Shipping from Canada

Get up-to-date local information about export procedures and restrictions, demurrage and detention, container drop-offs and more.

Customs House Brokerage

Core product

Export Customs Clearance Consulting
Standard full import customs clearance process Full range of trade advisory services
Technical support on complex customs issues
  • Export declaration
  • B13
  • Summary reporting
  • HS review and validation
  • FTA certification
  • Post Entry Claims
  • Drawbacks

Additional Custom House Brokerage services 

  • Duty Drawback
  • Blanket submissions for entry corrections
  • CBSA Audit Assitance
  • Post entry amendments

What is required to complete Customs House Brokerage? -Mandatory document required

Customer set up Canadian Resident

  1. Signed General Agency Agreement
  2. Signed rate sheet
  3. Valid Canadian Business number
  4. Master Carrier authority
  5. Completed CHB questionnaire
  6. Customer product database if available

Customer set up Non-resident importer

  1. Signed General Agency Agreement
  2. Signed rate sheet
  3. Business number registration applications duly completed
  4. Books and record from to retain outside of Canada original signed in blue ink
  5. Master Carrier authority
  6. NRI Questionnaire

Entry process

  1. Commercial invoice and packing list
  2. Bill of Lading
  3. Free Trade certificates/certificate or origins
  4. HS if available 


Q: What is the Pricing / Cost of these services?
A: Please refer to the pricing schedule shared with you.

Q: What can hold up my Customs Clearance?
A: A variety of reasons can hold up a clearance, to name a few but not limited to, would be awaiting mandatory documents, awaiting payment, customs holds, Port Authority holds and vessel delays.

Q: What do I need to import goods into Canada?

A: To import commercially into Canada, you must have a registered importer business number with the federal government. This importer account is simply an extension of a corporation's federal business number in Canada. You will also require a complete set of commercial documents i.e.:

  1. Commercial Invoice
  2. Packing List
  3. Certificate of Origin
  4. Free trade certificate if applicable
  5. Bill of lading

Q: Is CBSA the only agency concerned with my imports?
A: Depending on the commodity imported, CBSA also works in conjunction with other government departments for release.  Damco is familiar with all government departments and will work with you and the other government departments to aid in the release of your shipment.

Q: Will I have to pay duties and taxes on my imports?
A: Unless exempt, all imported goods are subject to duties and taxes based on their tariff classification according to the Harmonized Classification Number. Certain commodities can be assessed with other taxes – including anti-dumping and excise duties.

Q: I believe I've been paying too much in duties and/or taxes. Do I have any recourse to recover the funds?
A: The rate of duties and taxes payable on any given product is entirely dependent on the type of goods imported and the Customs Tariff. Origin and end use can affect the duty rate assigned to your product line. Damco’s Customs Consultants will request a FIRM report from CBSA and perform an extensive audit of your imports to search for any potential savings. Time lines for corrections vary from one to four years with CBSA depending on the error.

Q: Can you help us educate our staff regarding Customs?
A: Yes. We provide training programs at our facility or your office location based on your requirements.

Q: CBSA are performing an audit. What support can you provide?
A: We can assist with the document preparation and collection as well as review both your transactions and internal procedures in preparation for your audit.

Q: I am not sure how to classify new products. Can you help?
A: Yes. We can assist with determining the correct tariff classification and applicable duty and taxes. We will require a thorough description of the product along with the country of origin.

Q: How do I set up an account ?

A: The following documents are required to set up an account:

  1. GAA: General Agency Agreement, to be completed and signed by the Importer giving authority to Damco to act on their behalf.
  2. Duty and tax bond or GST letter. We can assist you with that
  3. Parts Database: Harmonized tariff classification of your products if available.

Abbreviations & Explanations

CHB = Customs House Brokerage
VAT = Value Added Tax
EORI = Economic Operators’ Registration and Identification
HTS = Harmonized Tariff Schedule
AEO = Authorized Economic Operator
POA = Power of Attorney
T1 = Transit Document which allows the movement of non-EU commodity between two customs offices (EU)
T2L = Document which proofs the EU status


Free time will commence on the first calendar day following the equipment's arrival at the loading port. Free time includes Saturday, Sunday and holidays. After expiration of free time, equipment remaining on the loading port will be assessed demurrage as follows:

