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How are goods inspected during Canada-USA LTL shipping and how should you prepare for this?

How are goods inspected during Canada-USA LTL shipping and how should you prepare for this?

Throughout life things do not always go as planned. Your Canada – USA LTL shipping is no different. Amongst many things that can happen during the transportation of your goods, customs inspection is something that must not be overlooked.

Customs authorities may decide to inspect a truck for no apparent reason, or if they suspect something concerning the goods being transported.
Canada – USA LTL shipping combine several deliveries from different sources, therefore, even if the inspection concerns another customer’s load, the incurred delay because of this operation will affect your delivery schedule.

Rule # 1: Make sure you have the correct documentation for Canada – USA LTL shipping

When crossing the border between Canada and the USA, trucks and their goods may be inspected by the customs authorities. In certain cases, some packages may even be opened and the goods unloaded from the vehicle for closer inspection. You must be prepared by this possibility by providing the appropriate documentation:

  • The invoice for customs
  • The certificate of origin
  • The « bill of lading »
  • If necessary the declaration of dangerous goods

These documents will help the customs authorities identify your goods. Correctly labelled packages will facilitate the inspection procedure. This will reduce the number of questions that the customs officers may have to ask, by providing them with clear and quick answers from the start.

Rule # 2: Provide for Canada – USA LTL shipping inspection fees

It should understand that even if your documentation is consistent with legislation, customs authorities might decide to proceed with a physical inspection of your goods. Can anything be done to prevent this? No. It is the authorities that decide, and the driver must wait until customs officers have completed their inspection.

The driver may also have to leave the goods that must be inspected.
In addition to the delay that may be incurred by the driver in certain deliveries, some fees may be applicable:

  • Driver’s waiting time
  • Cost of vehicle immobilisation
  • Handling costs
  • Storage
  • Customs and operations fees
  • Delivery charges

Even if these costs are not your responsibility or your transporter’s, you will be required to pay the fees for your Canada to USA LTL shipping.

Rule # 3: Be honest and clear in your Canada – USA LTL shipping

In order to avoid any problems at the border, you must be honest, not only with your customs broker (the company which prepares the customs operations), but also with the customs officers. If you answer their questions clearly, you will not have any problems during the inspection procedures of your Canada – USA LTL shipping. Should you hide any information, which is then revealed during the inspection, this may lead to sanctions (fines), interminable questioning, or your goods may even be refused entrance to the territory and, in the worst case, confiscated.

Rule # 4: Use professionals for your Canada – USA LTL shipping

Your shipping company or your customs broker should be experts of Canada – USA LTL shipping. They can advise you on the required documentation and how to fill it out as well as how to label your goods.