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January 2019

News and Views for the clients of Universal Logistics

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What the Single Window Initiative means for your business


The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) has created the Single Window Initiative (SWI) in order to electronically communicate with Participating Government Agencies (PGA) to better identify goods with import requirements, and exchange that information with the PGA at time of release.

This single integrated solution is shared with the applicable PGA via an Integrated Import Declaration (IID).  The IID will streamline the importing process while eliminating redundancies in an effort to reduce clearance times.

This means import data forwarded to the CBSA will be automatically shared with 9 Participating Government Agencies (see list below), representing 38 government programs.  This is expected to be a significant improvement on the old process, which required importers to make separate submissions of import data to the CBSA and PGAs based upon the commodity requirements.

Key questions and answers

What are the key goals of SWI? 

  • Give the trade community the ability to electronically submit all information required to eliminate duplicate and redundant data requirements and processes.
  • Reduce the paper burden on the business community and government.
  • Align to the greatest extent possible with the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (U.S. CBP) and the World Customs Organization (WCO) data model.

When does SWI become effective?

January 1, 2019:  Deadline to obtain system certification for all PGAs and Account Security holders.

April 1, 2019:  Deadline for importers/brokers to file release requests to CBSA using Single Window for applicable PGA shipments – current OGD PARS and OGD RMD options will be sunset.

How does the submission of import data change under SWI? 

Through Single Window, importers will provide all required documentation to the CBSA electronically, including information required by PGAs with a request for release.  The CBSA then transmits all applicable data elements directly to the respective PGA(s).  Upon receipt, the PGA reviews the transmitted information and provides the release decision back to CBSA, which in turn transmits this information back to the applicable customs broker.

Will I have to supply more information?

Yes, you will need to report more product information to satisfy the data needs of the applicable PGA(s).  Clients of Universal Logistics may provide this information to us to be kept on file.

Is there any change in the timing of reporting?

Yes, information previously provided to PGAs after (in some cases) the goods are imported into Canada will now be required before the carrier’s arrival at the border.

What OGDs are participating in the SWI?

  • Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA)
  • Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission
  • Environment and Climate Change Canada
  • Fisheries and Oceans Canada
  • Global Affairs Canada
  • Health Canada
  • Natural Resources Canada (NRCan)
  • Public Health Agency of Canada
  • Transport Canada

Clients of Universal Logistics will receive a direct communication, outlining additional information required, in advance of the SWI implementation date.

For more information, contact Brian Rowe, Director – Customs Compliance & Regulatory.

Are you on the list of customs verification priorities?

Compliance stamp

The latest semi-annual list of verification priorities for the CBSA has been released.  It includes many items that have appeared on previous lists:

  • Hair Dryers and Electric Smoothing Irons, Heading 85.16
  • Mountings, Fittings and Similar Articles, Heading 83.02
  • Nails and Similar Articles of Iron or Steel, Heading 73.17
  • Castors with Mountings of Base Metal, Heading 83.02
  • Mineral Waters and Aerated Waters, Heading 22.01
  • Gloves, Headings 39.26 and 42.03
  • Spent Fowl, Headings 02.07, 16.01 and 16.02
  • Bags, 42.02
  • Mountings and Fittings, Suitable for Furniture, Heading 83.02
  • Air Heaters and Hot Air Distributors, Heading 73.22
  • Flashlights and Miners’ Safety Lamps, Heading 85.13
  • Stone Table and Counter Tops, Heading 94.03
  • Disposable and Protective Gloves, Subheadings 3926.20.91 and 4015.19

Chapters 2 and 4 remain on the tariff classification list for Import Permit Numbers.  The risk identified is that imported goods could be classified under “within access commitment” tariff items within Chapter 2 (meat of bovine animals and poultry) and Chapter 4 (dairy products), without the required import permit number on the declaration.

With respect to valuation, there are two items:

  • Apparel, Chapters 61 and 62
  • Footwear, Chapter 64

For origin, there are also two items:

  • T-Shirts, Heading 61.09
  • Bedding and Drapery, Headings 63.01, 63.02 and 63.03

The next list of priorities is expected in July 2019.

For more information, contact Brian Rowe, Director – Customs Compliance & Regulatory Affairs.

Read this before making a decision on cargo insurance

Cargo spill Youtube viedo

Cargo shipment mishaps occur more often than you think.  This month there already was a substantial spill of containers in the North Sea when the MSC Zoe, one of the world’s largest container ships, encountered heavy weather conditions.

Even more concerning is a news report that came out around the same time about a container ship fire on the Hapag-Lloyd vessel, Yantian Express, on route to the port of Halifax.  Hapag-Lloyd has formally declared General Average, as the fire which broke out in a container, spread to other boxes after bad weather rendered the crew’s fire-fighting efforts fruitless, forcing them to abandon ship.  It’s surprising, but these fires are commonplace, and one insurer has suggested that there are fires of some kind weekly and a major fire every 60 days.

Another recent incident involved the container vessel Ever Summit at the Port of Vancouver’s Vanterm facility.  While berthing, the vessel struck a gantry crane causing the large ship-to-shore crane to collapse onto the loaded container ship, crushing some containers.  In addition, both the vessel and the crane suffered damages.

Keep these examples in mind the next time you consider whether or not to buy cargo insurance.

