern International, handles the customs clearance for the University in the United States.
To ensure all shipment clearance is forwarded to our customs broker in a timely fashion, the Unviersity's customs broker information should be clearly stated on the shipment documentation, such as commercial invoice, waybill or bill of lading.
All University researchers, staff and employees who work with suppliers and external partners to arrange international shipments to the Unviersity should notify the shipper of this requirement and instruct the shipper to include the following informaiton on their paperwork.
All goods imported into Canada, including educational material, equipment and free samples, are subject to Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) regulations. Under these regulations, Canada customs officials have authority to inspect and secure a customs clearance on all shipments. On October7, 2002, CBSA implemented an Administrative Monetary Penalty System (AMPS), a civil penalty regime whereby importers who are not compliant with Canada Customs regulations are susceptible to substantial fees and penalties up to border closing to the specific importer. All members of the University community must fully cooperate in the importation process in an effort to achieve the University's compliance with CBSA regulations.
The University's customs team works closely with the University's designated Customs Broker to handle all import customs clearance for all University's import shipments regardless of carriers and freight providers. The customs team is responsible for providing customs clearance authorization to our Customs Broker, who then submit all the information to Canada Customs to clear the shipment on behalf of the University.
To facilitate this process, the customs team will:
Importer of Record is the customs term for the entity responsible for (1) ensuring the imported goods comply with local laws and regulations, (2) filing a completed customs clearance entry and associated documentations and (3) paying the assessed import duties and other taxes on those goods.
Importer of Record is also liable for the accuracy of the information presented to the Canada Customs and is required to keep all customs related records for six years from the end of the calendar year in which the goods were imported.
1. Commercial Invoice or Canada Customs Invoice
A commercial invoice or a Canada Customs Invoice containing all detailed information of the shipment must be presented to the customs for the shipment clearance. On the commercial invoice or the Canada Customs Invoice, the following information must be included:
2. NAFTA Certificate of Origin (where applicable)
When the shipment is between the U.S., Puerto Rico, Canada, and Mexico, the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) Certificate of Origin can be used to determine if the goods imported qualify for the reduced or eliminated duties allowed under NAFTA. To be assessed the proper duty and to avoid delays in customs clearance, ask your shipper to include a NAFTA Certificate of Origin with the documentation.
3. Compliance Documentation for wood packaging material (where applicable)
All wood packaging materials originating from countries other than Canada or the continental United States on any mode of transport (air, rail, marine and road) must follow the requirements outlined in the policy Requirements for the Entry of Wood Packaging Material into Canda by Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA). Wood packaging materials include wooden pallets, load boards, dunnage, crating, boxes, pallets, spacers, bearers, bracing, etc. Importers are responsible for ensuring that wood packaging in shipments complies with Canada's import requirements.
It is recommended that any importer department who anticipates wood packaging material in your shipment discuss these requirements with the customs team before the shipment is sent to Canada.
4. Other Government Department Permits or Certificate Required for the Shipment (where applicable)
Import department need to obtain necessary permits, certificates, licenses, and authorizations for special shipments according to Canada Customs regulations, including Phytosanitary certificates, health certificates, radiation licenses and various permits from Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA), Ministry of Natural Resources, Plant Protection division, and Fisheries and Ocean Canada. If department needs advice or guidance on applying for permits, please contact the customs team by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org;
As per CBSA regulations, import shipments of donations or gifts are subject to tariff assessment as well. If any researcher or employee is receiving an international shipment specifically as a donation or gift to the Univeristy, departments need to ensure that, in addition to all detailed information of the shipment, the following details are provided on the commercial invoice or Canada customs invoice :
1) The wording "This shipment is a gift (or donation)";
2) Who is the gift/donation specifically for, including the name of the recipient and the Univeristy department the recipient is with.
The University's customs team will work with our Customs Broker to ensure the appropriate HS codes are applied to the shipment and the duties on the shipment are minimized.
All export shipments must have appropriate shipping documentation accompanying the shipment. The Customs Officer in Purchasing Services is able to help you to prepare the shipping document.
To request shipping document for an export shipment, please fill out the Request for Shipping Documentation with details of the shipment and email the completed form to email@example.com.
Shipping document will be completed within 24-48 hours after receiving the Request for Shipping Documentation form provided all necessary information regarding the shipment has been received. Any further changes to a shipment or missing information needed may result in delays of receiving shipment paperwork.
The University uses contracted couriers for small packages for both inbound and outbound shipments. Currently the University's designated couriers are Federal Express, UPS and Purolator. All university's shipments should be booked online using courier's online shipping tools whenever possible. Here are their links:
For inbound shipments, departments should instruct the shipper to ship collect using the University's designated courier and provide the shipper the courier's name, contact information if any and the department's billing account number.
Shipments should be processed on the University's contracted couriers' web shipping systems with established departments billing accounts under the University of Guelph main account.
Each department has its own billing account under the University's main account number with each courier. All departments under the University's main account enjoy the preferred rates the University has negotiated with each courier.
Employees who need to use courier's online shipping tools to create shipments as part of their day to day responsibilities should have their unique user accounts set up under their department's billing account.
With a user account to the courier's online shipping tool, employees can:
If you would like to set up an online shipping user account with any of our couriers, please fill out the Courier Online Shipping Access Request Form with your supervisor or manager's approval and email the completed form to firstname.lastname@example.org .
Any courier's user account holders should be aware that the University's Purchasing Policy explicitly states that use of the University's resources for any personal or non-university business related to the acquisition of goods or services is not permitted. These resources include, but are not limited to, the requisition of delivery, customs clearances and courier services. Employees must follow this policy and use the University's courier account for authorized university business only.
When an employee retires, is no longer employed with the university or changes position within the university and no longer needs access to the courier's shipping tools, the employee's supervisor or manager is responsible to notify the Customs and Transportation Officer in a timely manner and the user account will be de-activated subsequently.
To arrange shipments by rail, truck, ocean, etc., please contact the Customs Officer at email@example.com.
To arrange shipments for dangerous goods, please contact Kevin Ecott at Mail Services (firstname.lastname@example.org, x52264). Refer to Mail Services Guidelines, #5.0 Restrictions, Junk Mail and Dangerous Goods.