Casual Importations
Memorandum D17-1-3

Ottawa, December 7, 2016

ISSN 2369-2391

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In Brief

1. This memorandum has been updated as the result of a technical review.

2. This memorandum has been updated to reflect that the numbers of the following forms have been changed:

  • Personal Effects Accounting Document from B4 to BSF186
  • Personal Effects Accounting Document (list of goods imported) from B4A to BSF186A
  • Casual Goods Accounting Document from B15 to BSF715
  • Casual Goods Accounting Document from B15-1 (FLAT) to BSF715-1
  • Personal Exemption CBSA Declaration from E24 to BSF192.

3. The associated regulations have been updated.

4. The changes reflected are in relation to the new release period for all commercial streams, to the new accounting dates/timeframes and the new payment due date.

5. All Canada Border Service Agency (CBSA) forms mentioned in this memorandum (except for the E14, CBSA Customs Import Form) are available on the CBSA Web Site.

6. The name of the issuing office has been updated.

This Memorandum outlines the accounting documents and procedures to be used to account for casual goods at the CBSA.


Customs Act


Note: The regulations governing the policy and procedures applicable to casual goods are found in Accounting for Imported Goods and Payment of Duties Regulations

General Manner of Accounting

3. (1) Except as otherwise provided for in the Act or these Regulations, every person required by subsection 32(1), (3) or (5) of the Act to account for goods, or by subsection 32(2)(a) of the Act to make an interim accounting in respect of goods, shall do so
(a) in writing at the customs office from which the goods were released or are to be released;
(a.1) [Repealed, SOR/2006-152, s. 3]
(b) orally either by telephone or by other means of telecommunication at a customs office designated for that purpose by the Minister under section 5 of the Act, in the case of a person who holds an authorization to present themselves in an alternative manner under paragraph 11(b), (c) or (e) of the Presentation of Persons (2003) Regulations; or
(c) by electronic means in accordance with the technical requirements, specifications and procedures for electronic data interchange that are set out in the Electronic Commerce Client Requirements Document.
(2) Every CSA importer shall account, under subsection 32(3) of the Act, for goods that have been released under subsection 32(2) of the Act by electronic means in accordance with the technical requirements, specifications and procedures for electronic data interchange that are set out in the Electronic Commerce Client Requirements Document.
SOR/88-515, s. 2; SOR/96-150, s. 2; SOR/2005-383, ss. 2, 13; SOR/2006-152, s. 3.
4.  (1) Every person who accounts for goods under subsection 32(1), (3) or (5) of the Act or who makes an interim accounting in respect of goods under subsection 32(2)(a) of the Act shall provide, at the time of accounting and before the goods are released, if the goods have not been released before that time, every certificate, licence, permit or other document and any information that is required to be provided under the Act or these Regulations or under any other Act of Parliament or regulations made pursuant thereto that prohibits, controls or regulates the importation of goods.
(2) Subsection (1) does not apply to a CSA importer in respect of goods released under paragraph 32(2)(b) of the Act.
SOR/2005-383, ss. 3, 13.

General Requirements Respecting the Accounting for and Payment of Duties on Casual Goods

[SOR/88-515, s. 3]
5.  (1) Every person who accounts for casual goods under subsection 32(1), (3) or (5) of the Act shall provide, at the time of accounting and before the goods are released, if the goods have not been released before that time, a commercial invoice, current price list, bill of sale or other similar document that describes the goods and contains information sufficient to enable an officer to determine the tariff classification and appraise the value for duty of the goods.
(2) Subsection (1) does not apply to a person who accounts for casual goods orally under paragraph 3(1)(b).
SOR/2005-383, s. 4; SOR/2006-152, s. 4.
5.1  (1) Subject to subsection (2) and sections 7 and 8, casual goods may be released prior to the payment of duties thereon, if the importer or owner of the goods provides, as conditional payment of an amount equal to the amount of these duties
(a) a remittance by credit card in respect of which the importer or owner of the goods is the cardholder or authorized user, where the issuer of the credit card has entered into an agreement with the Government of Canada establishing the conditions of its acceptance and use; or
(b) a traveller's cheque, a money order or a certified cheque.
(2) Where casual goods are released prior to the unconditional payment of duties thereon, the person who accounted for the goods shall pay the duties thereon within five days after their release.
SOR/88-515, s. 4.

