The B13A Form is required by the Canadian Border Services Agency (CBSA) to enforce the necessary export controls in Canada.
The form must be prepared and signed by a Canadian shipper (exporter) or their forwarding agent. The shipment description, value, weight, destination, and other basic information must be indicated for processing use by Customs. B13A information may be submitted electronically, by mail, or by fax. For more information, please review Info Source, published by the Treasury Board of Canada, or contact us directly.
The CBSA is directly responsible for any updates to this form. Please see our external resources section.
As in all domestic transactions, the Commercial Invoice is a bill for the consignment transferred from the purchaser to the seller. It generally serves a dual purpose on import shipments: it allows the exporter to claim his money and assists the importer in getting the goods cleared through customs. Some governments also use the form to levy the appropriate customs duties. To be considered valid, it must include a detailed breakdown of all the variables of the shipment:
Exporter/Importer name and address
Description of the shipment
Unit and extended price
Currency of settlement
Terms of delivery/terms of payment
Freight included or excluded
Certificate of Origin
Certificate of Origin should be supplied along with goods that qualify for reduced or duty-free entry as a product of any of the three participating member nations: The United States of America, Canada and Mexico.
An Export Packing List, similarly to the commercial invoice, itemizes the material in each individual parcel and indications the type: box, crate, drum, carton, etc. It shows the net, legal, tare, and gross weights and dimensions for each package. Its markings should be shown along with buyer and seller references.
The list itself is used by the shipper or agent to determine either the total shipment volume or if the cargo being shipped is valid. It can also be used by Customs officials to check the actual cargo contents. As there may not be a standard format for packing lists, it is critical that the content be exact. Even the most minor errors may cause delays in shipment; possibly resulting in the exporting firms not getting paid or the seizure of the goods by Customs.
The packing list is always secured to the outside of the package in a waterproof envelope marked: “Packing List Enclosed”.
Bill of Lading
The Bill of Lading is a document, issued to a shipper/exporter by a carrier, which describes the products to be shipped, recognizes their receipt and states the conditions of the contract for their carriage.
There are two types: A straight bill of lading is non-negotiable. A negotiable BOL, or shipper’s order bill of lading, can be bought, sold, or traded while goods are in transit. It is commonly used for letter-of-credit transactions. The shipper is responsible for completing the bill of lading and providing the completed document to the carrier at the time the shipment is sent. The receiver usually needs the original, or a copy, as proof of ownership to take possession of the goods when delivered.
The document outlines the names of the manufacturer, importer, exporter, carrier, the final shipping destination and a full product description. The main reason for this form is to verify the legality and nature of the import. The shipment can be refused entry if the document lacks accuracy when verified by Customs.