As of September 18, 2017, Descartes was the only service provider to have been certified to submit commercial import data for the Canada Border Services Agency’s (CBSA) Single Window Initiative (SWI). The SWI is the primary, modernized system through which the Canadian government will track, control and process information related to the import of goods into the country. Nine government departments are participating in the SWI, as well as agencies representing 38 government programs. CBSA has set April 1, 2018 as the deadline for mandatory use of the SWI.

Using the CBSA-certified Descartes Canadian Customs Brokerage™ solution, customs brokers, freight forwarders and/or importer self-filers can now streamline the submission of customs entries to CBSA and Participating Government Agencies (PGA) through a centralized platform. This simplifies the import process by eliminating manual tasks and paper documentation in the Canadian customs process.

By earning the necessary CBSA certification, Descartes can help companies start actively participating in the SWI program ahead of anticipated deadlines. Customs broker and freight forwarder Thompson Ahern, for example, has viewed early SWI readiness as a top priority, as the ability to more effectively communicate with the CBSA and PGAs will allow the company to work more efficiently and process time-sensitive shipments more rapidly.

Customs broker and freight forwarder Omnitrans is another early adopter, driven by a commitment to ongoing technology investments to provide its customers with market-leading solutions. It’s the first customs broker in Canada to be certified on all available PGAs, thanks to its close partnership and collaboration with the Descartes team.

Why Descartes for the Single Window Initiative?

As governments around the world look to modernize their systems to better balance the need for information with a more global business environment, the combination of Descartes’ software-as-a-service offerings and the world’s most extensive logistics messaging network can help organizations enhance preparedness to meet current and future global trade mandates.

With the CBSA certification, the Descartes Canadian Customs Brokerage solution can now be used to send customs entries directly to the following government departments and agencies: Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA); Natural Resources Canada; Transport Canada; Health Canada; Environment and Climate Change Canada; Public Health Agency Canada; Global Affairs Canada; Fisheries and Oceans Canada; and Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission. Other similar initiatives such as the Automated Commercial Environment (ACE) in the U.S. follow a similar model.

Customs Brokerage Software Keeps Goods Flowing

An on-demand, enterprise-level software solution, Descartes Canadian Customs Brokerage (formerly ITMR4) leverages the power of the Descartes Global Logistics Network™ (Descartes GLN™) to electronically connect customs brokers, freight forwarders and/or importer self-filers with shippers, carriers and regulatory authorities around the world. While designed to address the needs of Canadian operations, this solution integrates with a wide range of compliance solutions. The system includes custom self-assessment (CSA), Advance Commercial Information (ACI), eManifest, e-billing, purchase order management, client shipment tracking, document imaging, prearrival viewing and release, permits, North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) solicitations, outgoing fax/e-mails, transaction audits and more.

Read more about the Canadian SWI in the Descartes SWI Resource Center, and learn more about Descartes solutions for cargo security in Canada and Descartes customs and regulatory compliance solutions

Written by Glenn Palanacki

Former Product Manager, North American Customs at Descartes.