Tracking of Industry Customs Issues

Importation delays and high costs related to customs inspections can severely affect the sale of produce in Canada. That is why CPMA works with members to address customs problems they encounter, be they systemic issues making importation more difficult or one-off critical problems relating to a particular load.

CPMA is a member of Canada Border Services Agency’s (CBSA) Border Commercial Consultative Committee (BCCC) and many of its sub-committees, which is CBSA’s high level forum for industry consultation on customs policy. Through this forum, CPMA is well placed to ensure that the produce voice is heard and taken into account on customs policy and to address problems that our members are facing.

CPMA is working with CBSA to try to address issues related to delays and inspection costs, and to ensure that the particular needs of highly perishable produce are understood. Our CPMA Customs Working Group also works to support our members’ needs and priorities in moving produce across the border.

To help us work towards a smoother border process for our industry, CPMA members are encouraged to contact Shannon Sommerauer, Director of Government Relations, to share data on the volume of loads diverted for inspection, the delays, costs and other issues encountered in the marine, highway or air modes. Please note that all information provided will be kept confidential. Any information shared with CBSA will be in aggregate and will not include company names or details on specific incidents.

CBSA Assessment and Revenue Management (CARM)

The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) Assessment and Revenue Management (CARM) project is a multi-year initiative that will transform the collection of duties and taxes for goods imported into Canada and will involve major changes to how importers do their accounting with CBSA.

Watch the CPMA webinar: Preparing for CARM in the fresh produce industry (Recorded March 7, 2024)

The CPMA Customs Working Group has also developed a series of resources, reviewed by CBSA, to support CPMA members in preparing to be onboarded onto the CARM Portal: 

CPMA members who import products into Canada are strongly encouraged to review these resources.

Industry Best Practices - CBSA Import Requirements and Produce Examinations (Highway Mode)

As a result of ongoing concerns brought forward by the produce industry regarding damage to produce during inspections and off-loading, the Canadian Produce Marketing Association, industry members and the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) collaborated to develop Industry Best Practices – CBSA Import Requirements and Produce Examinations (Highway Mode) in order to further improve the importing process for both industry and the CBSA. A similar document will be used internally by CBSA to ensure proper handling of produce during examinations at border crossings.

Single Window Initiative (SWI)

The Canada Border Services Agency's (CBSA) Single Window Initiative (SWI) streamlines the sharing of commercial import data between the Government of Canada and the import community. It balances the needs of government departments and agencies with today's globally competitive business environment. Along with the CBSA, there are nine participating government departments and agencies representing 38 government programs.

SWI and Produce Imports FAQ


A joint Canada–United States initiative involving the Canada Border Services Agency and the United States Customs and Border Protection (CBP). FAST supports moving pre-approved eligible goods across the border quickly and verifying trade compliance away from the border.

Partners in Protection (PIP)

PIP enlists the cooperation of private industry in efforts to enhance border security, combat organized crime and terrorism, increase awareness of customs compliance issues and help detect and prevent contraband smuggling.

Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (C-TPAT)

A voluntary government-business initiative to build cooperative relationships that strengthen and improve overall international supply chain and U.S. border security. C-TPAT offers trade-related businesses an opportunity to play an active role in the war against terrorism. By participating in this first worldwide supply chain security initiative, companies will ensure a more secure and expeditious supply chain for their employees, suppliers and customers.


Designed to expedite the border clearance process for low-risk, pre-approved travellers into Canada and the United States. The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) and United States Customs and Border Protection (CBP) are cooperating in this joint venture to simplify border crossings for members, while enhancing security.

To become a member in this program, you must:
  • submit an application and go through a registration process;
  • satisfy the eligibility criteria;
  • be admissible in Canada and the United States; and
  • pass risk assessments by both countries.


There are commercial reporting requirements for the movement and control of unreleased goods in Canada by carriers, freight forwarders and warehouse operators. Using information collected from Advance Commercial Information (ACI) and eManifest, the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) detects risks and makes decisions before shipments arrive at the border and/or are released into Canada.

The eManifest Portal is a secure reporting method to transmit highway carrier and freight forwarder information to the CBSA. Warehouse operators and brokers can use the eManifest Portal to view trade documents forwarded by another trade chain partner.

Automated Import Reference System (AIRS)

AIRS is a user-friendly, searchable database of CFIA import requirements. Through a series of questions and answers, the system will lead you through the applicable regulations and policies to information on all CFIA import requirements for specific commodities.

CFIA National Import Service Centre (NISC)

National Import Service Centres process import request documentation/data sent electronically or by fax by the importing community across Canada. CFIA staff review the information and return the decision either electronically to Canada Border Services Agency, which then relays it to the client, or by fax directly to the broker/importer, who then submits the release package to CBSA.

Customs Self Assessment Program (CSA)

The Customs Self Assessment (CSA) program is designed for low-risk, pre-approved importers, carriers and registered drivers. To take advantage of the program, CSA-approved importers and carriers must use a registered driver to carry CSA-eligible goods into Canada in the highway mode.