Cross-border shipping is an integral part of the global economy and an especially important component of the commercial relationship between the United States and Canada. The United States Census Bureau reported that in May of 2014 the U.S. imported over $30 billion in goods from Canada. If your business is looking to engage in any kind of cross-border shipping, it is important that you ship your goods in an efficient way that also complies with all the pertinent regulations for this type of commerce.
Include the Proper Documents
The first step in making sure that you can properly engage in cross-border shipping is getting your documents in order. Important things that you need to have include:
- Your bill of lading that is filled out with all the necessary information
- Evidence of the purchase of the goods, such as an invoice or purchase order
- A license to import/export: this is usually only required for products that are regulated, like firearms, tobacco, etc.
It is a good idea to keep all of these belongings together in an envelope or file that is easily accessible in case your driver needs to provide any of these documents to officials at the border.
Arrange the Shipment with a Customs Broker
In order for your shipment to get across Canada and into the United States, you must have the help of a customs broker. It is important that you deal with a dependable customs broker that has a history of doing good work for clients. Ideally you will be able to find a customs broker that operates 24 hours a day so that you can get your goods cleared across the border even if it is the middle of the night.
It is also important that you find a customs broker that uses the most efficient methods. For example, a broker that uses Remote Location Filing (RLF) will be able to save you time by electronically transmitting data about your cargo from a remote location. This will allow you to get your cargo across the border much more smoothly.
Pay All Necessary Taxes and Fees
The United States Customs and Border Protection determines duty rates on shipments that are entering the United States. In order to get the exact duty rates for the items that you are bringing into the United States, you must have detailed information about your goods and how and where they were manufactured. If you use the right customs brokerage for your cross-border shipping, these fees can usually be taken care of electronically.
Cross-border shipping must go smoothly for companies that are sending goods into the United States so that these companies can keep sufficient revenues flowing in. If your business is looking to minimize the complexity of shipping LTL goods across the U.S. border, it is important to find a dependable provider for help interpreting the many regulations that govern this type of transaction.