Commercial Carrier and Freight Forwarder Identification and Eligibility
Air, Rail Carriers and Freight Forwarders

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Non-Bonded or Bonded

To apply for a carrier or freight forwarder code, the first step is to determine if you need a non-bonded or bonded code.

Non-Bonded Air or Rail Carrier

A non-bonded carrier must have all shipments released at the first point of arrival (FPOA) in Canada. If a non-bonded carrier requires a bond for a single trip they may apply for a single trip authorization.

Bonded Air or Rail Carrier

Bonded carriers are permitted to transport in-bond goods beyond the first point of arrival in Canada and between points in Canada. They must post financial security with the CBSA to cover the following situations:

Non-Bonded Freight Forwarder

A non-bonded freight forwarder code is necessary for freight forwarders who plan to transmit Advance Commercial Information (ACI) supplementary cargo reports to the CBSA directly or through a service provider. If you are supplying cargo information through a carrier, then a code is not required.

Bonded Freight Forwarder

In addition to providing secondary cargo reports to the CBSA, a bonded freight forwarder may transport in-bond goods from point to point within Canada, including between sufferance warehouses. No international movement or transportation of goods is allowed under a bonded freight forwarder code.

Becoming a Non-Bonded Air or Rail Carrier or Freight Forwarder

To apply to become a non-bonded air or rail carrier or freight forwarder with the CBSA, you must:

  1. Complete the applicable application form:
  2. Provide a copy of the appropriate proof of ownership document for your business:
    • For corporations – article of incorporation or business registration document.
    • For partnerships – certificate of formation or master business licence.
    • For sole proprietorships – photocopy of government issued photo ID.

    For supporting documents being submitted from outside Canada:

    • The supporting document must be translated into either English or French and certified as to the authenticity of translation by the certified translator.
    • A copy of the original document (requiring translation) is to be notarized by a locally recognized lawyer or commissioner of oaths.
    • The document in its original language and the certified translated copy must be submitted.
  3. An authorized officer representing the company must sign the application form. The authorized officer must have legal signing authority and can include: Chief Executive Officer, Chief Financial Officer, President, Vice-President, Owner, Partner, Secretary Treasurer, Executive Director or Director. In the case of a sole proprietorship, only the owner may sign.
  4. Submit scanned copies to the CBSA at carrier-cargo@cbsa.gc.ca.
  5. Once you receive your carrier or freight forwarder code from the CBSA, you must then apply to transmit Advance Commercial Information (ACI) to the CBSA and undergo the testing process.

Becoming a Bonded Air or Rail Carrier or Freight Forwarder

To apply to obtain a bonded air or rail carrier code or freight forwarder with the CBSA you must:

  1. Complete the applicable application form:
  2. Follow steps 2 and 3 above (Becoming a Non-bonded Air or Rail Carrier or Freight Forwarder) for proof of ownership and signature.
  3. Instructions on completing the D120 Customs Bond can be found below.
  4. Mail the original bond, the application, and supporting documents to the CBSA at:
    • Commercial Registration Unit
      Canada Border Services Agency
      191 Laurier Avenue West, 12th Floor
      Ottawa, ON  K1A 0L8 Canada
    • Photocopies of the bond are not accepted.
  5. Once you receive your carrier or freight forwarder code from the CBSA, you must then apply to transmit ACI to the CBSA and undergo the testing process.

Customs Bond Instructions

Recent Changes to the CBSA Bond Requirements

Please note that the CBSA requires the signature of the Owner, President, Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Executive Director or a similar highest ranking official authorized to sign on behalf of the company. If an official other than those aforementioned is signing on behalf of the company, a certified copy of the by-laws authorizing that official to sign on behalf of the company shall be required and the signature of a witness shall also be necessary.

Form D120 and Memorandum D1-7-1 are being updated to reflect this change.

The original D120 Customs Bond must be mailed to the CBSA along with the application form and supporting documents. For the bond, we will not accept photocopies, white-out or handwritten corrections. Erroneous bonds will be returned to the client unless the client instructs the CBSA to send it to the client's third-party representative.

For a Customs Bond, Form D120 must be completed by the surety company securing the bond. The surety company must fall under one of the following categories:

The following step-by-step instructions should be used to review your Customs Bond prior to submission to the CBSA.

Single Trip Authorization

If a non-bonded carrier requires a bond for a single trip they may apply for a single trip authorization. For example, if a non-bonded carrier cannot obtain release of the shipment at the first point of arrival and chooses to bring a shipment inland for release at another CBSA office, the carrier must post a single trip authorization bond at the first point of arrival.

A single trip authorization may be acquired in one of two ways: by posting security with the CBSA using cash or a certified cheque, or by engaging a customs broker who provides this service.

Applications for a single trip authorization must be filed, in duplicate, at the first point of arrival in Canada using form BSF329-1, BSF329-5, or BSF329-9. Security must also be posted as outlined in Customs Memorandum D1-7-1, Posting Security for Transacting Bonded Operations.

Transmitting Advance Commercial Information

Additional Information

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