3 Things You Need To Know About Clearing Freight At the US-Canada Border

Being a commercial freight carrier could be a great job for people who like to travel. Of course, it is not an easy gig, as a courier must be very responsible and be able to commit to quite the demanding schedule.  The job can be stressful with all the driving involved, but also because you have to learn a lot of Clearit international trade regulations.  Most of the time the days are very long while the action is pretty monotonous (and sleep seeming somewhat nonexistent).

Trying to clear freight at the US-Canadian border, here are a few things you need to know:


Before you can even begin operating as an international carrier—that is to say, someone who transports cargo across any US border—you must first acquire an international carrier bond and file it with the United States Customs and Border Protection Agency.  To get an international carrier bond, you need to contact an approved Surety who has the approval for writing CBP bonds via Form 301.  You can find Circular 570—an approved list of sureties—as the US Treasury’s Financial Management Services’ official website.

#2:  Meet TRADE ACT of 2002 Requirements

Established in 2002, obviously, the CPB trade act only started enforcing the Required Advance Electronic Presentation of Cargo Information regulation—as described in the Trade Act—on November 15, 2004.  This regulation requires that you, or a customs broker who represents the importer (you), to be responsible for providing the Canada CBP with advanced, electronically-submitted notice of your cargo.

#3:  Frequent Border Traverer CBP Programs

The Free and Secure Trade program (FAST) aims to promote free and secure trade between the United States and Canada.  This program can help you to expedite customs clearance through US Customs via dedicated lanes at the border crossing site.  If you want to take advantage of this programs, you need only pay a set annual fee. Approval of your application will get a fee decal for your vehicle.

If you do take advantage of this program, make sure that you notify the shipper or importer to first clear your goods through Canada Border Protection agency.  If you do not make prior arrangements, it could slow down your border crossing process and, in fact, make it harder to eventually complete the rest of your import process.