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January 2024

News and Views for the clients of Universal Logistics

CARM – Register Now to avoid shipping delays

CARM (CBSA Assessment and Revenue Management) Release 2, scheduled for release in May 2024 requires ALL importers to register in the CARM Client Portal no later than May 2, 2024, and delegate authority to their Customs Broker. Those importers who have not registered by May 2, 2024 will no longer be able to import goods into Canada.

CARM – Register Now to avoid shipping delays - Route Newsletter: January 2024

From the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA), “CARM is here now. Before May 2024, importers and other trade chain partners need to register and adapt their systems and business practices. Getting aligned with CARM now will help you avoid interruptions and delays later.”

Visit Universal Logistics’ website to learn more about CARM and to watch videos to help walk you through the CARM registration process.

For access to the CBSA CARM Client Portal Click Here.

We are also ready to assist you with this registration process and happy to answer any questions you may have. Simply reach out to your Client Care representative or contact Mark Glionna, Vice President – Client Relations & Business Development.

FREE CBSA Webinars – CARM Client Portal Onboarding

The CBSA’s Assessment and Revenue Management (CARM) team is hosting free CARM webinars – tailored specifically for Importers – and focusing on 3 topics; Registering your small or medium business on the CARM client portal, Registering on the CARM client portal for non-resident importers and What you Need to know for Release 2.

Registration is required for these webinars.  Please register using the links below:

Registering your small or medium business on the CARM client portal

A new webinar dedicated to helping small and medium businesses understand how CARM may affect them while guiding them through the steps required to register on the portal.

 DateTimeRegistration Link
EnglishTuesday, February 6, 20241:00 pm – 2:00 pm ESTRegister
EnglishTuesday, March 19, 20241:00 pm – 2:00 pm ESTRegister
FrenchTuesday, March 19, 20243:00 pm – 4:00 pm ESTRegister

Registering on the CARM client portal for non-resident importers

A webinar dedicated to helping non-resident importers understand how CARM may affect their business and how to register on the portal.

 DateTimeRegistration Link
EnglishThursday, February 1, 202411:00 am – 12:00 pm ESTRegister
EnglishThursday, February 8, 20248:00 am – 9:00 am ESTRegister

What you need to know for Release 2

A webinar that will help you understand and prepare for Release 2.

 DateTimeRegistration Link
EnglishTuesday, February 13, 20241:00 pm – 2:30 pm ESTRegister
EnglishTuesday, March 26, 20241:00 pm – 2:30 pm ESTRegister
FrenchTuesday, March 26, 20243:00 pm – 4:30 pm ESTRegister

Are you on the list of Customs Verification Priorities?

The latest semi-annual list of verification priorities for the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) has been released.

Are you on the list of Customs Verification Priorities? - Route Newsletter: January 2024

The list includes items that have appeared on previous lists, while Pickled vegetables have been removed for 2024:

  • LED Lamps (Round 2) – Heading 85.39
  • Furniture for non-domestic purposes (Round 4) – Headings 94.01 and 94.03
  • Parts of machines and mechanical appliances (Round 2) – Heading 84.79
  • Bags (Round 2) – Heading 42.02
  • Spent Fowl (Round 3) – Headings 02.07, 16.01 and 16.02
  • Cell phone cases (Round 3) – Headings 39.26, 42.02 and 85.17

When a verification priority has been completed (or additional rounds added due to high levels of non-compliance), the CBSA posts the risk assessment and general verification results.  As an example, see below in regard to the misclassification of Safety headgear:

Are you on the list of Customs Verification Priorities? - Safety Headgear - Route Newsletter: January 2024

With respect to valuation, there is one continued item:

  • Apparel (Round 4) – Chapters 61 and 62

For origin, there is one priority at this time:

  • Bedding and drapery – HS Headings 63.01, 63.02 and 63.03

CBSA also maintains a historical verification priorities list, which should be reviewed by all importers as they will likely circle back to these reviews in order to ensure compliance.

The next list of priorities is expected in July 2024.

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

Importing manufactured foods into Canada? You must have a Safe Food for Canadians licence by February 12, 2024

On February 12, 2024, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) will automatically check Safe Food For Canadians (SFCR) licences at the border for imports of manufactured foods.

Without a valid SFC licence your shipment will be denied entry into Canada.

What you need to do:

Step 1 – Get a Safe Food for Canadians licence

  • Do not wait.
  • It may take 15 business days or more to process your application, depending on how complex it is.
  • Licences will not be issued manually at the border.
Importing manufactured foods into Canada? You must have a Safe Food for Canadians licence by February 12, 2024 - Route Newsletter: January 2024

Step 2 – If you have a licence, make sure it’s valid

Follow these steps to make sure your licence is:

  • active
  • issued for “Importing food”
  • issued for the commodities being imported

Licences are valid for 2 years.  You must renew your licence before it expires or you will need to apply for a new one.