Release Without Accounting

[SOR/92-410, s. 2]
7.  (1) Subject to subsection (3), the following goods may be released without any requirement of accounting under section 32 of the Act if the goods are not charged with duties and may be reported orally under paragraphs 5(1)(a) to (d) of the Reporting of Imported Goods Regulations:

SOR/88-515, s. 5; SOR/92-410, s. 3; SOR/95-409, s. 3; SOR/95-419, s. 2; SOR/96-150, s. 4;
SOR/98-53, s. 6; SOR/2005-176, s. 1; SOR/2011-208, s. 3.; SOR/2014-271, s. 2.

Guidelines and General Information

1. Casual goods are to be accounted for on Form BSF715 or BSF715-1, Casual Goods Accounting Document, with the following exceptions:

2. Instructions for importations into Canada by courier services, for qualifying shipments of less than $20, are found in Memorandum D8-2-16, Courier Imports Remission.

3. Form BSF715 or BSF715-1 is to be used whenever a border services officer has to prepare an accounting document for a casual importer. The document indicates the duty and taxes applicable.

4. Form BSF715 (manual) is a standard pre-numbered accountable form in book format and is prepared in triplicate. The original (white) is the office copy; the second copy (buff) is the importer's copy to be given as proof of payment and to obtain release of the goods; the third copy (canary) is the control copy which remains in the book for audit purposes.

5. Form BSF715-1 (automated) is prepared in two copies. The original is the office copy and the second copy is given to the importer as proof of payment and to obtain release of the goods.

6. Border services officers must show the 10-digit classification number of goods on Form BSF715 or Form BSF715-1. The 9th and 10th digits form the statistical suffix used to provide further product description as determined by Statistics Canada. These last two digits are required to determine the provincial sales tax status of some commodities. Form BSF715 and BSF715-1 are not required by Statistics Canada.

7. Border services officers are to ensure that the minimum identification requirements are met, i.e., the name and postal code are indicated on the form.

8. Once Form BSF715-1 has been properly completed and any duty and taxes owing have been collected, the form is to be numbered and stamped "duty paid." After payment has been accepted at automated offices, the Travellers Entry Processing System (TEPS) assigns an accounting document number and shows the date and "paid" in the duty-paid stamp field of Form BSF715-1. The receipt copy of the form is to be given to the importer.

9. The importer or their agent, as well as the border services officer involved, must initial any changes made to the completed form at the time of importation.

10. If Form BSF715 is voided, the complete set must remain intact in the book. The word "void" and the reason must be shown, as well as the signature of the border services officer involved.

11. Form BSF715-1 (automated) can be voided either before or after payment by an authorized individual, as defined in the Security Level Maintenance file for that office. Comments explaining the reason for the void can be input directly into the system. The comments and the user ID of the individual who voided the transaction are printed on the system-generated Void/Incomplete Document Report. This report is used to reconcile accounting document numbers.

12. Payment of any applicable duty and taxes on casual importations can be made in cash, by money order, traveller's cheque, bank draft, uncertified cheque (up to $2,500) or a Government of Canada accepted credit card. Payment by debit card is also available in a number of sites.

13. Cargo control documents are to be acquitted by reference to the accounting number assigned to the Form BSF186.

14. There is no value limitation applicable to casual goods.

Form BSF186, Personal Effects Accounting Document

15. Personal effects imported under the provisions of tariff item Nos. 9805.00.00 (former residents), 9806.00.00 (beneficiary), 9807.00.00 (settlers) and 9829.00.00 (seasonal residents)are to be accounted for on Form BSF186. Persons claiming goods under tariff item No. 9805.00.00, 9806.00.00, 9807.00.00 and 9829.00.00 must personally declare their goods at the CBSA office at their first point of arrival in Canada by completing and signing a Form BSF186, regardless of whether the goods accompany the travellers at that time or will follow later. Form BSF715 and Form BSF715-1 are not to be used instead of Form BSF186, but should be cross-referenced if duty and taxes are collected (for example, a former resident imports goods valued in excess of $10,000).

