On October 21st, 2020, Canada announced the sixth extension to the closing of the Canada/U.S. border to all unnecessary travel. That was just another layer of challenge put on companies tasked with supply-chain management on both sides of the border. Even though the 8,891 kilometre border is often referred to as the world’s longest and least protected, there are a litany of restrictions that shipping companies, trucking firms and 3PL providers must follow in order to complete shipping from Canada to the USA.
What Can’t You Ship into the USA from Canada.
In order to protect themselves and clients from potential litigation at the hands of U.S. authorities, it’s important for cross-border shipping companies to be thoroughly knowledgeable about the goods and materials not allowed into the U.S. Freight shipping companies that don’t follow the rules or get caught breaking them can’t claim ignorance of the law; it’s the duty of responsible cross-border shipping companies to educate themselves on all the subtleties of the law. For starters, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agency determines what products are prevented from entering the country. Formally, that includes products the CPB says would injure community health, public safety, American workers, children or domestic plant and animal life, or those that would defeat the country’s national interests. That’s a very broad description, but it does point to a direction designed to protect Americans from a wide variety of potentially hazardous materials. More specifically, the abbreviated list of prohibited items often listed on the CBP website includes things like alcoholic beverages, prescription drugs and drug paraphernalia, illegal and unregistered firearms and other weapons, and merchandise from other foreign countries that may currently be embargoed from entering the country. For companies shipping from Canada to the USA, there are a few simple steps that can be taken to avoid non-compliance when sending goods across the border.
- Number one, know who you’re shipping to. There are many fraudulent operators out there that could quickly land you in trouble if you were found to be shipping inappropriate materials to the wrong people.
- Know what you’re shipping. Items may appear to be harmless or acceptable for shipping, but do you know their origin, what they’re made of, or what their purpose may be? Doing a thorough check on the items you’re shipping could help you avoid a world of hurt later on.
- Know what documentation is necessary to ensure your shipments make it across the border. There are a multitude of documents required to administer cross-border shipping generated by government agencies on both sides of the border. Working with a professional 3PL company like NATS Canada can ensure you have all your documents in order when responsible for shipping to the USA.
- Know where you’re shipping. U.S. custom agents like to ask a lot of questions. If you don’t know exactly where you’re shipment is going, it’s going to raise flags at customs and potentially delay your shipment.
Trust NATS Canada for Shipping from Canada to the USA
As a 3PL provider, NATS Canada has a vast network of freight shipping companies at our disposal. To ensure compliance, we source the right carrier for the job based on the commodity and the laneway.