A licence is required to import food, except for the following:

Click here to determine if you require an SFCR licence.

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

New trends in logistics

International carriers involved in ocean, air, rail as well as truck freight are rapidly launching new services and tweaking their networks amid evolving global trade flows.  This is in response to manufacturers investing billions to build factories that are closer to consumers or in geographic locations with less political risk in a push for increased supply chain resiliency after weathering years of political and pandemic-related disruptions.

These trends — known as reshoring, nearshoring and friend-shoring — may cost shippers in the near term, but they stand to benefit from faster lead times and greater diversity in their distribution strategies as a result.  Improved capabilities and network tweaks from major carriers aim to capitalize on this geographic shift in demand.  Examples range across transportation modes, from cross-border services connecting Mexico, the U.S. and Canada, to new shipping routes out of Latin America.

New trends in logistics - Route Newsletter: January 2024

As these logistics offerings improve, more factory ground-breakings are poised to follow.  Across the board, companies identify logistics as the most important factor when deciding where to source materials from and make direct investments.

Ocean carriers have adapted to shifts in global trade demand for years.  During the 2008 financial crisis, the industry faced a sudden drop in demand, and shipping companies responded by reducing capacity and implementing cost-saving measures.  Similarly, when the Panama Canal expanded in 2016, it altered trade routes and required substantial investments in infrastructure to accommodate larger vessels.  In some cases, decreasing demand has led to the closure or downsizing of specific lines, while the emergence of new or expanding markets has allowed carriers to introduce new lines and trades.

Air cargo is also eager to capitalize on these new trends, focusing on the fact that nearshoring or friend-shoring a supply chain is not a straightforward endeavor.  For example, manufacturers that move operations from China to Mexico may still be relying on materials from suppliers in Asia or other sourcing locations.  That is where air cargo services come in handy.  During a nearshoring transition period, shippers will often use air freight to quickly deliver supplier components to keep up with their new facilities’ production and inventory needs.

While shippers are diversifying their supply chains to mitigate risks, agility is critical as disruption is truly unavoidable, and shippers historically turn to air to keep goods moving.  Many businesses will be eager to tap into less expensive transportation modes like trucking or rail once that transition is complete, but air freight still offers upside for operations closer to their customers.  For example, air cargo has been a quick, reliable pivot for many automotive suppliers and OEMs to zip past congestion along the U.S.-Mexico border.

Finally, there has also been a pronounced development in intermodal services out of Mexico, as these news trends in supply chain unfold.  Railroads and trucking companies are ramping up partnerships to capture demand from North American supply chain investments and the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), tapping into each other’s networks to offer comprehensive services between the three countries.

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

Global Spotlight Quiz

Global Spotlight Quiz

Name the city that is home to the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum

  • The name means City of Lakes due to the dozens of rivers that flow around the city and form lakes.
  • Home to the largest mosaic in the world.
  • There are over 5 million motorbikes in this city, known for its chaotic and noisy traffic.
  • The city’s Long Bien Bridge was designed by Alexandre Gustav Eiffel, creator of the Eiffel Tower and Statue of Liberty.
  • Houses are tall but narrow, as property tax is based on the width of a building.
  • Home to many examples of French colonial architecture.
Name the city that is home to the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum - Route Newsletter: January 2024
The mausoleum is open for tourists and locals to visit and honour the country’s beloved former leader.

Answer: Hanoi, Vietnam

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

Quick Tip

Two ways to control the cost of your freight shipments

Looking for new ways to reduce your shipping costs?  Start by ensuring you are not wasting money by carrying weight that can be removed.  Then make sure your shipping cartons are not bigger than they need to be.  

Look for every possible saving, but never do anything that weakens the carton to the point where it could no longer carry your goods safely.  That would be a penny-wise, pound foolish mistake.

Quick Tip

At Your Service:

Alice Yan

Ocean Services

Alice Yan joined Universal’s Head Office Administration team in December 2020, excelling in all aspects of her role as Administrative Assistant.  Alice expressed an interest in learning more about logistics and completed the CIFFA Certificate in International Freight Forwarding, resulting in the opportunity to join our Ocean Services team at Head Office in August 2022.

Alice’s main focus is handling ocean imports, from various points worldwide, which has resulted in her gaining considerable knowledge and insight, as well as the ability to handle different lanes of cargo with ease.  She is also involved in ocean export shipments, assisting the team with ocean export declarations and recently completed the CIFFA Ocean Dangerous Goods course.  Alice’s desire to take on new challenges as well as her exceptional customer service, ensure that our clients’ needs are very well taken care of at all times.

Alice can be reached by phone (905) 882-4880, ext. 1225 or by email.

Alice Yan, Ocean Services (Head Office) - Route Newsletter: January 2024

Alice Yan
Ocean Services
(Head Office)

Route 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 © 2024 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

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