Import Documentation

Releasing Goods at the Border

All products entering Canada must be reported to CBSA. This is usually done in person at the point of entry by the importer or a customs broker representative. Generally, the goods are released immediately upon presentation of the required documentation. Within a few days, either the importer or the broker must present the final customs documents and pay any duties and taxes owing. To facilitate the clearance of goods, Indonesian exporters must give importers timely and complete documentation. Indonesian exporters can consult CBSA’s guidance on Importing Goods into Canada ( for more information on documentation requirements and the release of shipments. CBSA’s Database of Forms ( provides templates and instructions for completing each type of document.

Types of Documents

Depending on the product and country of origin, required documents may include:

  1. Bill of Lading or Airway Bill: Contract for carriage issued by the ocean or air carrier. Gives title to the goods, and signed copies are proof of ownership.
  2. Cargo Control Document: Used by carriers to report shipments to CBSA (first record of shipment’s arrival). Also used for shipments moved in-bond to an inland CBSA office, sufferance warehouse, or bonded warehouse.
  3. Certificate of Origin (Form A): Required by CBSA to establish where goods were manufactured and to determine the applicable rate of customs duty, including any claims for preferential rates of duty. More information can be found in Memorandum D11-4-2 (
  4. Canada Customs Coding Form (Form B): Used to account for goods regardless of the value imported for commercial use in Canada. An example of the form is available from CBSA (
  5. Commercial Invoice: Used by the exporter to charge payment of goods to the Canadian buyer. Exporters can provide either a Canada Customs Invoice (CCI) ( or their own forms that include all of the necessary and standard information. CBSA uses the invoice to apply duties and other import taxes (e.g., GST). Avoid later reassessments by ensuring your invoice has enough detail to identify the goods, determine the quantity, and establish the tariff classification correctly, by means of: date of issue, name and address of buyer and seller, contract number, description of goods, unit price, number of units per package, total, weight, and terms of delivery and payment.
  6. Inspection Certificates: Sanitary and other certificates are required for some types of products entering Canada, including plants, seeds, animals, pharmaceuticals, nursery stock, and meat. More information is available from Health Canada (
  7. Export Permits: Permits may be required, such as those for endangered species, and are issued by the Indonesian government.
  8. Import Permits: Global Affairs Canada requires import permits for goods such as textiles and clothing, agricultural and steel products, and some food items, such as dairy products, poultry, and eggs. Other government departments ( may require import permits for a range of goods.
  9. Packing List: May be required to supplement a commercial invoice and is provided by the shipper. It identifies the shipper, the shipping company, and the importer.
  10. Insurance Documents: Issued by the insurance underwriter and provides proof that the goods are insured as they are being transported.

Import Control List

CBSA requires an import permit for all goods listed on Canada’s Import Control List (,_c._604/page-1.html#h-1). Buyers must obtain an import permit ( from the Export and Import Controls Bureau (EICB) of Global Affairs Canada (GAC).Goods that are subject to import controls include:

  • Agricultural Products: Applies to beef and veal, eggs and chicken, dairy products (including cheese), margarine, peanut butter, pork, turkey, wheat, and barley.
  • Firearms
  • Steel

For more information, visit GAC’s Import Controls page ( and Memorandum D19-10-2 (

International Import Certificates

Although a product may not be subject to import controls, the issuance of an International Import Certificate may be required, which is a document that formally recognizes that the Government of Canada is aware of (and has no immediate objections to) the proposed import of specific goods to Canada, by the stated importer, for the stated end-use and end user. Canadian International Import Certificates are issued to Canadian applicants who in turn provide a copy to their foreign suppliers, who in turn use the International Import Certificates to obtain a foreign export permit. Applications for International Import Certificates may be submitted online using Export Controls On-Line (EXCOL) (from the EXCOL home page, (, by clicking on International Import Certificate on the left-hand menu bar). Paper application forms are also available at the Global Affairs Canada web site (

Prohibited Goods

Certain goods cannot be imported into Canada. Prohibited goods ( include child pornography, hate propaganda, dangerous materials, narcotics, base or counterfeit coins and offensive weapons, as well as goods manufactured or produced by prison labour.