  • For containers in-gated prior to the shipment’s earliest receipt date, but loads its originally scheduled vessel, demurrage will apply for each calendar day including Saturdays, Sundays and holidays prior to the earliest receipt date.
  • For containers in-gated before, on, or after the earliest receipt date, and do not load its originally scheduled vessel for any reason not a result of Carrier error, demurrage will apply per calendar day including Saturdays, Sundays and holidays until the cargo loads, or scheduled vessel sail date, whichever event occurs first.
All Terminals 7 Calendar Days
Charges per calendar day after freetime
Dry equipment, including shipper owned equipment and non-operating refrigerated containers Days 1-4 USD 150.00 per day, or fraction
Day 5 and above USD 180.00 per day, or fraction thereof
Operating refrigerated containers Days 1-3 USD 350.00 per day, or fraction thereof
Day 4 and above USD 480.00 per day, or fraction thereof
Flat beds, flat racks, open top containers or any other specialized equipment Days 1-3 USD 350.00 per day, or fraction thereof
Day 4 and above USD 480.00 per day, or fraction thereof


  • Free time for carrier’s equipment commences on the day equipment departs from carrier’s container yard. 
Freetime All equipment/cargo types
Dry 4Business Days
Reefer and Special Equipment 3 Business Days
Charges per calendar day after freetime
Days After Freetime Expires Price
Dry and Non Operating Refrigerated Equipment Days 1-4 $140 USD
Days 5-8 $190 USD
Days 9+ $220 USD
Operating Refrigerated Equipment  Days 1-3 $330 USD
Days 4-7  $435 USD 
Days 8+ $470 USD
Special Equipment Days 1-3 $330 USD
Days 4-7  $435 USD 
Days 8+ $470 USD

Exception to Above:

  • Reefer Equipment Detention: Montreal & Toronto
    - 5 working days free time once removed from Carrier’s CY facility
  • Reefer Equipment Detention: Vancouver
    - 8 working days free time once removed from Carrier’s CY facility
  • Reefer Equipment Detention: Halifax &St. John’s
    - 10 working days free time once removed from Carrier’s CY facility
  • Dry Equipment Detention, Canada CY locations for Exports of Grain, Rice, Flour, Seeds, Nuts, Cereals, Used Automobiles, Lumber and Metal Scrap:
    - 10 working days freetime once removed from Carrier’s CY facility. After freetime expires, detention charges will be USD 200 per day until the equipment is returned.


Most of our restrictions relate to b/l clausing, which follow:

  • Agreement on demurrage/detention charges and free days cannot be added to b/l bound for India.
  • Value of the goods cannot be added to Bs/l, unless an ad-valorem b/l is required.
  • Maersk Line is not a conference line out of Canada, therefore b/l clauses/certificates requiring otherwise statement cannot be issued.

If any other certificate or further information is necessary, please contact our Customer Resource Centre department. 

VGM Cut-off


Please see below details for Verified Gross Mass (VGM) submission in Canada. Transport Canada, the enforcement agency from the Canadian government, has issued their implementation guidelines which can be found by clicking here.

For information on requirements regarding the calibration and the certification of weighing equipment for the purpose of trade the shipper may contact any of the authorized service providers (ASP) recognized by Measurement Canada and listed on the following web site.

VGM Cutoffs in Canada

As a general guidance, the VGM should be received by Maersk two (2) hours prior to cargo cut-off if sent via EDI or e-channels, and twelve (12) hours prior to cargo cut-off for manual submission. While your VGM cut-off will be noted on your booking confirmation, we can confirm the following cutoffs for our services in Canada:

Terminal Service VGM cutoff via e-channels VGM cutoff via manual channels Cargo cutoff Local Time  
Halifax Halifax Terminal 1 Canada Atlantic Express 2 hours prior to CY cut 12 hours prior to CY cut FRI 16:00
Montreal** Montreal Racine Terminal Canada Atlantic Express 2 hours prior to CY cut 12 hours prior to CY cut FRI 15:00
Prince Rupert Prince Rupert Cntr Terminal TP8 2 hours prior to CY cut 12 hours prior to CY cut TUE 16:30
Vancouver Delta Port Terminal TP9 2 hours prior to CY cut 12 hours prior to CY cut FRI 16:00

Please note this information is subject to change thus we highly encourage you to revisit this information on our website for further updates.

* Terminal policy, VGM deadlines and CY cargo cutoffs are subject to change without notice. Please continue to check our website for updates or contact your local customer service representative.
** Terminal Fees related to VGM are decided and applied by the terminal and not by Maersk. For information about terminal weighing services, please click on the terminal name for details.

Export Service from Alaska

Maersk offers the flexibility to meet your seasonal needs with service built to match your requirements.

We’re offering seasonal service from Alaska to the Far East to deliver your seafood fresh and on time. With expert support and innovative reefer technology, your refrigerated cargo is safe in our hands. Discover more about these export opportunities, including sailing schedules, in our online flyer.

Contact us

If you want to speak to a sales person about a new shipment or if you have a question about your existing shipment, you can email us and we will respond within the next two days. If you have a more immediate question, you can search for help online.