An increasing number of organizations across Canada have either become customs self assessment (CSA) importers or are considering taking this route given its potential for faster border cross times, increased accuracy and improved compliance – all contributing to reducing the cost of doing business with the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA). 

While the advantages for self-filers are tremendous, CSA importers are finding it increasingly challenging to manage the complexities and administrative burden of self-filing. While these organizations have the potential to gain full control over their shipment data and respond faster to information requests, in many cases, the systems that are in place today are simply not up to the task of meeting more complex demands. Adding to the challenge is the growing need to manage multiple administrative requirements, new and existing e-manifest programs and other business functions. Given that IT investment budgets are slim and in-house resources limited, importers need to consider every option available to reduce costs, increase efficiencies and streamline the movement of goods across borders. 

A growing number of organizations are turning to on-demand, fully automated, enterprise level software solutions that handle critical functions that a self-filing importer needs to manage its operations. These solutions include: 

  • Flexible interfaces to accept purchase orders, receipts or accounts payable data;
  • A single database for both CSA and non-CSA releases, auto revenue summary form, auto X-Type entries (a corrective entry for duty recovery), user created quality control cases, imaging to store original documents, multiple sweep scenarios;
  • Web tools for tracking and tracing, reporting, trade chain partner management, part management and printing of barcodes for drivers; and,
  • Access to a network of broker partners to assist you should the need arise.

This level of functionality was once the domain of large scale operators with sizeable IT resources. However, the new generation of on-demand logistics services are levelling the playing field and enabling organizations of any size to do much more, with much less. Ultimately, this ability to access combined, enterprise-level resources at a fraction of the cost can mean the difference between profitability and loss. 

Email [email protected] to learn more about an on-demand, enterprise-level software solution that handles functions that a customs broker, freight forwarder or self-filing importer typically uses to manage its operations.

Written by Benn Bekic

Vice President, Global Logistics Network - Canada at Descartes