16. Customs brokers are not to use the above tariff item numbers within the Accelerated Commercial Release Operations Support System (ACROSS). This exclusion includes goods released through the Courier/Low Value Shipment (LVS) Program.

17. Form BSF186 is available on-line only, in English (BSF186E) or French (BSF186F), and also has a bilingual continuation sheet, Form BSF186A Personal Effects Accounting Document(list of goods imported). This form can be completed on-line by the traveller, in advance of arriving in Canada and presented to the border services officer or, it can be completed by the officer when the traveller arrives at their first CBSA POE in Canada.

18. Whether the traveller completes Form BSF186 at the time of arrival or in advance, the border services officer who finalizes the document must ensure that the importer understands the conditions outlined on the form, has completed the appropriate sections, and has signed the form. Goods that cannot be listed on Form BSF186 are to be listed on Form BSF186A. If a mover's inventory or traveller's listing is provided, it may be used instead of Form BSF186A; however, approximate values should be shown for the goods that are listed. Goods arriving at a later date should be shown separately on the list.

19. The border services officer is to complete the shaded areas of the form reserved for CBSA use and assign an accounting number from a separate set of numbers kept for this purpose. The numbering sequence from Form BSF715 and BSF715 is not to be used as the accounting number on Form BSF186. The importer will be given the numbered importer's copy as proof of lawful importation of the goods. The importer should be advised to retain this copy for future reference and to obtain release of any goods to follow at a later date.

20. When the "goods to follow" arrive in Canada and the importers will not be present to clear the goods themselves, they may provide written authorization to an agent to act on their behalf. The definition of an agent may be found in Memorandum D1-6-1, Authority to Act as Agent. The carrier transporting the goods cannot act as an agent of the importer unless they are a licensed customs broker .

21. When "goods to follow" arrive by commercial carrier, an individual cargo control document for these particular shipments will be submitted to the CBSA. The goods may be accounted for and released at the POE or may proceed in-bond to a sufferance warehouse.  The warehouse will notify the importer or authorized agent that the goods have arrived and provide the cargo control document number which is to be written on the importer's original Form BSF186. The cargo control document is to be acquitted by reference to the original Form BSF186 accounting number and office reference. When "goods to follow" are released at a different CBSA office, a photocopy of the importer's Form BSF186 is to be forwarded to the office where the Form BSF186 was issued, for attachment to the original document on file at that office.

22. The Form BSF186 will be reviewed by the CBSA in comparison to the cargo manifest submitted by the carrier and a decision to release or refer the goods for examination will be made at that time. The importer or their authorized agent must be present to answer any questions from the CBSA or to account for any goods that do not qualify under their exemption. The border services officer will initial and date the items being released on the importer's copy of the Form BSF186.

23. Regular duty and taxes may apply if the importer or their authorized agent cannot produce the original copy of the Form BSF186 that indicates that "goods to follow" were previously declared and approved by the CBSA or if any discrepancies exist.

24. When goods arrive at an Inland Alternate Service (IAS) location, the importer or their agent must be present at the IAS location, and may allow the sufferance warehouse operator or other party to fax the documentation to the CBSA Hub on their behalf. This is in keeping with IAS policies and procedures.

Additional Information

For more information, within Canada call the Border Information Service at 1-800-461-9999. From outside Canada call 204-983-3500 or 506-636-5064. Long distance charges will apply. Agents are available Monday to Friday (08:00 - 16:00 local time / except holidays). TTY is also available within Canada: 1-866-335-3237.


Issuing office:
Program and Policy Management
Traveller Programs Directorate
Programs Branch
Headquarters file:
Legislative references:

Customs Act, sections 8, 32, 33, 35, 147, and 166, and paragraphs 164(1) (d), (i), and (j)
Accounting for Imported Goods and Payment of Duties Regulations
Customs Tariff
Presentation of Persons (2003) Regulations
Reporting of Imported Goods Regulations
Postal Imports Remission Order
Courier Imports Remission Order
Excise Tax Act,
Persons Authorized to Account for Casual Goods Regulations

Other references:
D1-6-1, D8-2-2, D8-2-16
Superseded memorandum D:
D17-1-3, May 19, 2011
Date modified: