With the COVID-19 pandemic bringing stricter border controls, shipping items from one country to another gets challenging. For instance, the implementation of border closure continues between the US and Canada for safety measures between the two countries. This situation affects businesses that do Canada-US border shipping.
It’s also tough especially, for sellers like you, if your profit mainly comes from shipping your items. But you can do something about it!
Read on because this article will tell you everything you need to know about the Canada-US border shipping.
Defining cross border shipping
First and foremost, you must know what cross border shipping means. It is the process of shipping items that have surpassed customs clearance across two different countries. In this case, the Canada and US border.
It may be simple to define, but you should take note of a lot of things. You have to follow a lot of rules and prepare certain documents when shipping items across the border. You might also need to pay some costly shipping from Canada to US customs as part of the process.
Fortunately, cross-border shippers are also on the rise. These are shipping companies that help you ship your items internationally (including from Canada to US) minus the hassle and delays in delivery.
What do you need to know about Canada US Border Shipping?
As mentioned earlier, Canada has imposed more stringent measures for border closure to the US. This is due to the rising cases of the ongoing pandemic that affects both nations.
You may rely on cross -border shippers to help you in shipping products from Canada to US. You may see them primarily operating in Canada’s large cities like Vancouver, Toronto, Montreal, etc.
The Canada-US border shipping process starts with listing and selling your products on any online site, but you’re buying your postage from the US. The cross border shipper can help you purchase postage from USPS (United States Postal Service Postage) to take your items across the border without delay. Additionally, keep your accounting to CAD since you’re buying from a Canadian company (only consider the exchange rate, no hidden fees).
The good thing with cross border shippers is that they use the express shipping USPS postal rates so you can save as much as 50% to 70% off of what you would normally pay when shipping products from Canada to US. Some companies may also let you mail them your US packages, then they’ll do the rest of the shipping task.
5 documents that you need for Canada US border shipping
Here are the five documents that you need to prepare when shipping products from Canada to US. You must carefully fill out these government-mandated documents so your items can quickly pass through the border. It’s better to prepare and complete these documents because missing even just one may cause significant delays.
Bill of Lading (BOL)
The Bill of Lading shows the list of goods in the shipment. It must also indicate the origin address, item specifications like the size and weight, and your contact information. The shipper, driver, and consignee have to fill out and sign the BOL form accordingly.
Proof of Delivery (POD)
This document is the receipt portion of the BOL, showing that the cross-border shipper received the items in good order. It should also contain a signature confirming the delivery date and time. As the shipper, you will receive a notification once the carrier uploads a POD through your chosen Canada US border shipping company.
Commercial Invoice (for shipping products from Canada to US)
The Commercial Invoice indicates the value and full description of the item you’re shipping. This also requires two copies, one that goes to the BOL, and the other goes to the shipment heading to the US.
Canada Customs Invoice (for shipping products from US to Canada)
Secure two copies of the Canada Customs Invoice for a seamless Canada-US border shipping process. One copy has to come with the shipment, from its origin to customs clearance, while the second copy must be attached to the BOL.
Certificate of Origin
To ensure accurate collection of customs duties under NAFTA regulations, you must also have a Certificate of Origin, which simply shows where the shipment comes from.
What items should you not ship to the US?
You must also keep in mind that there are products not allowed in doing Canada-US border shipping. These are just some of the items prohibited and restricted by the US Customs and Border Protection from entering the US border:
Prohibited items or items that are forbidden by law:
- Dangerous toys
- Illegal substances like absinthe and Rohypnol
Restricted items which may require special licenses or permits from a federal agency:
- Fruits and vegetables
- Animal products and byproducts
It’s important to know these certain restrictions before shipping products from Canada to the US because there are some items that the latter may consider as harmful to their community health, public safety, or would even affect national interests.
Just taking all this information about Canada-US border shipping is sure to overwhelm even long-time sellers like you. And with all the time-consuming processes and protocols that you have to follow, it’s time that you seek assistance from expert cross-border shipping companies like us, Stallion Express. In fact, we already partnered with USPS, so this saves you a lot of money while assuring faster shipping of items to your customers. Furthermore, you will be able to skip filing and preparing the documents mentioned above as Stallion will take care of the rest. All you need to do is create an account, provide the necessary information, and manage your orders in one user-friendly software tool.
Now, feel free to consult us about shipping your parcels, logistics, and border shipping.