When you become a commercial freight carrier, you take on a lot of responsibility and a very demanding schedule. Not only is there a lot of stress involved with the driving, but there is also a lot of regulations you have to remember—and follow—and a lot of paperwork involved as well. The days are long and the action is monotonous and the nights can feel few and far between.
But when you try to clear freight at the Canadian border—coming from America—there are a few basic things you need to know.
#1: You Need To Have an International Carrier Bond
Before you can officially operate as an international carrier—one who transports any cargo into and throughout the United States, you need to have an international carrier bond on file with the United States Customs and Border Protection agency. To get one you must contact an approved Surety who can write CBP bonds via CBP Form 301. There is a list of approved sureties—noted as Circular 570—which can be found at the Treasury’s Financial Management Service’s Website.
#2: Ensure you Meet the Requirements Set Forth in the Trade Act of 2002
While the Trade Act was, obviously, established in 2002, the CBP started to enforce the Required Advance Electronic Presentation of Cargo Information regulation on November 15, 2004. This requires that you or the Clearit Canadian customs broker who representing the importer are responsible for providing the Customs and Border Protection agency with advanced information regarding your cargo, submitted electronically.
#3: Participate in Some CBP Programs For Frequent Border Travelers
The Free and Secure Trade (FAST) program, obviously, promotes free and secure trade and, more importantly, can help you to expedite clearance through the US Customs and Border Protection agency through the use of dedicated lanes at the US-Canada border. To utilize this program, you pay a set fee that covers you for the whole year. If you are approved, the program will issue you a fee decal.
When taking advantage of this program make sure that the shipper or the importer has made prior arrangements to clear the goods through the CBP. Without these arrangements, it can slow down the process and, furthermore, you or the importer will then become responsible for clearing the goods, as well as submitting all the cargo information to the CBP.