For more information, contact Debbie McGuire, Manager – Freight Solutions and read our special Cargo Insurance edition of Route.

Freight forwarding turmoil in the UK

Euro Flag

UK shippers are getting a one-two punch in the form of Brexit chaos and sharply rising inland container pricing.

It is unclear whether the UK will proceed with Brexit and there is even more uncertainty surrounding what happens in either eventuality.

UK importers and exporters entered 2019 facing significantly higher inland container transport pricing, as shipping lines raised haulage and empty container repositioning costs.  The cost of transporting a container from within the UK either to or from a deep sea port has risen 10% to 40%.

For more information, contact David Lychek, Manager – Ocean & Air Services.

New Canadian food regulations are now in force

New outcome-based regulations are now in force for the importing, exporting or transport of food across provincial and territorial boundaries, under the Safe Foods for Canadians Regulations (SFCR).  The new rules are focused on achieving a desired result, not a specific process.

Effective, January 15, 2019 import licenses are now required for a variety of food groups.  Learn more about what that means for your business.

Businesses should consult the CFIA’s interactive tools and sector-specific timelines for more detailed information on which requirements apply to them and when, based on the activities they conduct.  To balance the need to protect Canada’s food safety system while supporting food businesses in their efforts to comply with the new regulations, the CFIA’s enforcement approach at coming into force will emphasize working with businesses to help them understand the new requirements.

For more information, contact Brian Rowe, Director – Customs Compliance & Regulatory Affairs.

Global Spotlight Quiz
Global Spotlight
The skyline is dominated by buildings
housing some of the world’s most
famous Fortune 500 companies.

Global Spotlight Quiz

How many clues do you need to identify the city with 70 streets named Peach Tree?

  • A center of global and business trade with more than 1,300 foreign-based businesses.
  • The busiest airport in the world, and the first to serve more than 100 million passengers in a single year.
  • Location of the world’s largest drive-in restaurant, serving more Coca Cola by volume than anywhere else in the world.
  • Hosted the 1996 Summer Olympics.
  • Recognized as the most heavily forested urban areas in the country.
  • Most of the city was burned to the ground in 1864 (just 400 buildings survived).
  • It is illegal to tie a giraffe to a street lamp or keep a donkey in a bathtub – it’s unclear whether it is legal to tie a donkey to a street lamp or keep a giraffe in a bathtub.
  • The largest area in the world (7,162 square mile radius) with toll-free calls.

  Click here to see the answer

For more information about shipping freight to or from this city, contact Debbie McGuire, Manager – Freight Solutions.

Quick Tip

Quick Tips

Be prepared for customs penalties and fines under AMPS

Never assume that the absence of an audit means you will never be audited.  Penalties under AMPS (Administrative Monetary Penalty System) can be applied at the border at time of import (or export) and also post audit.

Eventually everyone will be audited and all of your past shipments will be reviewed for compliance verification.  Shipments that do not comply with the regulations will be assessed penalties.

What about your business?  Are you ready for an audit?  We can help with a review of your customs entries – a small price to pay for the peace of mind that comes with knowing you will be ready when a Canada Customs car rolls into your driveway.

For more information, contact Brian Rowe, Director – Customs Compliance & Regulatory Affairs.

Oswaldo Arteaga, Manager – Customs Consulting Services
Oswaldo Arteaga, Manager – Customs Consulting Services

At Your Service: Managing Import Compliance

International trade is subject to complex, ever-changing customs regulatory requirements that make it very difficult for companies to stay current.  To assist our clients with navigating customs compliance, we are happy to announce two new appointments:

Oswaldo Arteaga, Manager – Customs Consulting Services

After joining Universal Logistics in 2012, Oswaldo Arteaga has held positions of increasing responsibility which have led to his appointment to Manager of our Customs Consulting Services team.  Oswaldo, a Certified Customs Specialist, has in-depth experience in both customs operations and customs technical requirements, enabling him to bridge the two functions for the benefit of our clients.

Ivy Woo, Manager – Customs Compliance Resources
Ivy Woo, Manager – Customs Compliance Resources

Ivy Woo, Manager – Customs Compliance Resources

After over a decade with Universal Logistics, Ivy Woo has gained an in-depth trade compliance knowledge that makes it all seem easy.  Ivy holds the designations of Certified Customs Specialist and Certified Trade Compliance Specialist and is well positioned to guide our clients through the vast array of technical regulatory requirements in today’s trade compliance process.

Working with Universal makes it easier to manage customs compliance and risk.  Our team of experts knows the applicable legislation and customs regulations inside and out, making sure that your shipments meet all regulatory requirements.

January 2019

is produced monthly for the clients of Universal Logistics. Reader comment and story ideas are welcome. Comments of general interest to all Route readers will, with the permission of the writer, be published. Copyright ©
Universal Logistics Inc. All rights reserved. Reproduction for any commercial use is strictly prohibited.

Route is produced by Universal Logistics. Editor: Bettina Scharnberg. Email: While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of information contained herein, Universal Logistics accepts no responsibility or liability for errors or omissions. Written correspondence should be forwarded to:

Universal Logistics Inc.
125 Commerce Valley Drive West
Suite 750, Thornhill, Ontario L3T 7W4
Tel: 905-882-4880    Fax: 905-882-2250
Attention: Bettina Scharnberg
Universal Logistics

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